Read The Corner Shop by Elizabeth Cadell Online


Tomorrow Lucille Abbey was supposed to be in romantic Paris with the handsome, correct London stockbroker who had asked her to be his wife. But at the last moment she had to fly to the huge country home of Professor Hallam to straighten out a tangled business problem. By the time she got to Paris, the Professor's strange life had changed her own, and the romantic trip withTomorrow Lucille Abbey was supposed to be in romantic Paris with the handsome, correct London stockbroker who had asked her to be his wife. But at the last moment she had to fly to the huge country home of Professor Hallam to straighten out a tangled business problem. By the time she got to Paris, the Professor's strange life had changed her own, and the romantic trip with her fiance turned into a nightmare of intrigue and suspense. Love was around the strange and shadowy corner in the dusty Paris quarter, too....

Title : The Corner Shop
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780688013714
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 162 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Corner Shop Reviews

  • Hana
    2019-04-05 07:33

    A charming mystery-romantic comedy with an impossible plot. Total strangers who have something to do with the weirdly convoluted central mystery keep bumping into each other in the English countryside and in Paris but I just went with it because I loved the heroine, Lucille Abbey, and the dotty, impossible Professor she goes to work for. The Professor washes his own sox and goes around being crotchety and absent-minded. Lucille is a no-nonsense career woman who values her independence and knows how fend for herself. I kept rooting for Lucille to ditch the pompous boring country club guy she was sort of engaged to and (view spoiler)[realize that the Professor was the one for her (hide spoiler)]. Even though The Corner Shop is set in England in the 1960s it feels tremendously dated--but I was quite in the mood for just that.Content rating: G--a clean read.

  • Bree (AnotherLookBook)
    2019-03-24 08:36

    A novel about a woman who helps a grumbling professor catalogue his late mother’s possessions, and in doing so manages to change the trajectory of her own life. 1966.Full review (and other recommendations!) at Another look bookA solid 4-star read. It's short and reads rather like a romantic comedy play, but the characters are rich and unexpected. Favorite line: "a man with a long pointed nose who washed his own socks every night and hung them on the window sill to dry." Swoon! I'm smitten.

  • Gayle
    2019-03-20 14:31

    Elizabeth Cadell was a prolific writer of frothy romantic comedies from--oh, the 1940s or so into the 1970s. For those who prefer to keep the bedroom door firmly closed, Cadell is a worthwhile find. The settings are modern and mostly English, with occasional forays into France and Portugal. Although long out of print, her books can be found in most civic libraries and are worth checking into and out.The heroine of The Corner Shop is Lucille Abbey, the beautiful and all-business owner of a secretarial agency. When three of her employees throw in the towel on a seemingly innocuous job for a distant professor, Lucille decides to handle it personally, as much to avoid her would-be fiance as to protect the sterling reputation of her business. The personalities are deftly sketched with a light touch, the dialogue is sure, the plot ricochets from London to remote Hampshire to Paris, with stolen goods, dodgy relatives, a glittering seahorse brooch, and a certain corner shop each playing their part in this amusing romp.

  • Jane
    2019-04-11 11:38

    Elizabeth Cadell’s books kept popping up on lists of recommendations, and when I did my research I was disappointed to learn that they were all out of print, because they sounded lovely. But luck was with me: I spotted a very pretty edition of her 1966 novel ‘The Corner Shop’ and I pounced.I quickly found myself very taken with the heroine, with a wonderful adventure, and with a fine romance.Lucille Abbey was an attractive young divorcee, and she was the owner of a successful secretarial agency. She was bright, capable, confident, charming, and adept at dealing with whatever difficulties life might throw her way.On her way to her annual holiday – a busman’s holiday, looking after her aunt’s little shop in Paris – she made a detour to sort out a little business problem. Lucille had sent three of her most capable secretaries to carry out a seemingly simple job at a professor’s country home, and all three had given up, so Lucille decided that she would have to deal with the situation personally.Lucille realised that the professor was oblivious to practicalities, but she explained, clearly, charmingly, and firmly, what she needed and why she needed it, and she got the job done. By the time she was finished Lucille and the professor were getting on beautifully, and both were enjoying the novelty of having a bright, quick-thinking, sparring partner.There were one or two mysteries that Lucille couldn’t solve – the mystery of the lady visitor who was sure that her missing china was at the professors house, and the mystery of the professors’ mothers missing paintings, that seemed to be attracting an extraordinary amount of interest – but her job was done, and it was time for her to be off to Paris.Lucille found that things had changed since her last visit. He aunt had acquired a new, bigger shop, and was planning to move after her holiday. Lucille had already suspected that her aunt wasn’t as hard-up as she had always claimed, and that she could have easily paid for someone to look after the shop while she was away. But there was a touch of the workaholic about Lucille, and that didn’t have too much in her life outside work. She was wonderful, but she was fallible.And then the plot got very complicated. There were dubious goings-on in the new shop. There was an unexplained gift – a glittering starfish brooch. And it seemed that they mysteries of the paintings and the china had come to Paris too. The professor wasn’t far behind. Coincidences abounded!There was a lot of running around in Paris then, and the plots got very tangled. At times it seemed a bit of a mess, but it was a very entertaining mess. The personalities are deftly sketched with a light touch, the dialogue sparkled, and the story read beautifully. It was fun!But I do wish it had stayed in England, because things fell apart in Paris. It stretched credulity too far when all of the plot strands converged there. There were possibilities that were unexplored, and there were characters who had potential that were allowed to slip away.The mysteries were all tied up in the end, but the knot was rather untidy; it was a resolution but it wasn’t quite right. The romance, on the other hand, played out exactly as I had expected and exactly as I wanted.The Corner Shop has it’s faults, but for all of that it is a lovely light read, full of entertainment, intrigue, romance, and charming characters.I shall definitely be on the look-out for more of Elizabeth Cadell’s books!

  • Cphe
    2019-03-19 14:51

    A light and entertaining read. I'd heard of the author before but hadn't read anything by her before. Would best describe this as a gentler, vintage romantic suspense, mystery with a dash of humour early on.Thought the two leads, the forthright and attractive Mrs Lucille Abbey and the somewhat scatty Professor worked well together, a case of opposites do attract. I thought that the explanation offered as to the mystery here was a bit underdone and just a tad unlikely.An easy read for this genre and for this reader an enjoyable one. Love these older authors and their work.

  • Veronique
    2019-04-12 14:51

    What a lovely little gem from 1966...I'd never heard of Elizabeth Cadell but searching more about D.E. Stevenson, I discovered this author's name as well as a few others. This English lady, born and bred in India, and who lived in England and the Med, penned over fifty novels! Although her books are not exactly easy to find, four of them have been made available digitally.The Corner Shop is a light read, mixing comedy, romance and mystery. Mrs Lucille Abbey, divorced lady of 28, owner of a secretarial agency, decides to find out why three of her best secretaries find it impossible to work for a Professor Hallam. Not only is the academic your typical curmudgeon but the country home is also in a state less than desirable. You can see it already - hilarious jousting scenes between the two! There is more. Lucille has to look after her aunt's shop while this one is away on her yearly holiday (most of the action takes place in Paris), and she is having doubts about marrying her pompous fiancé. Add to this the theft of paintings, china, jewellery, and an array of colourful characters. I loved it. The story is 'simple' and I guess you can see where it is going easily enough, some aspects tasting strongly of theatre, but Cadell does it very well. I especially enjoyed the dialogues and burst out laughing several times! Lucille's behaviour in the train at the beginning is priceless, or the larger-than-life Diana Bannerman pushing her way everywhere. Having said this, there are also little nuggets of depth, for instance Lucille's thoughts on marrying Mr Donne: She would not lead a life of her own; she would lead his life. Already she could—if she let herself go—be drawn along, carried along, borne on the fast-moving stream. It was like religion, she thought. Once you could sweep aside your doubts, once you could give yourself up, you had no further worry; the whole thing was taken care of. The whole thing went along, and you went with it…All she had to do was marry him and slip into his groove and the machinery would go on running smoothly. 2016 is proving to be a year of literary discovery, especially of the early 20th century. Who would have thought that just re-reading Miss Pettigrew in January would lead me down such a road? First the amazing Persephone Books catalogue (plenty there!), leading to other independent publishers (Greyladies for instance), and now a GR challenge focusing on Women Writers through the centuries! I'm hooked on unearthing 'forgotten" women writers :O)

  • Peggy Van wunnik
    2019-04-09 14:37

    I fell in love with Elizabeth Cadell when I was in junior high school. I have read nearly all her books. This is by far my favorite, and I read it at least once a year. I won't discuss the plot since other reviewers do that, but do want to say that I think this would make a really cute romantic movie and wish Nora Ephron were still here to make it! Cadell's books are mostly all available online, but some of the earlier editions are very pricy. I was lucky enough to be able to find a lot of them years ago at our annual library book sales - no luck with that, anymore!

  • Rebekah
    2019-04-03 10:27

    I remember reading Elizabeth Cadell with a great deal of nostalgia. I recently finished re-reading her Waynes of Wood Mount series, and that pretty much satisfied my urge to revisit Cadell's thoroughly English old-timey romances but for a blog I ran across which glowing reviewed this one. I actually happened to run across this title while looking for another book in my library, and decided to re-read it. What a delight. The characters were deftly sketched, and the romance with the unusual love interest was so sweet and charming. The mystery filled out the plot nicely. This is my favorite title by Cadell, as far as I can remember. The only thing I found less than satisfactory was the planned resolution to two secondary characters futures. It was awkward and just wrong. I hope it works out.

  • Linda K
    2019-04-14 09:44

    Start with a girl who runs an agency to hire secretaries for clients, send her on a trip to discover why three in a row have quit after one day each for a quirky professor, throw in a trip to Paris to have a working holiday at her Aunt's little shop, add an art dealer looking for valuable (or not?) paintings, someones' stolen china, a fiance who is all wrong for this girl. Voila! You have such an enjoyable read as this. Funny, insightful, thoughtful; a little mystery with lots of fun. I want to read more of this author~~~~~

  • Sheri South
    2019-04-17 08:39

    Sure, there are coincidences galore, but this book is great fun nonetheless. Plus, it contains one sentence that has stuck with me for forty years, ever since I read this book for the first time in high school. Here's our hero attending church with the heroine:"He sang all the hymns with revivalist fervour and a total disregard for pitch."If you like humor and clever wordplay along with your (chaste) romances, treat yourself to Elizabeth Cadell's books. She wrote dozens, and they're newly available in electronic format.You're welcome. ;-)

  • Claude
    2019-04-18 07:48

    A quick and pleasant read.

  • Nevaeh Covell
    2019-04-03 07:34


  • Madhulika Liddle
    2019-03-29 12:49

    Based on a friend’s recommendation, I bought this book some months back—and then forgot about it. So, when I spotted it in my list of books waiting to be read, I actually began reading The Corner Shop with absolutely no idea of what it was (I had forgotten everything my friend had written about it). It started in what I thought was gearing up to be an Agatha Raisinesque style: efficient, hard-headed businesswoman (Lucille Abbey), divorcee and owner of a secretarial agency, sets off to investigate for herself what seems like a case of an eccentric professor who has succeeded in chasing away all three secretaries she has sent to him till now. Then, when Lucille lands up at Professor Hallam’s Hill House, with its scruffy and stereotypically absent-minded denizen—but an endearing farm nearby—it started to seem as if there might be a chance of a romance here, so what if Lucille is on the brink of getting engaged to a stuffy stockbroker. And then, when some crazy young woman barges into Hill House blabbering about stolen china—and a French art dealer begins to pester Lucille and the professor about some possibly valuable paintings locked away in the house—I began to think there was a mystery looming.Ultimately, what The Corner Shopturned out to be was a delightful little adventure—mystery, some sweet romance, and a good bit of humour thrown in, that put me in mind of Georgette Heyer’s murder mysteries. There’s no murder in The Corner Shop, but the mystery is intriguing enough to keep one wondering. It’s also pretty complicated, and relies on altogether too many far-fetched coincidences to ring true for me. The characters, however, were well-etched and likeable (I appreciated the fact that the professor is not by any means the typical ‘hero’). And Diana Bannerman, who puts in an appearance about halfway through the book, is an absolutely delightful character—she has the best lines, and is one of those amazingly quick-witted, hilarious people one can’t help but warm to. An enjoyable, quick read. Not a brilliantly plotted mystery, and part of the solution to helping someone keep to the straight and narrow had me rolling my eyes. But the romance and the humour are great, and at least part of the suspense is good.

  • MB (What she read)
    2019-04-09 10:45

    As per review this sounds like fun. I like these vintage goodies.I read this under it's other title.

  • Ann
    2019-04-09 10:43

    I usually enjoy Elizabeth Cadell's delicate and sentiment-free romances. But this one was not a winner. Yet the premise is appealing enough. Lucille Abbey, owner of a secretarial agency, goes on a fact-finding mission to figure out why one particular employer has made three of her best workers throw in the towel after a single day. She finds a workaholic professor in a decaying mansion. She somehow decides to take on the challenge herself, and helps the professor sort out the contents of a large country house. She also has to contend with the visits of a French art dealer, who insists that the house must contain some valuable paintings, once shown to him by the professor's mother. This mission accomplished, Lucille sets off for Paris, where she will mind her aunt's cosmetics shop during said aunt's annual vacation. And then the threads of a complicated criminal enterprise start to come together. Stolen paintings, stolen china, stolen jewellery. Attractive young women whose romantic history mirrors her own in an eerie way.Yet somehow, all these elements, each one promising in its own right, don't come together. While I enjoyed the repartee between the professor and Lucille in the beginning of the book, things fizzled out soon after that. Lucille aunt's, a hard-headed businesswoman under her "poor helpless widow woman" persona, gets a fair bit of ink, but ultimately plays no role in the story except as a device for getting Lucille to Paris. The professor's lack of romantic experience, is, frankly, unbelievable. And the mystery aspect of the book became hard to follow. I won't give away the ending to the book, but let me just say that it was wholly unbelievable to me. A woman whose heart has been broken by a man who married her for her money will not say that "he could make a good husband if someone just kept an eye on him".

  • Theresa
    2019-03-26 09:46

    Three and a half stars...for an easy, light read.The first half of the book was fun and engaging. Lucille decides to go see for herself why her competent and capable secretaries are not lasting more than a day with the new position she finds for them. She has one day to solve this puzzle before her trip to Paris and her impending marriage becomes a reality."Her way of life, she knew, was about to change. She would marry Malcolm Donne and become the mother of his children and live on a farm and become familiar with cows and bulls and hounds and horses. As lives went, it would be a good one; she was lucky and she ought to be feeling thankful and happy.But she was feeling far from happy". Once Lucille gets to Paris and we meet her selfish aunt, the plot begins to become more complicated and my reading got a little bogged down. Three additional women become involved in the plot and although the author does a good job with characterization, it became a little complicated for me. What has happened to all the pictures in the professor's house, pictures painted by his amateur mother that are suddenly sought after? was his mother after all, a professional artist, and no one knew it? We meet Lucille's overbearing but respectable fiance and try to decide with her what she should do with her life."The Corner Shop" is perhaps not Cadell's best novel, but one that keeps the reader's interest. The new friendships Lucille makes during her time in Paris, helping her discover that sometimes the past can be redeemed, and the complicated solving of the mystery of the disappearing art, all make for a good read.

  • Christina
    2019-04-05 09:38

    I really enjoyed this book. I had never heard of Elizabeth Cadell before picking this up at a second-hand store, and now I'm wondering why! She most definitely had a sense of humor and a backbone. I didn't know what to expect from such an old romance/mystery novel, but the ideas and conversations could take place today, though with more foul language and less creativity. The characters and imagery are amazing. You can see the cobblestones, the cottage, the cars. Ms. Cadell will be on my radar from here on out! She wrote about 52 or so books before passing away in 1989. I look forward to finding and reading them all!

  • Cindy
    2019-04-04 14:38

    Lucille runs a secretarial agency. She's all set to go to Paris, but first she has to meet with one troublesome client. It seems the professor just can't keep a secretary.Lucille soon sees why when she meets him. He's impossible. But her professional streak demands that she finish the job before joining her aunt and fiancee in Paris. But once she gets there, she has to face her doubts about her relationship and her future.An old-fashioned story, one that would appeal to fans of D E Stevenson. I really enjoyed it, but felt that Lucille's character was a little inconsistent over the course of the story. Lots of entertaining secondary characters and a satisfying resolution.CMB

  • Alisha
    2019-04-04 07:31

    I went into this novel totally prepared to like it. It had such a cute premise! Nothing bad or objectionable in it; it just didn't have much sparkle. The professor was actually kind of a cardboard character, and Lucille's transition from "I'm not sure I can stand this job in this primitive place with this ridiculous man for more than a couple of weeks" to "I wish I was back that lovely house...with that great professor" was just too quick and unexplained. The mystery was kind of halfhearted. Easy, light reading, but not too engaging. Unfortunately.

  • Clara Ellen
    2019-03-27 12:41

    I loved this wonderful story by Elizabeth Cadell! I loved the grumpy-but-adorable Professor, loved Lucille, loved the scenes in England as well as those in France..I can still see the main characters taking a stroll along the streets of Paris! What a happy book - a little romance with a bit of mystery thrown in for good measure, and with a satisfying ending..

  • Judy
    2019-03-29 09:46

    Young city woman in 60's running a secretarial agency and following up on a problem client in the country. Trying to solve a theft and deciding about the wisdom of her engagement to a straight laced businessman. The situation moves to Paris where her problem client arrives to assist with solving the theft.

  • Julie
    2019-03-27 14:22

    3.5 Very dated, but a very charming romance. Lucille is leaving her fiance and helping her aunt run her shop in Paris, all while running her own business and finding new love. Sappy- I wouldn't recommend it to anyone, but I enjoyed this light read.

  • Diane Lynn
    2019-04-08 14:49

    Romance, comedy and a little mystery.

  • Laurie Griffin stacey
    2019-03-19 09:38

    Opened a new world -- so happy to discover Elizabeth Cadell

  • Janet
    2019-04-17 11:44

    Love to read older books - written 1967 - but like to read a variety of authors, not just the new releases.

  • Erin
    2019-04-06 08:28

    SUCH a fun, lovely book! Reminds me a little of The Awakening of Miss Prim or Miss Buncle's Book. So good and I can't wait to read more from this author!

  • Siddhant Arya
    2019-03-29 09:29

    very good

  • Carrieuoregon
    2019-03-30 06:35

    Interesting little romance.

  • Reader
    2019-03-19 09:38

    Read for the 2017 March TBR Challenge: Comfort ReadI have a confession to make. I love old books that were once popular but are now mostly forgotten. I especially love finding authors I missed reading in my younger years. Elizabeth Cadell is such an author. Now that some of her books are being resurrected as ebooks, I decided to try her. Most of her books were frothy, romantic comedies written between the 1940s and 80s with quirky characters (lightly sketched rather than deeply drawn) and set in varied locations like England, France, Portugal and Spain. This particular book throws an art mystery into the mix.The heroine is highly efficient and organized working girl Lucille Abbey. She was married very briefly--the details in the beginning are quite sketchy and only come into focus later in the story--but is now divorced and running a London secretarial agency. Professor Hallam’s advertisement was straightforward enough: “Temporary resident secretary required by Professor to list contents of country house. Own cottage. Generous salary.” When the professor goes through three secretaries in three days, calling them duds but without adequate explanation, Lucille decides to pay him a personal visit to find out why. She prides herself on the competence of her secretaries and never losing a customer. She’s also procrastinating. She’s expected to go to Paris to help out her aunt by working in her shop while the aunt goes on her annual vacation. She’s also expected to decide whether to marry her fiancé, a stodgy but successful stockbroker who is ready to settle down to country life and will be meeting her in Paris. Lucille’s travel to the professor’s country home in Hampshire is a nightmare commute where she must deal with overcrowded trains, failed connections and the final indignity of a bus that drives on by. Lucille has no choice but to walk the last few miles--uphill. What she finds is more hovel than cottage, and the professor is not just peculiar or impossible: he’s downright slovenly in a way she finds repulsive, and his manners and social skills are abysmally lacking. By the time she meets him and realizes just how bad the conditions are, it’s too late to catch a ride back to London. After spending the night, though, she is approached by an art dealer who wants to persuade the professor to let him buy his mother’s paintings that are locked away somewhere in the house. The professor is too busy trying to preserve his father’s papers to give the dealer the time of day. Plus, he’s pretty sure there’s something fishy about the dealer’s interest; his mother’s paintings aren’t that good. The dealer asks Lucille if she would be willing to help him gain access to the paintings. This gives her a good excuse to put off Paris for a few weeks, so she agrees to pave the way for the dealer and help the professor transcribe his father’s papers. This leads up to a series of mysterious events that involve stolen china, missing paintings, and trouble with fiancés. Lucille ends up going to Paris after helping out the professor, but the mysteries, and eventually the professor, follow her. I enjoyed this as light-hearted entertainment. The banter between Lucille and the professor is sharp and fun. Several of the characters are quite silly, but overall I had a good time with it, which is all that really mattered to me.

  • Beth Ruck
    2019-04-09 10:33

    Lucille Abbey owns a secretarial agency in London. She has her life all mapped out.Then she meets the Professor, a client of hers.Mystery, romance, many lives that intersect, have a common thread with a surprise ending.A fun read.