Monday, April 1, 2019

An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good by Helene Tursten

Reviewed by Kristin

Book Bingo categories take most of us to different places than our usual reading, and I am very thankful for this redirection.  I really dislike the “read a self-help book” square (what does that say about me?) and I often have trouble with the “read a translated book” square as well.  Fortunately, this time around I happened to spot a small book on the new shelf entitled An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good by Helene Tursten, translated by Marlaine Delargy.  Bingo!

Tursten is a well-known Swedish author with two published mystery series featuring Detective Inspector Irene Huss and Detective Inspector Embla Nyström.  When a publisher asked for a short story for their Christmas anthology, Tursten created a totally new character, one that didn’t fit the same molds as her other protagonists: 88-year-old Maud.  This little old lady doesn’t just stay home and bake cookies for loving grandchildren either.

Maud never married and doesn’t cook (that’s what take-out is for, right?)  She takes care of what is hers, by whatever means possible.  She was fortunate enough to inherit the rights to live in the apartment owned by her parents at the time of her father’s death.  The apartment was sold to cover debts with the understanding that the widow and her two daughters could continue to live there rent free, as long as they wished.  Seventy years later, Maud is holding the current owners to the terms of the original contract.

By hook and by crook, Maud has managed to accumulate quite a nest egg to support her preferred lifestyle.  She often takes jaunts to warmer climates for a few weeks, and has recently discovered the joys of all-inclusive spas: saunas, facials, pedicures and all.  Maud is a delight and surprisingly devious, although you would never know to look at her.

Whether or not you need a translated book for your Book Bingo sheet, check out this elderly lady.  She is definitely up to no good.

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