Another jumpy chapter in the life of Ellie Haskell (Femmes Fatal, etc.) -- now thin, married to restaurateur Ben, mother of twins, and mistress of Merlin's Court in Chitterdon Fells. Her in-laws -- dour, prissy Magdalene, devoutly Roman Catholic, and Elijah, non-observantly Jewish -- have been invited to spend a few days in honor of their anniversary. But it's soon revealed that the two were never officially married, and subsequent recriminations lead to Elijah stomping off to the nearest hotel while Ellie tries to cope with the loss of faithful charwoman Roxie Malloy (fired by mamma-in-law) -- as well as with the mother-in-law woes of deacon Eudora Spike and friends Pamela and Frizzy. A spot of blackmail, a wild assortment of eccentrics, the de rigueur antics of cat Tobias and dog Sweetie, and an annual fete -- at which the awards are truly to kill for -- are other elements in this near plotless, frenetic exercise. Amiable, sometimes funny, sometimes tedious nonsense.