Poker Chips and Poison, Rodney Strong
POKER CHIPS AND POISON is the first novel in what's intended to be a series set around 97-year-old Alice Atkinson, resident of Silvermoon Retirement Village, and cunning sleuth. Anybody who has read this author's Hitchhiker series may remember a cameo from Alice, but in this story she's front and centre. She's also bored, resourceful and just the woman for the job when a friend is murdered in the confines of the Village.
From the very cosy side of the crime genre, it may seem somewhat unlikely that a 97 year-old woman could possibly run a murder investigation, but this is nicely pitched to be reasonably believable, highly entertaining and extremely engaging. Alice Atkinson's a terrific character, imbued with a good sense of humour, just a touch of the dodgy past, and some clever thinking. She's got her reluctant sidekick Vanessa to do any of the footwork that's unlikely to be feasible for such an older person, but that aside, unsurprisingly most of the sleuthing in this comes down to the thinking, rather than kicking doors, style.
Alice Atkinson could be just the thing for readers of humorous cosy style novels, especially those of us who are a bit closer to the aged 97 end of the spectrum than we're comfortable admitting and would appreciate a bit of reassurance that not everything completely grinds to a halt.
If old age doesn't get her..the murderer will.
97 year old Alice Atkinson should be comfortably living out her days at the Silvermoon Retirement Village. But she's bored. A lifetime of living in the grey area between right and wrong means that winning money off her friends at poker just isn't satisfying.
Then her friend is murdered, and she's the only one who thinks it's foul play. And even she has her doubts.
With the help of Vanessa her newly appointed and occasionally reluctant sidekick, Alice is determined to find out the truth. One thing is for sure, Alice is going to need to dust off some old skills to come through this in one piece.