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, ruining a perfectly good afternoon.
Tursten effectively juxtaposes a cozy, Agatha Christie–like tone against the often surprisingly dark nature of Maud’s recollections, which are rife with clever satirical jabs and delicious ironies. This absorbing dive into the mind of a ruthless pragmatist posing as a Swedish Miss Marple will please psychological-thriller fans, once they realize that Maud isn’t nearly as cozy as she looks.
In spite of her penchant for using murder to solve her problems, elderly Maud is incredibly clever and oddly charming. Readers may find themselves rooting for her to get away with it all and will also appreciate the bonus gingerbread recipe.
When she finally arrives at her destination in An Elderly Lady Takes a Trip to Africa, the longest and most deliberately plotted of these stories, she gets to display an unaccustomed generosity, even magnanimity, to an impoverished family brought even lower by a crime Maud is more than happy to avenge. Readers may want to think twice before sampling the appended naughty-and-nice cookie recipes ... A guidebook to growing old without a single regret for victims who deserved just what they got.