Friday, April 22, 2016

Elizabeth Cadell - The Corner Shop

@The Friendly Air Publishing
+Amazon India
+Kindle Store

Lucille Abbey knows how to get her way.  She runs a very efficient agency that provides secretarial services to people.  Professor Hallam, one of her latest clients, has proved to be extremely difficult.  Three of her best secretaries quit his job within a day of taking it up.

Lucille is miffed and decides to investigate the matter herself.  She goes all the way to the obscure little village he lives in.  She finds herself at a godforsaken railway station from where she has to take a bus which deposits her at the foot of the hill on top of which the Professor lives.  By the time she climbs up the hill, the heels of her shoes have broken down and she is a mess.  There was no lunch available anywhere.

At the grand house that the Professor lives, she finds him lunching nonchalantly.  He does not bother to ask if she wanted a cup of tea. On top of that he speaks of her girls in derogatory terms.  A furious Lucille tells him off and shows him the error of his ways.  The Professor is a kind man, just rather absentminded.  Lucille gets her Lunch and some tea.

She is forced to spend the night there.  She is due in Paris.  Her Aunt is expecting her come and help run her shop which she goes on a holiday.  Her fiance is also coming over to spend some time with her in Paris.  He is eager to announce their engagement and make plans for their future life.  Lucille wants to spend some time in quiet contemplation and Hill House in Village Holme seems to her the right place to be in to do it.

Before she leaves Holme, she runs into an art dealer, Paul Reynauds who is very interested in acquiring the paintings done by Hallam's mother.  When they do try to look for the paintings in her room, they are missing.  Mrs. Westover,  Hallam's previous housekeeper could have taken them away with her.

Lucille arrives in Paris three weeks late.  Soon her fiance-in-waiting Malcolm Donne arrives.  She runs into an old acquaintance, Diana Bannerman and also a damsel in distress, Barbara Clitheroe. There are women who were robbed and duped, these events may be connected, or not.  Unwittingly Lucille finds herself in middle of a mystery.  One lucky lady finds herself hopelessly in love.

This book is a delight.through and through.  It is a perfect light read which is not inane in any place. It reminded me of a grown up Enid Blyton mystery.  Lucille Abbey might be a grown up Darrell Rivers (of Mallory Towers series).  She is prim and correct.  She certainly know how to handle situations.

There are some situations that seem to coincide a bit too conveniently, a loose end here and there.  But these are very minor issues that do not stop you from enjoying this completely CHARMING book.  I am hoping to read many more books by her.  She is a perfect pick for those times when you are blue and desperately want to smile.


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