Book Review: Retirement Can Be Murder

Author: Susan Santangelo

Publisher: Baby Boomer Mystery Press, 2009

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Format: Paperback

Source: The author

My Rating: B+


Carol Andrews has a dilemma: her husband wants to retire and she’s worried he’s going to be hanging around the house with nothing to do. She’s concerned that he might interrupt her freedom and her carefree stay-at-home life style.

So, Carol persuades her husband, Jim, to visit a Retirement Coach. She’s hoping that might slow things down. But, after a few meetings with the coach, Jim is the one who discovers his dead body. The coach has been murdered and Jim is now the prime suspect. Carol decides to snoop around and she enlists the help of her grown kids and her friends.

I liked the story. This is how a cozy “retirement” mystery should be: fun and lighthearted. There’s nothing bloody or gory here. Solving a murder isn’t the only problem or topic going on with the characters so it makes for a well-rounded novel.

I had one little complaint. It’s with Carol. She doesn’t seem to have a clue as to the level of stress her husband is feeling and why he really needs to retire. She seems only concerned with the disruption to her own life. I was much more sympathetic to Jim’s needs. I think women who have worked hard themselves for many years before retirement would find it hard to identify with Carol’s gripes.

All of that is a minor concern on my part. I’m sure others will see this situation differently. It’s small and doesn’t detract from the rest of the story and the reader’s ability to solve the mystery.

One of the fun parts of the book are all the jokes and one-liners at the beginning of each chapter. Here are a few examples:

Q: Among retirees what is considered formal attire?

A: Tied shoes

~ ย ~ ~ ~ ~

Q: What is the biggest advantage of going back to school as a retiree?

A: If you cut classes, no one calls your parents.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Q: What is the first big shock after retirement?

A: When you realize there are no days off.

This book will probably be best appreciated by people in their fifties and beyond, whether retired or not. Although not intemded as a book on retirement, there is a page in the back with discussion questions for those contemplating retirement and the free time it brings. Also in the back, is a recipe that I want to try. It sounds very easy to make. I’m planning to try it soon and I’ll share my results with you.

Retirement Can Be Murder is the first book in a series. The author’s second book, Moving Can Be Murder, was just released in May. I believe there are many more to come.

Check your local library and your local bookstore for copies of this book. Retirement Can Be Murderis also available at Amazon. (I am an Amazon Associate.)

This entry was posted in B Plus Book, Cozy Mysteries and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Book Review: Retirement Can Be Murder

  1. Pingback: Joyfully Retired ยป Book Review: Retirement Can Be Murder | ReviewTica

  2. Sounds like a fun cozy, although I think I would react to Carol the same way you did!

  3. Don’t tell anyone, but Carol kind of sounds like my mother-in-law. I have to admit that I’ve never heard of a retirement coach. This book sounds perfect for you.

  4. Molly says:

    I absolutely the title of this book – and its premise. I will probably put it on my TBR list, with the expectation of having the time to read it when I actually retire ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I love hearing about “new to me” cozies. I think I may be sympathetic towards Jim, too. This will definitely make my TBR list.

  6. kaye says:

    It really can be murder–and this story sounds like a lot of fun.

  7. Staci says:

    I think this one sounds hilarious! and I can see why Carol would be a bit of a problem. She doesn’t want her husband to know that she doesn’t do much while he’s out bringing home the bacon!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  8. kaye says:

    Sounds like a lot of fun. Retirement with both spouses home together 24/7 does take some getting used to and a lot of adjustments.

  9. Carol shapes up a little more in Book 2 of the series, Moving Can Be Murder. Check it out and tell me what you think.

    Susan Santangelo

  10. Oh — I’m afraid I would have trouble being as forgiving of Carol as you are. I’ve met a few women like her in real life and have trouble being nice to them ;>)….as you say, women who have been part of the work force themselves understand the need to retire when the time comes.

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