What if the quiet old lady down the hall was a cold-blooded killer? Maud an 88-year-old introverted Swedish woman, seems so innocuous and frail….but of course maybe that’s the perfect cover for getting away with murder. In Helene Tursten’s An Elderly Lady Is Up To No Good (Soho Press), the resources normal senior citizens rely on for rehabilitation quickly turn to tools of revenge in the skilled hands of a mastermind no one was suspecting, but everyone will relish reading.

Helene Tursten, author of the popular Irene Huss investigation series, has shifted her focus from a dedicated cop looking to enforce the law to a crafty senior citizen using all of her elderly wiles to try and escape it. Motivated by her own personal sense of justice, Maud does not hesitate to dole out punishment to those she believes deserve it, including nosy neighbors, rude grocery store employees, and gold diggers as just a few examples.

While Maud does go beyond the measures strictly necessary in deterring people from encroaching on her space wronging others, one can’t help but sympathize with her character, and even secretly cheer her on through some her cold calculations and executions. How can we condone crime from anyone? I will give you one particularly satisfying case.  It’s Christmastime and Maud can’t relax in peace.

There are continual loud noises coming from the apartment she lives below, so she investigates to find the cause. “The Problem,” as Maud calls the racket always bothering her serenity, is the sound of a cruel man beating his wife. Perhaps a firm walker push from behind so the abuser takes a fatal fall down a long staircase would not be the way the law and society would choose to right the wrong. However, it definitely solves “The Problem” in Maud’s eyes quickly and permanently, and makes his surviving wife’s life significantly better. Do we look down upon Maud for taking these drastic actions, or silently applaud her for ridding the world of a rotten person by her own means?

This is just one case of many that Maud takes into her own aged and ready hands. Split into five parts and only a little over 170 pages long, An Elderly Lady Is Up To No Good is a lightning read and perfect for any stocking (it’s small and will fit easily!). Fans of the Irene Huss investigations will be happy to hear that their favorite inspector is on Maud’s case. Will the inspector’s suspicions become Maud’s undoing, or will this elderly lady get away with it all? Suspenseful, funny, and certainly unique, this story is one you won’t want to miss this holiday season.

An Elderly Lady Is Up To No Good is now available for purchase.

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Image courtesy of Soho Press

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, Who Watcheth, and Protected by the Shadows. The first book of her new series featuring Emla Nystrom is called 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.