Antiques and Assault
The fourth entry in the Silvermoon Retirement Village series, ANTIQUES AND ASSAULT is part of what's overall a cozy, fun series, with 98 year old Alice Atkinson at the centre of a maelstrom of murder, vice and goings on that would do more than rock a retirement home - but Alice, and the retirement village she secretly owns, are made of much sterner stuff. Just.
As always with this series, it's all about Alice, although this outing is also about her granddaughter Amanda. When Amanda was 12 she was targetted by somebody at school for reasons that she can't work out. Right from the start though, Alice is not your run of the mill grandmother, dispensing tea, sympathy and maybe a visit to the school authorities. Nope, Alice chooses to use this as a teaching moment for Amanda, showing her how to sort out fact from fiction, and find the reasons behind something. Flash forward to many years later, and Alice is using current events at the nursing home as the same sort of teaching moment for her assistant, and friend Vanessa. There are echoes back to the earlier events with Amanda though, and the story switches timelines effortlessly, drawing the connections between the death of a new resident at Silvermoon, and the girl that tormented young Amanda all those years ago.
Strong is playing a bit with form in this outing, using connections between chapters, and timelines to pull the reader into this story. It works really well, creating an engaging reading experience for anyone who is looking for something on the cozier, but nonetheless, real feeling side. To be clear though, Alice might be somewhat physically restricted by her age now, but there's nothing wrong with the way she can think through a problem, and this is a woman who has a lot of life experience to call on - and not the sort of life most people would associate with an elderly grey-haired lady, ensconced in a retirement home. For that reason this is a series that really would work best read in order - there's a lot more to Alice than meets the eye, and there's quite a bit to the backstory of Silvermoon Retirement Village for that matter as well.
It is, however, definitely a series for readers who prefer the quirky, slightly tongue-in-cheek side of the crime fiction genre. If that's the direction your tastes veer in, then this would definitely be recommended as something that's developing into something nicely entertaining.
A new resident, a new murder, an old lesson
98 year old Alice Atkinson is on the case once more when first an assault, then a murder rocks the Silvermoon Retirement Village. Some of her friends are rethinking living at Silvermoon so once again Alice dusts off her skills in a case that draws parallels to one involving her granddaughter Amanda when she was twelve years old.
More than one person is lying to Alice as she pieces things together, working with her apprentice Vanessa, to solve the crime and prove to her friends that Silvermoon is safe as long as she's around.
If only she survives long enough to show she's right.