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Review: An Elderly Lady Must Not Be Crossed

Updated: May 9

4/5 stars

An Elderly Lady Must Not Be Crossed, by Helene Tursten (2021)

Translated by Marlaine Delargy

Well, this was just a delight. To start, the book is really small and cute, so I had to include a photo of it in my hand. I actually just randomly came across it while at the library the other day, and I snatched it right up! Turns out this is the second book in a series (after An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good), but it worked just fine on its own.


These intertwined stories follow 88-year old Maud as she prepares for and then goes on a safari trip to Africa (from the UK) - a trip she's been planning for a long time, but also looking forward to right this moment because she's under suspicion for murder. How on earth can those detectives possibly think poor, frail, defenseless, little old Maud could have been involved with the dead body found in her living room?! In a series of flashbacks we slowly learn that "little old Maud" has been up to no good for... well, basically her entire life. We learn about the kids that used to bully her sister... gosh, it's too bad how they ended up locked in the basement coal room. We learn about a fellow teacher at the school... isn't it tragic how that chunk of ice fell off the roof and killed her.


It seems there's just always someone irksome who has crossed Maud. It's hardly her fault that they have to be taken care of! ;) And her tour group in Johannesburg, South Africa is no exception.


At the back of the book there are two versions of a gingerbread cookie recipe - a nice version, and a naughty version (such a shame when someone allergic to almonds ends up eating gingerbread cookies made with almond flour).

 

UP NEXT: Call Us What We Carry, by Amanda Gorman


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