Monday Book Review: Armed and Outrageous


Madison Johns distinctly redefines what ‘Older’ and ‘Elderly’ means to a whole lot of people.

When John’s introduces Agnes Barton, she comes across as snobbish, highbrow, elitist-just plain unlikable. She is rude, treats people like something she finds smeared on the bottom of her shoes. As the book goes on, John’s brings Agnes down to earth through several mishaps and becomes a bit more humbled. As an aside, we never find out who the short, stocky blonde is on the covers of this series. How is that relevant to the plots? Is it the author? An explanation would be nice.

The characters are fully three-dimensional, much to the regret of many readers, by reading other reviews of the book. The elderly should be asexual, withered, shells and husks of human beings, devoid of emotion, feeling, touch, according to these narrow-minded readers.  What John’s gives us, is a sneak peek into the minds, wants and needs of many older people and surprise! They still get horny, they still have attractions and they still have feelings that get hurt.

What I didn’t care for was Agnes’ constant put downs of everyone in her town. If she was so miserable, why did she stay? From her cover drawing and descriptions in the book, she would have felt more comfortable in New York, California, London or Paris. Not some backwater hole in the mud town in some northern rural state.  Still, Johns manages to write a decent mystery, stringing clues along and missteps to keep the reader guessing.

She did write Agnes and her sidekick a bit too resilient for 70 and 80 something year olds with endless, boundless energy instead of showing how tired older people really get and so forth. This is a great first effort for a mystery, I give 3 stars.

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