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Publisher's Summary

This wickedly funny English whodunit was a Mystery Guild Main Selection. Its spunky heroine, interior decorator Ellie Haskell, aspires to live a perfectly normal life with her husband and children in their lovely old house. But bizarre events and outlandish characters keep landing on her doorstep in Chitterton Fells, the charming little village by the sea. Just when Ellie means to escape her hectic life by taking a vacation in France, her long-lost father shows up with the ashes of his lady love in his suitcase. Ellie becomes suspicious as Daddy recounts the details of his storybook romance with Harriet, the platinum-blonde ideal of English womanhood he met in a German biergarten.

You will relish Cannell’s keen sense of the absurd as the plot thickens to include a visit from a kleptomaniac aunt, a village production called Murder Most Fowl, and missing relics of the local saint, Ethelwort. Barbara Rosenblat, with her impeccable comic timing and flair for characterization, is the perfect narrator for Cannell’s uproarious series.

©1999 Dorothy Cannell (P)2000 Recorded Books, LLC

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Performance
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  • H
  • 01-06-13

Haskell books better on the page

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I enjoyed the Thin Woman so much when re-reading it for the nth time recently that I thought I'd find the audiobooks. There are only two available here and this is the better one, but Ellie Haskell has somehow become a minor character in a Wacky Farce Parade that drags quite a bit.

What was most disappointing about Dorothy Cannell’s story?

The doormat that Ellie's become. It makes the humor pretty forced.

Which scene was your favorite?

When it finally ended.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Probably.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Amy
  • Brooklyn, NY, United States
  • 04-03-12

Lots of Fun

What did you love best about The Trouble with Harriet?

It was a cheerful little earful.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Trouble with Harriet?

When the three relatives of Harriett came a calling. The hilarious descriptions of them by the author, and the narrator's interpretation of how they sounded when they spoke.

What does Barbara Rosenblat bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Bringing to life the characters.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Mostly laugh, it was fun, with some sadness but lighthearted so you could feel uplifted no matter what.

Any additional comments?

The plot got a little convoluted toward the end, but the ridiculous twists and turns just made the book even more entertaining for me.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Tremendous Fun-Laughter is Good for Body & Soul

If you could sum up The Trouble with Harriet in three words, what would they be?

A complete delight!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Every single character in Dorothy Cannell's Ellie Haskell books has delightfully quirky personalities. I have read & heard about 4 of them and after the very first book, "The Thin Woman" which I laughed and loved from start to finish, "The Trouble with Harriet" has been as excellent as the first! Within 2 paragraphs she already had me guffawing with abandon. Besides Ellie herself, her long-lost father enters "stage right" with all the flourish of Laurence Olivier with a funny bone, e.g., regarding Ellie's mother-in-law, "...my mother-in-law has been in rehab for kleptomania!", her father, "...these modern women always insist on having a career, don't they..." :D Oh and the Vicar and wife... hysterical characters, e.g., "...my wife simply adores the cello... or is it compost... I can never remember which..." :D If life is getting you down and it's just a bit too serious for comfort, I highly recommend immersing yourself in a Dorothy Cannell book and most especially this one, "The Trouble with Harriet". Laughter is good for body and soul--get ready for renewal and a second wind.

Have you listened to any of Barbara Rosenblat’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I usually don't care for Barbara Rosenblat's performances when she is using her American English accent. It always sounds as if she is looking down her nose at everything and everyone. However, Ms. Rosenblat reading Dorothy Cannell with a British English Accent (plus Cockney, German English accents, etc) was WONDERFUL! I mean one expects the Brits to be looking down their noses at everyone including each other, so Ms Rosenblat's reading style was absolutely perfect. :)

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Oh yes indeed... I would have loved to have listened to the book all day... right straight through to the end.

Any additional comments?

I really hope Audible can find more of Dorothy Cannell's books in the audible format. I would definitely purchase and listen to ALL of them. Alas, all I have found so far are 2 of her books here... more please... sirs/madams may we have some more? Cheers! :)

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Better and better

Where does The Trouble with Harriet rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Initially, I was intrigued by the premise. Ellie's father though drones on and on so much in the early charpters that it gives new meaning to pomposity, so I almost stopped listening. Glad I kept up with it because the characters are really quite amusing, I found myself returning to hear how it ended. The ending was a bit jumbled and not what I expected but all in all it was a good book.

What did you like best about this story?

The characterizations and I am a huge fan of Barbara Rosenblatt

Which scene was your favorite?

When Freddy's mother came into the story.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • AmyMayo
  • Delaware, OH, United States
  • 04-08-12

Dull

What would have made The Trouble with Harriet better?

This book made a plot out of nothing. Or perhaps I should say that there was no real plot. It had some interesting ideas (like the gypsy appearing to both Harriet and Giselle) but it didn't amount to anything of interest.

What was most disappointing about Dorothy Cannell’s story?

The story labored on and on about the relationship between Harriett and Ellie's father from the father's perspective. I found him pompous and dull.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

Saved the English accent for when she was speaking words that someone actually said. She didn't pull off the accent thought the whole narrative.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

No. It was a waste of my time and my credit.

Any additional comments?

Even Barbara Rosenblatt couldn't save this audiobook.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Verity
  • 07-07-16

Reader seems to be sucking sweet!

Unfortunately the narrator appears to be sucking a sweet or similar. It's like listening to someone talk with their mouth full. So distracting I sent it back without listening to more than about an hour.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-03-12

Might be Described as a Romp

If you can suspend disbelief sufficiently to be able to get engulfed in the amazing occurences, you will enjoy this book. Its a bit of a mix of Agatha Christie, Enid BLyton and Janet Evanovitch! I found the tongue in cheek humour quite amusing but got a bit frustrated with the plot which involved people being very gullible about events and rather 'olde English' stiff upper lip refusing to report people to the police to protect them. For instance when the barmy vicar drives off in the main character's car she doesn't consider telling the police, although it is missing for several days and has a vital piece of evidence on the front seat, because it will go badly for the vicar if she tells. THe story depends on a lot of very strange unrealistic characters but kept me listening until the end.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful