Maud is an eighty something year old lady, living alone, in a large rent free apartment, with no family or friends to speak of. She passes her time watching TV, walking about town and murdering people she doesn’t like.
Maud gets to live in this massive apartment rent free because of a clause her family put in decades ago, that meant the housing association could buy the house, but any living descendant can live there for free until they die. Maud is last in line and so the apartment will be handed back to the assoc. soon enough.
She used to live with her parents and sister, but they have all long since passed away. She’s a funny old lady. Very quirky. She pretends to be much more senile and scatty than she really is, in order for her to get away with, well, murder!
This book is a collection of short stories. All as good as each other.
One is about a young actress who moves in downstairs. She wants Maud’s apartment because it is bigger and better. So she tries to befriend the poor little old lady upstairs. Unbeknown to her, Maud isn’t as confused as she thinks and is on to her from the start. A little accident happens. Maud’s problem disappears.
Another story is about Maud’s old fiance. Maud finds out that he is engaged to be married to a younger woman. Of course, Maud isn’t going to let that happen. So she books herself into a spa for the first time- where the wedding will be held. And oh how she loves the spa! A little accident happens. Maud’s problem disappears.
A third, is about Maud’s upstairs neighbours, who are being so loudly inconsiderate, that the noise is going to ruin her Christmas if she doesn’t do something about it. The man is beating his wife, rather too loudly for Maud, so when he takes a tumble down the communal stairs one evening, who’s to know it wasn’t a terrible, terrible accident? And hey presto Maud’s problem disappears.
And finally, an antiques dealer from next door, thinks he can come and take Maud’s expensive antiques for himself. I don’t think so, and neither does Maud. He must be dealt with. So when his back is turned, a little accident happens and Maud’s final problem disappears.
This last one was the longest. It was told in two parts: from Maud’s POV and then from a neighbours POV. We meet a lot more characters in this last story. The police are in the narrative. There is some doubt as to Maud’s innocence too. Do they arrest her at long last? Does she get away with yet another murder?
Overall I loved reading about Maud and her little escapades. I found all the stories really funny and quaint. It was like reading an Agatha Raisin book – obviously the other way round, as Agatha doesn’t kill people – but the way it was written, felt quite cosy and charming.
I would recommend this one as a light read over a weekend, cup of tea in hand, biscuits at the ready! 🙂
(*Thanks to Edelweiss for a copy in exchange for an honest review*).