“An Elderly Lady Must Not Be Crossed” is collection of devious little short stories translated from Swedish into English about Maud, a quiet, well-traveled octogenarian who wants to enjoy her last few years alive. Unfortunately, people keep cropping up that need killing! And Maud is just the old lady to do it. This is a sequel of sorts to "An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good", which also followed the same character. Each short story is a fast-paced exercise in “how will she kill them?” and “how will she get away with it?”; the fun is in watching people underestimate her due to her feigned weakness, deafness, and dementia. Maud is a vicious, crafty killer with the spirit of “Dexter” in that most of her victims “deserve” their fate in one way or another. None of them deserve to be killed, of course, but you might find yourself empathizing with Maud as she cuts a swath through Sweden’s neighborhoods. Because she seems easily manipulated, a lot of people try to do just that… and a lot of people wind up pushing up daisies. Although the stories in these two collections are contained, they do reference one another, so I wouldn’t call them standalone. I highly enjoyed my time with Maud as she sets up a peaceful retirement for herself. I give both books an enthusiastic four stars; they are perfect for enjoy by a fire as the weather turns nearly as cold as Maud's heart.
—Whitney Sheppard, Snail Readers Circle
— From Readers Circle Recommendations
Don’t let her age fool you. Maud may be nearly ninety, 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.
*Includes cookie recipes*
About the Author
Helene Tursten was a nurse and a dentist before she turned to writing. She is the author of the Irene Huss series, including Detective Inspector Huss, Night Rounds, Who Watcheth, and Protected by the Shadows; the Embla Nyström series; and the short story collection An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good, which also features Maud. Her books have been translated into 25 languages and made into a television series. She was born in Gothenburg, Sweden, where she now lives with her husband.
Praise for An Elderly Lady Must Not Be Crossed
An October 2021 Indie Next Selection
"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."
—Booklist, Starred Review
“The six linked stories in Swedish author Tursten’s delightful sequel showcase the ingenious murder methods that Maud, an idiosyncratic octogenarian with questionable motives, has devised over the years . . . Assured prose matches an irresistible heroine. Readers are sure to welcome a third entry in this beguiling series.”
“A guidebook to growing old without a single regret for victims who deserved just what they got.”
Praise for An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good
An ABA IndieNext Selection
“[A] deliciously noir short story collection . . . Tursten takes readers deep inside Maud’s head as she plots the demise of anyone who crosses her . . . Here’s hoping Tursten brings back the flinty homicidal octogenarian for more adventures.”
—Tina Jordan, The New York Times
“Witty . . . All pay the ultimate price for outraging this dangerous octogenarian. Will the police ever realize that sweet, frail, confused old Maud is in fact sharp as a tack and just as ruthless?”
—The Wall Street Journal
"Eighty-eight-year-old Maud, a Swedish cult favorite, freely dispatches greedy neighbors, selfish lovers, and potential thieves in four linked stories that push elderly empowerment to grimly funny heights in this Swedish cult favorite."
—The Boston Globe
“This elderly lady stops at nothing in her desire for a peaceful existence. I ought to feel guilty for enjoying her crimes, but I don't. The stories are written with such persuasive logic and delicious irony that I want the killing to continue indefinitely.”
—Peter Lovesey, Mystery Writers of America Grand Master
“Darkly engaging . . . The murders Maud pulls off are meticulously plotted and executed, and one of the pleasures of the stories lies in watching Maud in action.”
—The Toronto Star
“The juxtaposition of the way Maud presents in the world, as elderly, somewhat frail, and what she is capable of doing when she is thwarted makes for a really intriguing read that is often laugh out loud funny.”
—Lily Bartel, WAMC's The Roundtable
“A petite, deliciously dry set of short stories . . . grab this one as a stocking-stuffer for the mystery lover on your list.”
—The News & Observer
“Deliciously dark . . . Imagine a ticked-off Miss Marple with the conscience of Patricia Highsmith's Ripley and the cold-blooded pragmatism of Jack Reacher.”
“Relying on the invisibility of age, using her walkers as a weapon, and seeming dementia as a defense, Maud systematically eliminates all annoyances . . . delightful.”
“Delightfully grim and howlingly funny . . . Maud’s no apple-cheeked little Granny.”
—Quad City Times
“Tursten is best known for the hard-boiled Detective Inspector Irene Huss series of novels. However, the comic twists and turns she delivers in this compact collection are equally engrossing. Unassuming, murderous Maud—with her devious, pseudo-innocent charm—makes these concise stories wickedly funny and addictively readable.”
“The perfect size for stowing in your handbag with your hard candies and spare garrote wire.”
“If you’re into crime stories, dark humor, and want it centered around an octogenarian, run to this collection.”
“Dark, irreverent, and hilariously funny.”
—Booklist, Starred Review
“Exceptional . . . Readers will be amused by how sharp-as-a-tack Maud plays the forgetful, fuzzy-brained old lady to achieve her ends.”
—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review