Comedy, mystery, treasure hunt, romance, and quirky characters. Is it possible to combine all of these into an enjoyable and believable novel? Absolutely! I have wanted to read this first of the "Ellie Haskell" mysteries since I read Withering Heights by Cannell and loved it.
From the inside cover:
"Meet Ellie Simons, funny, self-deprecating, a talented interior designer by profession, and by avocation--a fat girl. Meet Bentley T. Haskell--a pornographer(really he has just written one novel that's a bit racy) who wishes he wrote Literature and who moonlights as a man for hire at Eligibility Escorts. Dreading the ghastly family gathering her odd Uncle Merlin has arranged, Ellie rents Ben for the weekend.
But then to everyone's horror, Merlin up and dies, leaving behind a quirky Last Will and Testament that bequeaths Merlin's Court, the woefully neglected family estate, to Ellie and Ben--if four conditions are met. Within six months of residence at the estate, Ellie must lose 63 pounds, Ben must write a book without a word of smut in it, and they must find the treasure hidden at Merlin's court."
This was feel good, light-hearted entertainment, not to mention it motivated me to want to lose my 30 extra pounds!