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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The Little Old Lady Behaving Badly


By Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg

Harper Collins     2018
464 pages     Mystery/Humor

The Little Old Lady Behaving Badly describes the further adventures of the Pensioner’s League: a group of old folk’s home Robin Hoods, who are seeking to create special events for their elderly compatriots and to justly compensate the low wage workers in the nursing homes and hospitals that serve them. The book is translated from the Swedish.

This is the third book in the series, and as some reviewers have noted, perhaps it ought to be the last. It is absurdist humor at its best (?). I chose it because of the title, since I consider myself a “little old lady behaving badly,” and thus I had few expectations and quite a few laughs. Martha is the mastermind of the group, and the others take roles that utilize their skills and sometimes involve their adult children. The first crime of this episode included robbing a bank using a garbage truck to suck the money out of the safe. Of course, the truck was full of garbage, so all the loot had to be cleaned and ended up smelling of vinegar, their cleaner of choice. When they had to decide what they would do with the stolen garbage truck, they drove it into their vacationing neighbor’s pool, covered it with cement, and planted sod and bushes over it. See what I mean about absurdist!

The other adventures of the pensioners aren’t quite so funny, although they are extremely creative. And, because they are old, they never get caught and actually cause little suspicion. Additionally, the book may have been about 100 pages too long and one adventure too crazy. Of course, I have been sitting at the beach this week, so this was a perfect beach read because my brain is already fried. My next read has someone die in it, and I am having trouble getting into it—not quite appropriate for the beach.

Other books in the series besides The Little Old Lady Behaving Badly include The Little Old Lady who Broke All the Rules and The Little Old Lady who Struck Lucky Again. The book reminded me of the movie, Going in Style about old men bank robbers.