Oh to have Ellie's wit and narrative powers! Dorothy Cannell does a superb job with another Ellie Haskell mystery, this one every bit as fun as the ones before, if not more! It was delicious having Ellie visit the States and reading her reactions to its vastness and people. The clever little plot was devious and interesting, a mystery revolving around the expose of a famous actress in best-seller Monster Mommy. More delightful characters! I don't know how Mrs. Cannell does it, but her creations are an ongoing pleasure! I mean, here's a sample of who you'll meet (they're all contestants for some cookery Mange): Kid Prodigy named Bingo and his fashion-less mother, French countess and magician husband, goodhearted cooking witch who makes love potions, and a nice, warm housewife with a broody and paranoid husband. Then there are noncontestants, such as Valicia X, and the infamous, scandalous Theola Faith, and wretched daughter Mary. Then you've got the setting of a Gothic atrocity used in a movie called Melancholy Mansion (which, yes, had starred Theola Faith) and a narrow-minded town called Mud Creek with more eccentric characters, including a Diethologic reverend. This mystery is cunningly appropriate for a pregnant woman (Ellie) and is a successful farce. Do read it!