Daring, thinking, avenging, deceiving
“An Elderly Lady Must Not Be Crossed” by Helene Tursten is a collection of connected short stories that evolve into a cohesive narrative. Maud is almost eighty-nine years old, fit and healthy, with no family, but most importantly, she is a problem solver. She has fake hearing aids that allow her to hear what she is not supposed to hear and enable her to pretend that she did not hear what she actually did. She fakes confusion to cover her clear thinking, expert planning, and skilled deceiving.
Maud is taking a trip to avoid complications from a somewhat difficult incident and is looking forward to a wonderful vacation in South Africa. She has arranged for luxury guided expeditions, luxury accommodations, luxury everything. Her brain is always evaluating, calculating, and remembering. Readers go back and forth in time with Maud as she remembers what she has done that she perhaps should not have done. Since she cannot change the past, she focuses on her future adventures in Africa. When she runs into an old friend there, several new adventures, challenges and opportunities arise that need her special attention.
“An Elderly Lady Must Not Be Crossed” is a humorous look at an unusual avenger – an octogenarian. The narrative moves at a measured pace and is constructed as a progression of associated anecdotes. It is quick to read with laughs on every page; it and gives a different view of “elderly life.” This book is part of a series, but I enjoyed it thoroughly without having read the previous book. I received a review copy of “An Elderly Lady Must Not Be Crossed” from Helene Tursten, Marlaine Delargy (who translated from the Swedish, Penguin Random House, and Soho Crime.