Thursday, April 29, 2010

Cleaning Up Crime: Housekeeper Mysteries

Dorothy Cannell's The Importance of Being Ernestine, an Ellie Haskell Mystery, features English housewife and mother, Ellie, teamed with her eccentric cleaning lady, Mrs. Malloy, in another light (very light in case you couldn't guess from the title) sleuthing adventure. In this outing, Mrs. Malloy is working for Detective Milk Juggs and has to solve a crime in his absence when a distraught Lady Krumley asks them to find a long-lost orphan so she can make amends and also lift the curse she believes has recently struck down one Krumley after another. The characters' names and some of the dialogue veer into the land of the too-cute for me, but the final gathering of suspects in the drawing room where the two amateur detectives explain it all was quite satisfying in tying up all the loose ends and subtle clues in the story.

Earlier this year I read another English cleaning lady mystery, Tragedy at Two by Ann Purser which led me to wonder just how many cleaning lady mysteries there are. Luckily the Cozy Mystery List Blog had already explored that theme in this post Cozy Mystery House Keepers...etc Blog author Danna does a phenomenal job of listing and classifying cozy mysteries by type, so take a look at her websites:

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