Friday 13 November 2020




WARNING: Gertrude can be a bit of a crank!

She shoots from the hip, is unburdened by tact, and likes things done her way. Yet, the people who know her adore her. 

It's a mystery.

Speaking of which, Gertrude never set out to be a sleuth. She was just minding her own business among her many, many collections (including her cat collection), when her neighbor went missing. With no one else around to help, Gertrude stepped in to solve the case--and found out she's got quite a knack for snooping.

You will love Gertrude, because she's laugh-out-loud, outlandishly funny. 

Another day, another new-to-me author, and a cozy mystery to boot complete with old lady with a walker, a sharp tongue and a plethora of cats.

Gertrude while searching for one of her cats, stumbles across a couple of frightened children, alone in a trailer. Their mum went off to work and never came back. Gertrude promises to help them and after searching the woman's trailer for some inkling as to where she went discovers some dirty polaroids featuring some prominent men around town. Allied with some regular cash deposits into a bank account, Gertrude surmises that the kid's mum is doing more than just waitressing at the local strip joint.

Gertrude after visiting one of the men in the photos place of work, find the corpse of the missing women. Disgruntled at being made to feel foolish by the local cops, she decides to uncover the murderer, as the police - so blatantly incompetent - will surely fail. A new amateur investigator is born.

Initially I found it quite hard to warm to the main character, but as the book wasn't too long, and I'd started listening to it at work anyway, I persisted and by the end without wishing she was my grandmother, I had thawed somewhat towards her. She's cranky, cantakerous, obstinate, feisty and pretty fearless. She watches every penny, she doesn't have a lot, she coupon clips and here she gets the job done. Along the way, Gertrude recruits a reluctant neighbour with wheels and some ready cash to assist her investigation. They make quite a double act. 

Far from the best book ever written and read, but enough there to keep me interested in the outcome. The dialogue is a bit corny in places, I can't recall any profanities and there's no graphic violence or major incidents. A few visits to a strip club to interview the dancers and staff are as risque as it gets. Good clean fun with an ok murder mystery at it's heart.

3 from 5 

At some point I'll revisit the series, but I'm in no particular rush to get to the next one. 

Read - (listened to) November, 2020

Published - 2016

Page count - 190 pages (3 hrs 46 mins)

Source - Audible purchase

Format - Audible


  1. I know exactly what you mean, Col, about not warming to characters right away. That's happened to me, too. And there are times when just staying with it is what's needed. Gertrude does sound like a singular sort of character, and I respect that. I like it when characters are not 'cookie cutter.'

    1. Margot, I probably enjoyed it as much as I expected to. I'm curious to see how I get on with the second one.

  2. Sounds more like my kind of thing than yours, Col, and I might be tempted, I like a grumpy protagonist.

    1. Probably, Moira. It's another one on the scoreboard for me.

  3. I like the idea of a cat collection, but might be too cozy for me.

    1. Hmm, you probably have plenty to read already.

  4. Gruff old lady sounds like a fun character. Thanks, Col.

    1. Elgin, I'm sure we have all crossed paths with a similar character in our lives, not just our reading!