When the ever-scrupulous and ever-caustic Mrs. Roxie Malloy leaves her employ in tears, Ellie Haskell—busy mother of twins—is forced to find another cleaning person. As she searches for someone who can at least aspire to taking Mrs. Malloy’s place, Ellie turns the household topsy-turvy, overcome with spring-cleaning fever. But when members of the Chitterton Fells Charwomen’s Association (C.F.C.W.A.) start biting the dust, Ellie swaps scrubbing for sleuthing to find out what dark secrets have been swept under the rug.
With the help of her husband, Ben, her feckless cousin Freddy, and an assortment of homemade cleaning solutions, Ellie joins the C.F.C.W.A.’s roster and embarks on a brief stint as a mercenary maid—just long enough to snoop through her neighbors’ things and find out which one has more than dust bunnies and dirty dishes to hide.
An English cozy, Ellie and Ben Haskell take care of their own, including their hired help. This becomes more evident with the murder murders. Ellie jumps right in with the ladies to find the killer, including going undercover.
Readers get a slice of English culture, with its mannerisms and everyday comings and goings. The characters are likable and funny, especially Roxie.
This is seventh in a series of at least twelve books by Cannell. It was an enjoyable escape and can be read as a stand-alone mystery. It might be even better though if you started with the first one. At a time when travel is somewhat testy, take a trip to England with Ellie and Ben and forget the daily stressors.
FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in the hopes that I would post an honest review. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.