Fictionista, Foodie, Feline-lover

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Mysteries with Senior Sleuths

My mystery book club is meeting today and our subject is Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg's "International Bestseller" The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules. One of the club members suggested it, and it's a fun book but it is not super mysterious.  Here's the sales copy:

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel meets The Italian Job in internationally-bestselling author Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg’s witty and insightful comedy of errors about a group of delinquent seniors whose desire for a better quality of life leads them to rob and ransom priceless artwork.
Martha Andersson may be seventy-nine-years-old and live in a retirement home, but that doesn’t mean she’s ready to stop enjoying life. So when the new management of Diamond House starts cutting corners to save money, Martha and her four closest friends—Brains, The Rake, Christina and Anna-Gretta (a.k.a. The League of Pensioners)—won’t stand for it. Fed up with early bedtimes and overcooked veggies, this group of feisty seniors sets about to regain their independence, improve their lot, and stand up for seniors everywhere.
Their solution? White collar crime. What begins as a relatively straightforward robbery of a nearby luxury hotel quickly escalates into an unsolvable heist at the National Museum. With police baffled and the Mafia hot on their trail, the League of Pensioners has to stay one walker’s length ahead if it’s going to succeed….
Told with all the insight and humor of A Man Called Ove or Where’d You Go Bernadette?, The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules is a delightful and heartwarming novel that goes to prove the adage that it’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.

Reading the book made me think--where are all the books featuring older sleuths? Yes, yes, there's Agatha Christie's "Miss Marple" series and Dorothy Gilman's wonderful Emily Pollifax novels. But the only books that came to mind were Daniel Friedman's terrific Buck Schatz novels, Don't Ever Get Old and Don't Ever Look Back.  I reviewed Don't Ever Look Back for Criminal Element nearly three years ago and I've been waiting for another book in the series ever since.

I decided to go Googling around to see what else is on offer and the answer is, not a whole lot. Rita Lakin and Madison Johns and Lorena McCourtney all write cozy mysteries staring LOL (Little Old Lady) detectives. And the books sound like fun reads. But where are the books that feature senior citizens who aren't cozy and cuddly. I have a strong dislike for all the euphemisms used to describe old people. I grew up in a three-generation household and believe me when I tell you, I learned early that being old is not fun and it's not for the weak-willed. But I also learned that old people could be fearless and tough and wily and smart and funny and inventive. I learned to value them.  Every time I see movie ticket prices broken out into "child/adult/senior" I think--is a senior a defective adult? Why not just do the age group thing? Under 12/Over 50? And if I ever hear the phrase "Ninety years young" applied to me, I might vomit all over the person who says it.
But I digress--a habit I have that will likely only get worse as I age but I tell you now, it's been with me since I was a child, so you won't be able to attribute it to my advancing years. Where are the mystery books with protagonists who are no longer young? If you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them.


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