Review : An Elderly Lady Is Upto No Good by Helene Tursten | Translator : Marlene Delargy

Plot summary ( from Goodreads )

Maud is an irascible 88-year-old Swedish woman with no family , no friends, and . . . no qualms about a little murder. This funny, irreverent story collection by Helene Tursten , author of the Irene Huss investigations , features two-never-before translated stories that will keep you laughing all the way to the retirement home .

Ever since her darling father’s untimely death when she was only eighteen , Maud has lived in the family’s spacious apartment in downtown Gothenburg rent – free , thanks to a minor clause in a hastily negotiated contract . That was how Maud learned that good things can come from tragedy . Now in her late eighties , Maud contents herself with traveling the world and surfing the net from the comfort of her father’s ancient armchair . It’s a solitary existence , but she likes it that way .

Over the course of her adventures—or misadventures—this little bold lady will handle a crisis with a local celebrity who has her eyes on Maud’s apartment , foil the engagement of her long-ago lover , and dispose off some pesky neighbors . But when the local authorities are called to investigate a murder in her apartment complex , will Maud be able to avoid suspicion , or will Detective Inspector Irene Huss see through her charade ?

My thoughts on the book :

Little Miss Maud , our octogenarian protagonist , does not give a second thought to murder – when she begins to perceive someone as ” the problem ” , be assured that the problem would not be around for long . She does murder like people do shopping – she draws up the perfect plan to bump off the intended victim and executes the plan without a hitch . . . There is no thinking about it after the murder ‘ s done – there ‘ s just another addition to the long list of unsuspecting victims . Some of her victims like the aspiring – artist – next – door and the antiques dealer made a single mistake of stereotyping Maud for which they paid with their life . But Maud kills people not only when she perceives them as a threat to herself – the man upstairs got bumped off because he was a wife beater whose frequent domestic quarrels were spoiling the peace and quiet for her . You had better be on your best behavior around Maud – you ‘ d never know when she would decide that she ‘s had enough of you . . . She knows when and how to to play the ” typical ” old lady who is pushing nineties to evade suspicion . Maud is surprisingly very versatile when it comes to her murder methods and would leave the reader amused with the cool demeanor with which she executes each killing and handles everything that comes along afterwards . . .

We ‘ ve had several elderly sleuths in crime fiction – from Miss Marple to Richard Osman ‘ s bunch in The Thursday Murder Club reviewed here – I guess it ‘ s time for an elderly serial killer . With four murders ( three pre – planned down to the smallest detail and one accidental which she covers up beautifully ) , this book is a short but highly entertaining ride with Maud .

Rating : 4 / 5

If you have already read An Elderly Lady Is Upto No Good , let me know in the comments section about your thoughts on the book  . If you have any interesting recommendations , please do share them . Until the next review then . . .

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