An Elderly Lady Is Up To No Good, Helene Tursten

Reviewed By
Gordon Duncan

“Barely a week later, the doorbell rang, loud and long. In Maud’s world it felt as if her visitor had only just left.”

When Swedish crime writer Helene Turston was asked to write a short story for a Christmas anthology she created the character of Maud, an 88 year lady who has no qualms about committing a murder. Since writing An Elderly Lady Seeks Peace At Christmas Helene Turston has written another four short stories featuring Maud. All five Maud stories, which have been translated by Marlaine Delargy, are now available in a single volume entitled An Elderly Lady Is Up To No Good, it’s a little gem.

The star of these stories is undoubtedly Maud. She’s fiercely independent, has a strong sense of right and wrong, despite the fact that she’s quite adept at bumping people off, and is extremely resourceful when it comes to said bumping off. The other enjoyable aspect to these stories is the way in which they are told, there’s just the right amount of disarming innocence mixed with cold steel to make them a joy to read and have you wishing that Maud could carry on her murderous ways for many years to come. Fans of Helene Turston’s Inspector Huss and Embla Nyström books will also enjoy their cameo appearances. All said, An Elderly Lady Is Up To No Good was a most enjoyable book to finish my 2018 reading. 

Year of Publication

Maud is an irascible 88-year-old Swedish woman with no family, no friends, and…no qualms about a little murder. This funny, irreverent story collection by Helene Tursten, author of the Irene Huss investigations, features two-never-before translated stories that will keep you laughing all the way to the retirement home.

Ever since her darling father’s untimely death when she was only eighteen, Maud has lived in the family’s spacious apartment in downtown Gothenburg rent-free, thanks to a minor clause in a hastily negotiated contract. That was how Maud learned that good things can come from tragedy. Now in her late eighties, Maud contents herself with traveling the world and surfing the net from the comfort of her father’s ancient armchair. It’s a solitary existence, but she likes it that way.

Over the course of her adventures—or misadventures—this little bold lady will handle a crisis with a local celebrity who has her eyes on Maud’s apartment, foil the engagement of her long-ago lover, and dispose of some pesky neighbors. But when the local authorities are called to investigate a murder in her apartment complex, will Maud be able to avoid suspicion, or will Detective Inspector Irene Huss see through her charade?

Review An Elderly Lady Is Up To No Good, Helene Tursten
Gordon Duncan
Monday, December 31, 2018

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