I first met the delightful character of Ellie Haskell in The Widows Club, and I have read several more books by this same author since. Her hilarious way of phrasing things and the unforgettable characters are what continue to draw me to her books.
Now, instead of Ellie Haskell uncovering who is murdering the local husbands as she did in The Widows Club, she has received a strange letter from three elderly ladies that she knows of only as the bridesmaids. They were her grandmother’s childhood friends.
They want Ellie to come and visit them. Why? Ellie’s grandmother wants to get in touch with her. That would normally be awesome news, but why can’t her grandmother just write her a letter or call her? Well, her grandmother is no longer with the living.
Ellie’s husband is away with their children at the moment, leaving her free to do some redecorating in their “castle.” She decides that the redecorating can wait. Mrs. Haskell, Ellie’s housekeeper, really wants to go with her but acts like she doesn’t want to. An excuse for her to accompany Ellie comes just in time—her ex-husband has made contact with her and will be coming to visit her. That is the last thing Mrs. Haskell wants to happen.
Ellie sets out to visit the three old ladies and see what is going on. Little does she realize that she is walking into a world of mistaken identities, seances, ghosts, conjurings, and murder. But the answer to questions she has long wondered about are there for her to discover if she can manage to stay alive.
I love the entertaining Dorothy Cannell writes and have since I read The Widows Club many years ago. Bridesmaids Revisited will keep you entertained from the first page until the last.
I was sent a copy of this book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. If you would like to read Bridesmaids Revisited, there is an Amazon link for the book below.
Amazon Link: Bridesmaids Revisited
Having read about innumerable heroines being lured back to decaying houses under one preposterous pretext or another, it was pitifully easy for me to foresee a dark turret with bars on the windows and an iron key that went clang in the night as part of my immediate future.
Her face worked itself into a series of doughy shapes, like a ball of day-old pastry being thumped about by a furious pair of hands.
There were only a few clouds to be seen and even they were drifting away over the fields like threadbare underwear blown off a clothesline.
My empty coffee cup sat adrift on my knees like a raft from the Titanic waiting for would-be survivors to jump into it.
He wasn’t a rich patriarch with heirs swooping in like vultures for the first pickings from his will.
New Words Learned:
aspidistra – a bulbous plant with broad tapering leaves, native to eastern Asia and often grown as a houseplant
benighted – in a state of pitiful or contemptible intellectual or moral ignorance
comfrey – a Eurasian plant of the borage family, with large hairy leaves and clusters of purplish or white bell-shaped flowers
desultory – lacking a plan, purpose, or enthusiasm
foil – a person or thing that makes another seem better by contrast
grosgrain – a heavy, ribbed fabric, typically of silk or rayon
horsehair – hair from the mane or tail of a horse, typically used in furniture for padding
humbug – (British) a hard candy, esp. one flavored with peppermint
natter – talk casually; chatter
openhanded – giving freely; generous
pinny – pinafore
precipitate – acting suddenly or without careful consideration
prosaic – commonplace
pugnacious – eager or quick to argue, quarrel, or fight
salient – most noticeable or important
sploshing – splashing
surfeit – an excessive amount of something
tottery – moving in a feeble or unsteady way
umbrage – offense
About the Author:
Dorothy was born in Nottingham, England and came to the U.S. in 1963. She married Julian Cannell and they lived in Peoria, Illinois, from 1965 to 2004. They then moved to Maine where they now reside with their two dogs, Teddy and Watson.
Dorothy became an aspiring writer after taking English 110 at Illinois Central College and being encouraged to write for publication by the class teacher. Seven years later she sold her first short story.
Her first novel, The Thin Woman, published in 1984 has been selected as one of the 100 favorite mysteries of the twentieth century by the Mystery Book Sellers of America. In 2014, Dorothy received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Malice Domestic. Dorothy has published eighteen novels and a collection of short stories.