Senior Sleuths and Senior Crooks

By Lynnanne Pearson

Solving mysteries (and committing crimes) is not just for the young. These senior sleuths (and crooks) use the wisdom of their years to crack cases and take down bad guys (or to be the bad guy).

  • The Thursday Murder Club

    2020 by Osman, Richard

    In an English retirement community, The Thursday Murder Club meets weekly to discuss unsolved cold crimes. These four unlikely detectives, Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim, and Ron, are thrilled when a murder happens in their community. They set out to solve the crime. Led by Elizabeth, a retired MI5 agent, these seniors use their collective intelligence and experience to find the culprit. Full of adventure, British humor, and heartwarming friendship among the four main characters, this book was a deservedly instant sensation when it was first published.

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  • Vera Wong's Unsolicited Advice for Murderers

    2023 by Sutanto, Jesse Q.

    My coworkers Rummanah and Sharon praise this fun amateur sleuth cozy mystery that has a found family vibe throughout. They couldn’t get enough of the main character with her quirky personality, and all the fun that happens as she tracks down suspects.

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  • Granny's Got a Gun

    2018 by Lin, Harper

    Barbara Gold may look like the grandmother she is, but she is also a retired CIA agent. Having moved to the suburbs to be close to her son and his family, she is now bored with retirement and the suburbs. When a member of her book club dies after the discussion is over, she knows he has been poisoned. Barbara then does what she does best--solve the mystery and take down the bad guy. Book one of The Secret Agent Granny series, this is a fun, short read. Barbara is a great granny and an even better (former) CIA agent.

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  • Mrs. Plansky's Revenge

    2023 by Quinn, Spencer

    Mrs. Loretta Plansky, although still mourning the illness and loss of her late husband, has an active life and bountiful savings to enjoy her retirement. A late night phone call purportedly from her grandson shatters her life. Thinking her grandson is in jail, Mrs. Plansky gives the caller her bank account account number and password. With her life savings and investments cleaned out, Mrs. Plansky only has one choice--find the scammer and get her money back. Mrs. Planky is a fun, multilayer character who is Miss Marple mixed with a tiny bit of James Bond.

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  • Aunty Lee's Delights

    2013 by Yu, Ovidia

    Widow Rosie Lee runs Aunty Lee's Delights, a restaurant that features delicious home-cooked Singaporean meals. When two dead bodies wash up on the local beach, Aunty Lee decides to help the police find the killers. Some may call her a nosy busybody, but Aunty Lee is also a caring, intelligent woman (and an excellent cook). First in a series, "Aunty Lee's Delights" will delight all cozy mystery fans.

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  • A Beginner's Guide to Murder

    2021 by Stopps, Rosalind

    A teenage girl in trouble, three women in their 70s, and a dangerous man collide in this thriller by British author Stopps. We see the story from each woman's point of view, as well as the teenage girl's. As the elderly women tried to keep the girl safe, they realize the only way to do so is to murder. Tense and gripping, this book makes one thing clear: you do not want to cross these elderly women.

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  • Peg and Rose Solve a Murder

    2022 by Berenson, Laurien

    In television, spinoff series happen all the time. It is rarer in books for there to be a spinoff series. Luckily for fans of the Melanie Travis series, author Berenson spun off the characters of Peg and Rose into this new series. The two senior women become partners in bridge club. When another card player is murdered, Rose and Peg investigate. You don't have to have read the Melanie Travis series to enjoy the adventures of senior sleuths Rose and Peg.

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  • The Old Woman with the Knife

    2022 by Ku, Pyŏng-mo

    Like a lot of people, Hornclaw is slowing down as she ages. Hornclaw, however, is an assassin, and slowing down can mean her death. Greatly injured during one of her jobs, Hornclaw has no recourse but to seek medical assistance. This choice leads her down a path of greater connections but also huge danger as a rival seeks to use these new connections against her.

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  • The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules

    2016 by Ingelman-Sundberg, C.

    A group of senior citizens--fed up with their poor treatment at their nursing home--resort to crime. First, they just raid the kitchen, but soon they escalate to robbing a bank and stealing a Monet!

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  • Better Off Read

    2018 by Page, Nora

    Cleo Watkins is a head librarian in her 70s and a dedicated bookmobile librarian. When she is not on the bookmobile, she is solving crimes and library-related problems. This fun cozy mystery features Cleo’s Persian cat named Rhett and her gentleman friend’s pug named Mr. Chaucer.

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  • An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good

    2018 by Tursten, Helene

    My coworker Andrew raves about this book. He says, "Maud has lived alone in Gothenburg, Sweden, for most of her 88 years. She enjoys travel, old movies, and making very bad things happen to people she feels have earned it (generally by trying to take advantage of her or other seniors, or the occasional wife-beating neighbor)." This is a darkly comic inversion of "little old lady detective" tropes, with an antiheroine who's equal parts Jane Marple and Dexter Morgan.

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  • A Cryptic Clue

    2023 by Gilbert, Victoria

    Forced into early retirement from her job, former university librarian Jane Hunter gets a job inventorying and cataloging the library of local rich person Cameron Clewe. When a guest of Cameron (and Cameron’s former girlfriend) is murdered, Cameron turns to Jane for help clearing his name in this clever start to a new mystery series.

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  • Exit

    2021 by Bauer, Belinda

    Like some retirees, Felix Pink volunteers. Felix volunteers as an Exiteer. The Exiteers provide comfort and moral support when terminally ill people commit suicide. Felix then cleans up the instruments of death so the family does not face any insurance issues. All goes smoothly for Felix until the day he helps the wrong person die. In order to clear his name, Felix investigates what happened and who benefited from the accidental death. Full of twists and turns as well as heartfelt sentiments, this thriller is a charming, suspenseful read.

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  • The Windsor Knot

    2021 by Bennett, S. J.

    A murder has occurred at Windsor Castle and Queen Elizabeth, just shy of her 90th birthday, is not happy with how the investigation is going. So she decides to start her own investigation with the help of some of her undersecretaries. In addition to a fun mystery, we get some realistic glimpses behind the scenes of Windsor Castle.

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  • Getting Old Is Murder

    2005 by Lakin, Rita

    75-year-old Gladdy Gold just wants to enjoy her retirement in her Fort Worth retirement home. When her neighbor and best friend die, she is suspicious and decides to investigate their deaths. Gladdy and her friends, contending with people's stereotypes about the elderly, have a hard time convincing the police that murders have taken place. It will take all her pluck and determination to ensure she is not next on the killer's list.

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