Monday, December 03, 2018
An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good by Helene Tursten
Maud has lived in the same apartment building in Gothenburg, Sweden for her entire life. Her beloved father died when she was eighteen, leaving his wife and two daughters to deal with his bankruptcy. A brilliant lawyer ensured that the women could live in their apartment until they died. Now, Maud has outlived her mother and even her sister by forty years. She saved up the money to travel, but even early in life, Maud had a way of ensuring that crime would pay off. It all began when she took her mother's benefits for another year after her mother died.
There are five stories in An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good. Maud is a wily woman, shrewd enough to use her age and people's perceptions to her advantage. In "An Elderly Lady Has Accommodation Problems", she finds a way to thwart a young wealthy woman who covets Maud's large apartment. Maud heads to a spa where her former fiance is planning to marry a former porn actress in "An Elderly Lady on Her Travels". There's even a story set at Christmas, one that shows how far Maud will go for a little peace and quiet. So, it won't come as a surprise when Detective Inspector Irene Huss has to deal with a murder investigation in Maud's apartment.
Marlaine Delargy translated these five stories. They are definitely stories with black humor. If you can't accept an eighty-eight-year-old lady as a quiet, determined lawbreaker, this book might not be for you. But, if you're a reader who can admire Maud's ingenuity and determination to live her life under her own terms, you might want to pick up An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good. Frankly, I"m going to start thinking about what I might be able to get away with at eighty-eight.
An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good by Helene Tursten, translated by Marlaine Delargy. Soho Press, 2018. ISBN 9781641290111 (hardcover), 184p.
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