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Cozy Mystery Review – Getting Old is a Disaster

Getting Old Is A Disaster by Rita Lakin

Review by Cheryl R. (Spuddie)

 

Series: Gladdy Gold mystery series

Series order: #5

Well now, here’s something those of you who know my reading tastes well will be surprised at: a review of a cozy mystery! I am not really much of a cozy reader—I find most to be sort of cookie-cutter quality, much alike with interchangeable lead characters that have quirky names, own quirky businesses, with predictable plots and outcomes—and often, way too much romancey stuff for my taste. There are, however, a few series I tried and surprisingly liked and stuck with, and this is one of them.

Perhaps part of the reason for that is that the main character is old. Like, 75. So even older than me. J Gladdy Gold, a Jewish widow originally from New York, lives in a condo in Ft. Lauderdale and has three dear friends and a sister who live in the same complex. The girls have a detective agency, run by Gladdy but they all help out, and often are quite successful because nobody notices old people so they can observe without arousing suspicion. They have their routines, and though they’re as different as can be from one another, they obviously care for each other. These characters have become like friends over the course of the series, and many other secondary characters are familiar as a well-worn shoe as well. Even though they’re elderly, they aren’t senile—well, mostly. The stories are funny, yet respectfully done such that people who are old (or care for the elderly) will smile in recognition at problems and quandaries that younger folks just don’t think about.

Gladdy and her “boyfriend” Jack have been trying to get together to consummate their relationship for two or three books now. Something—usually something to do with one of Gladdy’s friends—always seems to get in the way. This book, it’s Jack’s bridge club, and then some bad storms and a hurricane bearing down on the city that stirs up trouble—including knocking down part of one of the buildings that exposes a decades-old skeleton buried under the foundation.

Meanwhile, an elderly bank robber sends the girls a challenge letter, basically telling them to ‘catch me if you can’ and signs it “Grandpa Bandit.” He’s already robbed six banks, changes his looks every time such that there’s not a good description, but he’s giving the GG detective agency some clues about his next planned hit, so Gladdy feels compelled to report it to Jack’s son Morrie, who’s a detective for the Ft. Lauderdale police. Grandpa gets the better of them though, and then is forgotten for a few days as the brunt of the storm hits.

This is a sweet, light, enjoyable mystery series and this book was no exception. It’s not all cozy goodness, though—it deals with some very dark things (in this book for example, the storms trigger a PTSD-like reaction in one of the residents whose family was all taken from their home and executed during a storm during the Holocaust) and present some realistic hurdles that the elderly have to overcome. If you’re looking for something a little lighter and aren’t a big fan of most cozies, I recommend trying this series out.

 

 

 

 

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