As the first novel in this American series is out of print, I had to settle for the second so this is my very first impression of Myrtle Clover, an octogenarian protagonist:
“An unwelcome glimpse of herself in a shiny, copper kitchen pot revealed an Einstein-like image scowling back at her. She patted down her wispy poof of hair into a semblance of order and squinted at the rooster clock hanging on her kitchen wall.”
Myrtle Clover is just one of many victims of Parke Stockard, busybody and pocket dictator, who seems to be taking over everything from the flower arrangements of the church to the columns of the Bradley Bugle. As if that isn´t enough, the woman openly flaunts her beauty! She shouldn´t have done that, and of course she does not live to regret it.
Myrtle, a retired teacher and the mother of the local police chief, may seem a tiny bit on the bossy side herself. Retirement in sleepy Bradley is so boring that she has to stick her nose in everything criminal going on, keen on beating her son to solving the murder – and proving she is not rest home material yet.
In an effort to keep Myrtle peacefully preoccupied, her son signs her up for voluntary work in the church. Furious, she pays back immediately by dragging out her large army of ceramic gnomes, displaying them in the front yard, a real eyesore to her son and daughter-in-law who live across the street.
If you like your mysteries cozy, you´ll love the small-town environment, laugh at the committee ladies and recognize their ridiculous squabbles along with Myrtle´s merciless murder-hunt.