Eighty-eight-year-old Maud is fed up with people. Her coping mechanism? Keep an orderly and solitary life by murdering whoever she finds particularly obnoxious. Pesky neighbors, ex-lovers, and local celebrities looking to sabotage the small home she has built will now face this unassuming and bold lady. Will Maud’s modest façade keep her from suspicion, or will the Detective Inspector find the dead body in her apartment a bit too suspicious? Told in a collection of five stories centering around Maud’s antics, this hilarious novel will be the perfect stocking stuffer for anyone who enjoys a quiet cup of tea… and a little murder.
- Kiera— From Kiera's Recs
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, and 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 dead body found in Maud's apartment, will Maud finally become a suspect?
About the Author
Helene Tursten was a nurse and a dentist before she turned to writing. Her Irene Huss series includes Detective Inspector Huss, Night Rounds, The Torso, The Glass Devil, The Golden Calf, The Fire Dance, The Beige Man, The Treacherous Net, and Who Watcheth, and Protected by the Shadows. And the first book of her new series featuring Embla Nyström is Hunting Game. Her books have been translated into 18 languages and made into a television series. She was born in Gothenburg, Sweden, where she now lives with her husband.
An ABA IndieNext Selection for November 2018
A Loan Stars Top 10 Pick November 2018
Praise for An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good
"[A] deliciously noir short story collection . . . Tursten takes readers deep inside Maud’s head as she plots the demise of anyone who crosses her . . . Here’s hoping Tursten brings back the flinty homicidal octogenarian for more adventures."
—Tina Jordan, The New York Times
"Witty . . . All pay the ultimate price for outraging this dangerous octogenarian. Will the police ever realize that sweet, frail, confused old Maud is in fact sharp as a tack and just as ruthless?"
—The Wall Street Journal
"This elderly lady stops at nothing in her desire for a peaceful existence. I ought to feel guilty for enjoying her crimes, but I don't. The stories are written with such persuasive logic and delicious irony that I want the killing to continue indefinitely."
—Peter Lovesey, Mystery Writers of America Grand Master
"Darkly engaging . . . The murders Maud pulls off are meticulously plotted and executed, and one of the pleasures of the stories lies in watching Maud in action."
—The Toronto Star
"The juxtaposition of the way Maud presents in the world, as elderly, somewhat frail, and what she is capable of doing when she is thwarted makes for a really intriguing read that is often laugh out loud funny."
—Lily Bartel, WAMC's The Roundtable
"A petite, deliciously dry set of short stories . . . grab this one as a stocking-stuffer for the mystery lover on your list."
—The News & Observer
"Deliciously dark . . . Imagine a ticked-off Miss Marple with the conscience of Patricia Highsmith's Ripley and the cold-blooded pragmatism of Jack Reacher."
—Mystery Scene Magazine
"Delightfully grim and howlingly funny . . . Maud’s no apple-cheeked little Granny."
—Quad City Times
"Tursten is best known for the hard-boiled Detective Inspector Irene Huss series of novels. However, the comic twists and turns she delivers in this compact collection are equally engrossing. Unassuming, murderous Maud—with her devious, pseudo-innocent charm—makes these concise stories wickedly funny and addictively readable."
"Maud is the petty, take-no-prisoners grandmother we all wish we had."
"A succinct treatise on how to get away with murder. This is a terrific little dollop of crime. Just beware of the little old lady who lives upstairs."
—Washington Independent Review of Books
"The perfect size for stowing in your handbag with your hard candies and spare garrote wire."
"If you’re into crime stories, dark humor, and want it centered around an octogenarian, run to this collection."
"Dark, irreverent, and hilariously funny."
—Booklist, Starred Review
“Exceptional . . . Readers will be amused by how sharp-as-a-tack Maud plays the forgetful, fuzzy-brained old lady to achieve her ends.”
—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
"A juicy dose of senior justice. The book is pure fun."
"A wonderful discovery . . . Who knew the grim Swedish crime school included a writer this merry . . . and merciless?"
—The Shawangunk Journal
"Morbid, mysterious, and outrageously funny...this collection is a wonderful example of the more uproarious side of Scandinavian Noir, one that doesn’t often reach our shores and should be savored when it does."
"Cleverly plotted . . . 88-year-old Maude is a combination of Charles Bronson’s character in the movie Death Wish, Mrs. Wilberforce in the movie, The Ladykillers, and a small touch of John le Carré's low-key George Smiley. Tursten has created the perfect criminal, a senior citizen who has the cunning and vindictiveness of Bronson's character, the haplessness and sense of morality of Mrs. Wilberforce, and the deceptive appearance of George Smiley."
—Los Angeles Public Library Reads
"Dark, funny, and oh so satisfying."
—Three Percent (University of Rochester)
"Top of the line . . . [Maud] has a take-no-prisoners penchant for survival and can go from zero to 90 whether practicing self-defense or administering rough justice. She does both and more in this collection of finely written and memorable stories."
"The elderly female antihero we never knew we needed . . . Suspenseful, funny, and certainly unique, this story is one you won’t want to miss this holiday season."
"These wicked, funny tales . . . could be the product of an illicit union between Arsenic and Old Lace and The Talented Mr. Ripley."
—Reviewing the Evidence
"Wickedly fun . . . if you’ve had your fill of gooey, saccharine sweet holiday books or movies, then this collection of vignettes featuring Maud, an eighty-eight year old serial killer, will cure your holiday sugar rush."
—The Book Review
"A completely different type of murderer than the regular mystery reader is used to."
—Pop Goes Fiction
"Maud is just too good when she is up to no good . . . [her] 'adventures' make for grisly fun, and a quick read if you’re in the mood to dip into a bit of Scandinavian noir."
"A delicious acid-drop of a book."
—University Book Store (Seattle, WA)
"Full of fun (and a little bit of gore), this small book will leave you laughing."
-Odyssey Bookshop, (South Hadley, MA)
"Never underestimate 88-year-old ladies—nearly deaf, living alone, and using wheeled walkers—when it comes to murder . . . You won’t want to miss Tursten’s clever stories."
—Karen Briggs, The Booknook (East Tawas, MI)
"Helene Tursten, the author of many popular Scandinavian crime thrillers, has shifted gears to offer up this lively and darkly funny tale . . . You will never take seniors for granted again!"
—Eagle Harbor Book Company (Bainbridge Island, WA)
"I thoroughly enjoyed all the wicked things this elderly lady got up to in this fun little read from the author of the Inspector Irene Huss Investigation series. A great gift for a mystery reader."
—Queen Anne Book Company (Seattle, WA)
Praise for Helene Tursten
"As good as Louise Welsh's similarly creepy tour of Glasgow."
—Gillian Flynn, Entertainment Weekly
"These days Scandinavian crime writers are thick on the ground. It's nice to see that the women can be just as bloodthirsty as the men."
—The New York Times Book Review
"[Tursten] imbues this novel with a cold chill of dread that can't be attributed only to the subfreezing temperatures of Göteborg in winter."
—Chicago Sun Times
"An engaging mystery with a very likable heroine. With a writing style reminiscent of Camilla Läckberg or Henning Mankell, Helene Tursten offers a detective with a nuanced and compelling personal life, as well as a dark and intriguing mystery.”