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Dorothy Cannell is a cozy mystery author best known for the Ellie Haskell Series. Even though she often identifies as an American writer, Dorothy was born in England (1943).
Order of Ellie Haskell Mystery Series
|1||The Thin Woman||1984||Description / Buy|
|2||The Widow's Club||1988||Description / Buy|
|3||Mum's the Word||1990||Description / Buy|
|4||Femmes Fatal||1992||Description / Buy|
|5||How to Murder Your Mother-In-Law||1994||Description / Buy|
|6||How to Murder the Man of Your Dreams||1995||Description / Buy|
|7||The Spring Cleaning Murders||1998||Description / Buy|
|8||The Trouble with Harriet||1999||Description / Buy|
|9||Bridesmaids Revisited||2000||Description / Buy|
|10||The Importance of Being Ernestine||2002||Description / Buy|
|11||Withering Heights||2007||Description / Buy|
|12||Goodbye, Ms. Chips||2008||Description / Buy|
|13||She Shoots to Conquer||2009||Description / Buy|
Order of Tessa Fields Series
|1||Down the Garden Path||1985||Description / Buy|
Order of Florence Norris Series
|1||Murder at Mullings||2014||Description / Buy|
|2||Death at Dovecote Hatch||2015||Description / Buy|
|3||Peril in the Parish||2022||Description / Buy|
Order of Dorothy Cannell Standalone Novels
|1||God Save the Queen!||1997||Description / Buy|
|2||Sea Glass Summer||2012||Description / Buy|
Order of Dorothy Cannell Short Story Collections
|1||The Family Jewels And Other Stories||2001||Description / Buy|
Order of Dorothy Cannell Short Stories/Novellas
|1||The High Cost of Living (Short Story)||1990||Description / Buy|
|2||The January Sales Stowaway (Short Story)||1991||Description / Buy|
|3||The Family Jewels (Short Story)||1994||Description / Buy|
|4||Cupid’s Arrow (Short Story)||1995||Description / Buy|
Dorothy Cannell Anthologies
|1||Sisters in Crime 3||1990||Description / Buy|
|2||Christmas Stalkings||1991||Description / Buy|
|3||The Fine Art of Murder: The Mystery Reader's Indispensable Companion||1993||Description / Buy|
|4||Malice Domestic 3||1994||Description / Buy|
|5||Funny Bones: 15 New Tales of Murder and Mayhem||1997||Description / Buy|
|6||Naked Came the Farmer||1998||Description / Buy|
|7||Crafty Cat Crimes||2000||Description / Buy|
|8||Malice Domestic 9||2000||Description / Buy|
|9||The World's Finest Mystery and Crime Stories 2||2000||Description / Buy|
|10||The Sunken Sailor||2004||Description / Buy|
She only moved to the US in 1963. She was 20 at the time and her goal was to stay in the US for a year before returning home. But then she met her husband and followed him back to his hometown.
A former student of Ursuline High School in Essex and the East Dagenham Technical College, Dorothy was an avid reader. She stole the hobby from her father with whom she frequented the library.
Her mother was always telling stories. That was another habit Dorothy took for herself. When she wasn’t reading, she could be found telling her three siblings stories of her own making.
Of course, as a little girl, it never occurred to her that she could earn a living as a serious writer. So for the longest time, she merely dabbled in the activity. Even after she came to America, Dorothy Cannell had no real intention of pursuing writing and publishing, not until she took a writing class at ICC.
Her teacher, Ivan Sparling, was amazing, refining her skills and giving her the encouragement she needed to believe in her publishing dreams. Dorothy also made many great memories with a writing group Sparling had organized.
The gathering pushed the author to write more frequently. It took her seven long years of hard work. But she finally wrote and then sold a short story. From there, her career took off.
Her first novel, The Thin Woman, came to her while she was watching Phil Donahue. One particular show featured Tony Randall who made mention of a movie about a family reunion and a treasure hunt.
This got Dorothy thinking. She started crafting her own story inspired by Tony Randall’s words. She watched several more shows. One dealt with escort services. Another involved obese women who had been mistreated because of their weight.
All these ideas and more came together in the author’s mind to form Ellie Simmons, her most popular protagonist.
Dorothy Cannell was fortunate to nurture her writing talents at a time when the publishing industry was hungry for female mystery authors. As the years went on, Dorothy saw many of her colleagues in the business fade as the publishing industry moved on, finding new genres to promote and shedding any writers it found wanting.
Dorothy attributed her longevity to the growing interest in cozy mysteries, an interest that refused to wane in the years and even decades that followed.
Dorothy Cannell Awards
Dorothy received Anthony Award and Agatha Award nominations for The Widow’s Club. Her short stories (The High Cost of Living, The January Sales Stowaway, and Cupid’s Arrow) were also nominated for Agatha Awards.
This is on top of winning prominent accolades like the Malice Domestic Award
Best Dorothy Cannell Books
Dorothy’s work has been described as witty, humorous, delightful and clever, with some of the best books in her bibliography including:
The Thin Woman: Ellie Simmons was hardly the perfect woman. From her perspective, she was too old, too overweight and too clumsy, and the people around her rarely contradicted this opinion.
So nothing would have brought Ellie more joy than to skip the family reunion. And once she finally decided to make an appearance, Ellie wasted no time in hiring Ben, an escort, to pretend to be her fiancé.
Before she could catch her breath, Ellie’s uncle had died, and she and Ben stood to receive a sizable inheritance but only if they met a few bizarre conditions.
The Widow’s Club: Ellie’s life was a mess. But then she met Ben, lost a lot of weight and everything changed. Now she is on the trail of a killer, one whose victims are married men who were unfaithful to their spouses.
Ellie is helping the members of the Flowers Detection Agency solve the case. But she has plenty of personal problems on her plate, chief amongst which is her malnutrition. Ellie might have dramatically trimmed her weight but it isn’t enough.
She isn’t quite as secure in her appearance as she would like. And if she doesn’t get her eating habits under control, they could derail her efforts to find the killer hiding among the members of the Widows Club.
When Does The Next Dorothy Cannell book come out?
Dorothy Cannell doesn't seem to have an upcoming book. Their newest book is Peril in the Parish and was released on November, 1st 2022. It is the newest book in the Florence Norris Series.