Monday, December 03, 2018

An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good by Helene Tursten

I want to be like Helene Tursten's character Maud when I'm eighty-eight years old. So, that's a warning if any of you remember that in twenty-seven years. Tursten's Detective Inspector Irene Huss makes two brief appearances in the story collection, An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good. But, Maud is definitely the star in this unusual crime anthology.

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.

*****
FTC Full Disclosure - Library book

11 comments:

Deb said...

I have never read anything by this author. The stories sound really good! The cover art is amazing!

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

I read the first Huss book years ago. This one is definitely going on my list!

Lesa said...

Deb, I think a story collection is a nice way to be introduced to an author's work.

Lesa said...

I thought of you, Jeff, when I read it. Jeff=anthology

Kaye Barley said...

How can I resist this book after this delightful review?! I already feel as though I might know Maude . . . I know I'm gonna love her

Lesa said...

Oh, I think you'll love her, too, Kaye.

Reine said...

I love the title!

Gram said...

I can't wait to be 88 -but I think I could start being a feisty old lady next year at 80, don't you? Also looking forward to reading these stories.

Netteanne said...

This sounds like great fun, I have put it on hold. It will just go on the TBR pile until I get to it.

Lesa said...

Me, too, Reine.

Oh, Gram. Go for it! Don't wait until 88! I think you'll appreciate Maud.

It's a quick read, Netteanne. It is fun.

Carole said...

Hi Lesa! I'm Carole from Carole's Chatter. I found your blog via Book Dilettante (courtesy of Silver's Reviews). I wondered if you would like to join the group of bloggers who share their posts on a monthly basis via Books You Loved. I host this link up on the first Wednesday of each month. If you would like to check it out just hop on over to Carole's Chatter. We would all love to see you there. Cheers