cover image The Sunset Years of Agnes Sharp

The Sunset Years of Agnes Sharp

Leonie Swann, trans. from the German by Amy Bojang. Soho Crime, $27.95 (360p) ISBN 978-1-64129-433-1

This amusing ensemble cozy from Swann (Three Bags Full) features rambunctious retirees living out their twilight years at Sunset Hall, Agnes Sharp’s family home in the English village of Duck End. Sneeringly referred to by locals as a “load of senile hippies,” the residents of Sunset Hall are alarmed when the police knock on their door one afternoon. A neighbor has been shot dead on her terrace, and authorities think it might be the work of a burglar who targets elderly people. The group’s initial concern gives way to relief when the police fail to uncover another corpse they’ve been storing in their garden shed since they discovered it a few days ago and didn’t know what to do. As the group band together to solve both murders, personal secrets threaten to divide them, and each one fears they could be the next to die. Swann wittily conveys the infirmities of old age—memory lapses, vision impairment, hearing problems—alongside her characters’ flashes of insight and pluck. Though the pacing sometimes drags, cozy readers will gladly return to Sunset Hall for future installments. (Aug.)