8 November 2009

Review: LIVING WITH YOUR KIDS IS MURDER, Mike Befeler

This book, #2 in the Paul Jacobsen Geezer-Lit Mystery series, is the first book I've completed reading on my new Kindle. I noticed also that this book is available as an audio from Audible.

Finding that it was available on Kindle was great because the paper versions don't appear to be available yet here in Australia, and the US versions are quite expensive.

I read and reviewed the first in the series, RETIREMENT HOMES ARE MURDER, earlier this year after we had been to Left Coast Crime in Hawaii and met the author Mike Befeler there.

The background to the series is that 85 year old Paul Jacobson has short term memory loss. Like most elderly people he remembers things from the past very well, but most of them will be thankful they don't have his peculiar affliction - sleep wipes the slate of his memory perfectly clean. So if he takes a nap, all that preceded it is gone, and overnight sleep erases the previous day. To counteract that, in the first in the series, Paul's granddaughter got him to write a daily journal so that he can read it the following day and and least get some idea of what he has been doing. In RETIREMENT HOMES ARE MURDER, Paul was living on Hawaii in a retirement home, but his son Denny thought that was too far away and has persuaded Paul to come to live with his family in Boulder Colorado. The idea is really to keep a better eye on Paul, who always seemed to be getting into serious trouble in Hawaii.

But Paul's move to Boulder doesn't start too well - the man he is sitting next to on the plane rather inconveniently dies, and that's just the start of a succession of serious situations for Paul.
Like the earlier title LIVING WITH YOUR KIDS is an irreverent poke at the lives of the elderly. You'll discover for example that there is one thing that Paul can do that seems to prevent his memory loss, but is it a sustainable solution? Paul's son Denny is worrying that his memory may be going the same way, his daughter-in-law Allison is amazingly welcome, and his 12 year old granddaughter is delightful, a sleuth and lawyer in the making.

I kept thinking of what an amazing job the author Mike Befeler does of keeping his wires uncrossed. We, the reader, basically see the world through Paul Jacobson's eyes, and of course we can remember a lot of what he has forgotten. Just occasionally I felt like poking Paul, to tell him that we had already discovered the answer to that question - why the heck didn't he write it down!

You can probably tell from my tone that I thoroughly enjoyed reading LIVING WITH YOUR KIDS IS MURDER. I think Mike Befeler has hit on a story line that the elderly will find enjoyable too. It's not a long read - the hardcover version is 261 pages. ISBN-13: 978-1594147616.

My rating : 4.4

1 comment:

Margot Kinberg said...

Thanks, Kerrie, for the review. I alawys like it so much when there's an interesting quirk like Paul's memory loss. I even like the title of this one! It seems that Befeler is someone I should put on my list of authors to look for!

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