Elderly Lady Must Not Be Crossed
by Tursten, Helene; Delargy, Marlaine (TRN)

Six interlocking stories describe a series of unfortunate incidents in the life of 88-year-old Maud, shedding light on the present day when detectives show up after the disturbing discovery of a dead body in her apartment.

Helene Tursten was a nurse and a dentist before she turned to writing. She is the author of the Irene Huss series, including Detective Inspector Huss, Night Rounds, Who Watcheth, and Protected by the Shadows; the Embla Nyström series; and the short story collection An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good, which also features Maud. Her books have been translated into 25 languages and made into a television series. She was born in Gothenburg, Sweden, where she now lives with her husband.

*Starred Review* Tursten brings back Swedish octogenarian Maud (An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good, 2018) in this second title in her Elderly Lady series. After being interviewed by two hostile police detectives about the burglar's body found in her Gothenburg apartment, Maud decides she needs a change of scene and embarks on a luxury tour of South Africa. As she travels, Maud recalls her past life as a problem solver, beginning with her first foray into the art of fixing, when she forthrightly dealt with bullies who were tormenting her mentally ill sister. Further recollections follow, each showing how Maud shrewdly plays the part of a doddering old woman to her own advantage, but not always without collateral damage. In Cape Town, Maud seizes the opportunity to halt an attack on a young girl, while also coming up with a way to address the unanswered questions about that body back in Gothenburg. Tursten effectively juxtaposes a cozy, Agatha Christie-like tone against the often surprisingly dark nature of Maud's recollections, which are rife with clever satirical jabs and delicious ironies. This absorbing dive into the mind of a ruthless pragmatist posing as a Swedish Miss Marple will please psychological-thriller fans, once they realize that Maud isn't nearly as cozy as she looks. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Six more adventures of Maud, the retired language teacher who meets life's vicissitudes with a refreshingly homicidal approach. En route to a luxury vacation in South Africa, Maud recalls half a dozen earlier times when her generally untroubled life was threatened by someone who ended up coming to grief. "An Elderly Lady Begins To Remember Her Past" rehashes her latest foray into criminal violence and her satisfying escape from Tursten's franchise detective, Inspector Irene Huss. "Little Maud Sets a Trap" takes her back to her childhood, when she sticks up for her neurasthenic older sister, Charlotte, by taking condign, though not yet murderous, revenge on the boys who've bullied her. "Lancing a Boil" shows how Maud, now a substitute teacher, deals with her demotion when the regular teacher she's replaced seeks to return to the classroom. "The Truth About Charlotte" recalls Charlotte's sad demise, which leaves Maud much wealthier and freer to accrue an even larger income and begin her world travels. Maud smartly relieves her longtime neighbor, seamstress Elsa Petren, of the problems her wastrel son has stuck her with in "The Peter Pan Problem." And when she finally arrives at her destination in "An Elderly Lady Takes a Trip to Africa," the longest and most deliberately plotted of these stories, she gets to display an unaccustomed generosity, even magnanimity, to an impoverished family brought even lower by a crime Maud is more than happy to avenge. Readers may want to think twice before sampling the appended naughty-and-nice cookie recipes. A guidebook to growing old without a single regret for victims who deserved just what they got. Copyright Kirkus 2021 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

Terms of Use   ©Copyright 2021 Follett School Solutions