By Terri Schlichenmeyer —
An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good
When you’re officially “up in years,” you can get away with a lot of things … but murder? Apparently so in “An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good” by
Maud had lived in her little apartment for her entire life and she wasn’t going anywhere.
She loved her little flat and she’d stay, no matter what, even if it meant she had to kill. And kill. And kill. After all, who’d suspect an elderly lady of murder?
That’s what makes this book so
delightfully grim and howlingly funny: Maud is no apple-cheeked little granny. A con with a walker, an anti-Jessica Fletcher, she’s also an Oscar-worthy actress when it comes to avoiding detection.
Imagine a nighttime soap opera written in bathtub gin, narrated by Burl Ives with snark and a side dish of history. Imagine that it makes you snort just before tearing your heart out and ruthlessly crumpling it. That’s “American Pop” by Snowden Wright.
Taking readers to the mid-19th century, through elegant speakeasies, Hollywood movie studios and two wars, to the mid-1980s and back, Wright tells a witty tale of a prosperous and proper Southern family with fangs, claws and tender souls. That can be humorous, but Wright won’t let you laugh for long. While this novel is about a handful of main characters, other Forsters move in and out of chapters with anger and well-meaning, leaving pain as sharp as busted glass.
The New Iberia Blues
Finally, without popcorn a movie is just a bunch of flickering lights, a series of stills in a row, a story that begs for butter and extra salt. Without popcorn, a film is deadly dull—or, as in “The New Iberia Blues” by James Lee Burke, it’s just deadly.
Reading this book is like sitting on a folding chair during a tornado: You’re sucked in and tipped around, you lose your grip and get a whole lot queasy before things smooth out for a minute. As it is with tornadoes and Dave Robicheaux novels, though, things ain’t over ‘til they’re over, so hang on tight! Filled with spookiness, spirituality and slayings a-plenty, this may be the best, most hard-to-figure-out Robicheaux novel yet.