cover image An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good

An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good

Helene Tursten, trans. from the Swedish by Marlaine Delargy. Soho Crime, $12.95 trade paper (184p) ISBN 978-1-64129-011-1

The five stories in this exceptional collection from Tursten (the Irene Huss mysteries) feature Maud, a seemingly mild-mannered 88-year-old Gothenburg resident who’s perfectly willing to use wiles and sometimes deadly force to defend her independent lifestyle. In the delightful “An Elderly Lady Has Accommodation Problems,” a pushy neighbor has designs on Maud’s apartment, and that can’t be tolerated. When a gold digger hooks an old beau of Maud’s in “An Old Lady on Her Travels,” Maud decides to intervene, showing that she’s also ready to right wrongs that threaten others. Perhaps the best entry is “An Elderly Lady Seeks Peace at Christmas Time,” in which Maud cleverly puts a young clerk in his place and rids herself of an abusive neighbor. In the last two tales, she deals ruthlessly with a greedy antique dealer. Readers will be amused by how sharp-as-a-tack Maud plays the forgetful, fuzzy-brained old lady to achieve her ends. With any luck, she’ll be back for an encore. (Nov.)