"And though she be but little, she is fierce."
Helena, regarding Hermia, in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream (slightly modified from its original form)
I cackled all the way through An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good. Yes, a homicidal old lady is a hilarious concept, and none of the five stories disappoint. But my inner old lady and introversion felt a kinship to Maud, and that's what kept me turning pages. I took off half a star because mysteries aren't exactly my cup of tea, but I ended up loving these stories and there's so little of this book!
I cannot tout Maud enough. Little Maud, as we discover, has lived quite a life. Her fiance spurned her because she was not rich. She made a career as a teacher. She cared for her mentally ill sister, Charlotte, until Charlotte's death. Maud outlived her family and retained ownership of their large apartment. Her neighbors glared at her, a single, elderly lady, and she continued to live her life. Maud earned her comfortable life, which makes the intrusions all the more intolerable.
"Maud lived alone, and she went on vacation alone. That was the way she wanted it. Freedom, no idle chatter, and no problems."
An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good
I recommend this book to anyone rendered mildly homicidal by an overly-extroverted neighbor. If you, dear reader, have ever contemplated the pros and cons of murder to avoid an imminent social situation, I beseech thee: live vicariously through Maud.
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