An Elderly Lady Must Not Be Crossed (Elderly Lady #2) by Helene Tursten, Marlaine Delargy (Translator), Ann Richardson (Narrator)
Published October 5th 2021 by HighBridge, Soho Crime
About the Book: Don’t let her age fool you. Maud may be nearly 90, but if you cross her, this elderly lady is more sinister than sweet.
Just when things have finally cooled down for 88-year-old Maud after the disturbing discovery of a dead body in her apartment in Gothenburg, a couple of detectives return to her doorstep. Though Maud dodges their questions with the skill of an Olympic gymnast a fifth of her age, she wonders if suspicion has fallen on her, little old lady that she is. The truth is, ever since Maud was a girl, death has seemed to follow her.
In these six interlocking stories, memories of unfortunate incidents from Maud’s past keep bubbling to the surface. Meanwhile, certain problems in the present require immediate attention. Luckily, Maud is no stranger to taking matters into her own hands…even if it means she has to get a little blood on them in the process.
This is the second Elderly Lady book I have listened to and they are so much fun. Maud is almost 90 years old, but she is no pushover. She is smart as a tack and always a scheme or plan to carry out to benefit either herself or someone she cares about. In the last book she was suspected of murder and the police are still sniffing around, so she decides to take a holiday to get out of town. She heads off to South Africa with cash in her pocket and her bank account after selling off some family heirlooms. Here she once again has adventures that put her in the eyes of the police, but her skill at pretending to be a doddering old woman, pull her out of the frying pan.
This book is made up of six interconnected stories, the majority set in Johannesburg, South Africa. Years before, she had visited and had fond memories. In this book, we get a look at her past in memories about neighbourhood boys tormenting her sister, a fellow teacher who jeopardized Maud’s position at an all-girls school, and the son of a friend who was taking advantage of his mother, and more. All these memories come up while she is trying to get over the situation she was involved in the previous spring. Once she arrives in Johannesburg, she pretends to be too tired and weak to avoid tours of places she had visited in the past or sites that held no interest for her. When she pleaded with the tour leader that she needed to rest, he was sympathetic and understanding. Once the group left for the daily sightseeing, Maud set out on her own to visit places that interested her. She later acquires a heavy walking stick, not that she needs it for a cane, she carries it to bash anyone who might need it. Of course, trouble seems to find Maud and she has to come up with solutions to problems that arise. Maud is clever, inventive, and a bit wicked when it comes to those solutions, but it is done with the best of intentions. I enjoy reading about Maud and her exploits, even though most of them involve murder or bodily harm. I just hope I am never on Maud’s “hit list”. I listened to the audiobook, narrated by Ann Richardson. She does a fantastic job of giving voices to various characters, both male and female, using tone, expression and inflection. The number of characters she is able to give a unique voice to is amazing. A well paced story to listen to over an afternoon, at about 4 hours at 1.25 speed. I recommend this book to those who enjoy a humorous look at murder, especially starring an octogenarian (almost) perpetrator.