The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules

When Lily of the Valley retirement home in Stockholm is sold to ghastly new owners and renamed Diamond House, the cloistered pensioners who reside there get fed up. Their food is "delivered and served under cellophane wrapping," and budget cuts curb their daily coffee consumption. Believing they would be better treated and have more freedom in prison, a group of five friends who, in their late 50s, decided to live together in old age, start a rebellion to test their theory. Banded together by 79-year-old, childless, crime fiction fan Martha Andersson, the "League of Pensioners" goes on the lam. The quintet--handsome, dapper Rake; Oscar "Brains," an optimistic solution-finder and inventor; Christina, who's in search of simple pleasures; and hard of hearing Anna-Greta, a former banker and financier--set out to rob from the rich and contribute the funds to improve living conditions for seniors throughout Sweden. After a successful robbery at a luxury hotel, they pull off the heist of a Renoir and a Monet from the National Museum that ultimately lands them behind bars. The paintings, however, proceed to elude the police and ultimately, even the Yugoslavian mafia.

A comedy of errors, oversights and obstacles infuse Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg's clever U.S. debut, and the hilarious, escalating antics of a spirited cast of walker-dependent characters in their 70s and 80s will have readers of all ages rooting for their cause. --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines

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