Ha ha ha! I can’t decide if this Ellie Haskell book is a rip snorting split your sides funny satirical lampoon of romance novels or if the author wanted to make fun of the people who live for “bodice rippers.” Either way How to Murder the Man of Your Dreams by Dorothy Cannell is quite a funny look at how reality does NOT always live up to fantasy.
Ellie has an addiction that is affecting her marriage. She is addicted to torrid romance novels, the kind that feature a half-naked man in the act of seducing a half-dressed woman. (I’m not sure you can say lady and romance heroine in the same sentence!) Ellie can’t get enough of them. She is sneaking out of bed in the middle of the night to get her fix.
When the librarian’s body is found in the library the literary group tries to raise money to make a memorial for her. Someone has the bright idea of inviting Karisma, Ellie’s favorite model for the covers of romance novels, to a fundraiser. They can’t believe their luck when he consents to come and stay at Merlin’s Court with Ellie and Ben.
To top it off Mrs. Malloy comes to Merlin’s Court with the startling news that she has a son who is engaged to none other than Ellie’s cousin Vanessa. She descends upon Merlin’s Court at the same time Karisma does. And if that isn’t enough, Ellie thinks that the pastor’s husband is going to have a sex change. It’s enough to kill anyone.
Will everything be resolved? Who will be the next victim? Can Ellie and Ben survive their newest challenges?
It was hilarious, and the ending was great. One of my sisters read it before me, and she warned me not to read the quoted parts from the books. I didn’t, so I’m not sure how shocking those parts are. It’s been a while since I read it, but I think that it was relatively clean. (Other than the quotes from the romance novels!)