AN ELDERLY LADY IS UP TO NO GOOD
By Helene Tursten
When you’re done reading this collection of short stories, do not be surprised if you want to visit Gothenburg, Sweden to “see” the apartment this protagonist, Maud, dwelled in, almost as much as a Doors’ fan wants to see Jim Morrison’s grave.
Maud is eighty-eight years of age. She is the lone survivor of her clan. Her father passed on when she was eighteen and her mother and mentally-ill sister, Charlotte, followed…eventually. Maud needs the apartment she’s in and will do anything to keep it. This is when readers are presented with the first tale: “An Elderly Lady Has Accommodation Problems.” In this unforgettable read, Maud has suspicions regarding another tenant (Jasmine). Jasmine is being far too nice and bringing gifts to Maud’s doorstep. Taking on the ruse of “confused old woman” Maud uses her acting chops to delve into the reasons why Jasmine is trying to befriend her, and if she’ll have to take Jasmine out of the building permanently.
“An Elderly Lady on Her Travels,” opens the door to Maud’s trips abroad and offers up a reason as to why her murderous ways should continue.
“An Elderly Lady Seeks Peace at Christmastime,” focuses on how bitter and angry Maud became when she had to take care of her sister; and, ultimately, how Charlotte died from falling down the stone steps inside the apartment building.
In “The Antique Dealer’s Death,” and the last tale, “An Elderly Lady is Faced with a Difficult Dilemma,” a mystery ensues where a dealer of antiquities ends up dead in a locked room inside Maud’s apartment.
This lady will do anything to live in peace until the day she dies, and she most certainly uses all of her intelligence to make that happen. This is a fantastic collection of tales. Don’t miss it!