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Living with Your Kids Is Murder: A Paul Jacobson Geezer-Lit Mystery (Five Star First Edition Mystery) Hardcover – April 1, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Befeler's cleverly plotted if somewhat sleepy second cozy (after 2007's Retirement Homes Are Murder), 85-year-old crime magnet Paul Jacobson, who suffers from short-term memory loss, moves from Hawaii to Boulder, Colo., to live with his middle-aged son, his son's wife and their 12-year-old daughter. On the plane, Paul sits next to a sales representative for Colorado Mountain Retirement Properties, who's dead by flight's end from what's later determined to be a martial arts body blow delivered while most other passengers were asleep. Once in Boulder, Paul attends a CMRP presentation, where the speaker winds up dead with a broken neck. Suspecting CMRP is involved in fraud, Paul launches an investigation with the help of his aspiring sleuth granddaughter that grows to include other cases. Adding spice is Paul's old girlfriend from Hawaii, who admires Paul of the Geezer Enforcement Squad for not letting age or disability get in the way of his living life to its fullest. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


It's hard to beat a team that includes a wisecracking old fart and a straight-talking young sprout, and Befeler's second geezer-lit entry delivers. --Kirkus Review

This is a book that I whizzed through in a very short time.The efforts of the protagonist, Paul Jacobson, to extricate himself from police suspicion were interesting and well done. --I Love A Mystery

In Colorado-based Befeler's second series cozy (after Retirement Homes Are Murder), 80-year-old Paul, suffering short-term memory loss, wakes up in his son's home and is accused of murder. --Library Journal

This will make you laugh often. --Fort Collins Coloradoan

This "Geezer-Lit" amateur sleuth is a fun tale as Paul overcomes his handicap and age through his journal and his courage to keep going while wisecracking all the way including takings shots at himself and his lawyer. --The Mystery Gazette

Product Details

  • Series: Five Star First Edition Mystery
  • Hardcover: 261 pages
  • Publisher: Five Star (ME); 1 edition (April 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594147612
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594147616
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,143,248 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

In the May, 2008, issue of the AARP Bulletin Mike Befeler was identified as one of four authors in a new emerging mystery sub-genre. Harlan Coben, president of Mystery Writers of America stated, "We've just scratched the surface on geezer-lit. It could be the next frontier in crime fiction." Mike turned his attention to fiction writing after a career in high technology marketing. His debut novel, RETIREMENT HOMES ARE MURDER, was published January, 2007. The second novel in his Paul Jacobson Geezer-lit Mystery Series, LIVING WITH YOUR KIDS IS MURDER, appeared April, 2009,and was nominated for the prestigious Lefty Award for the best humorous mystery novel of 2009. The third book in the series, SENIOR MOMENTS ARE MURDER, was published August, 2011. The fourth book in the series, CRUISING IN YOUR EIGHTIES IS MURDER, appeared in December, 2012, and was a finalist for The Lefty Award for best humorous mystery novel of 2012. Book five in the series, CARE HOMES ARE MURDER, was released in June, 2013. Book six in the series, NURSING HOMES ARE MURDER, was published May, 2014. Mike's theater mystery, MYSTERY OF THE DINNER PLAYHOUSE (January, 2015), introduces a whole new cast of characters. Mike also has a paranormal private investigator mystery,THE V V AGENCY,that was published in April, 2013, and a paranormal geezer-lit mystery, THE BACK WING, that came out in August, 2013. His first non-fiction book, FOR LIBERTY: A WORLD WAR II SOLDIER'S INSPIRING LIFE STORY OF COURAGE, SACRIFICE, SURVIVAL AND RESILIENCE was released May, 2015. In October, 2015, his first historical mystery, MURDER ON THE SWITZERLAND TRAIL, was published. Mike is active in organizations promoting a positive image of aging. He holds a Master's degree from UCLA and a Bachelor's degree from Stanford. He grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii, and now lives in Lakewood, California. Mike is past president of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of Mystery Writers of America.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on April 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Having proven that RETIREMENT HOMES ARE MURDER with the help of a close blind friend Meyer and an Asperger's sufferer Henry, octogenarian Paul Jacobson leaves Hawaii to live with his son Denny, his daughter-in-law Allison and his twelve years old granddaughter Jennifer in Boulder. Paul suffers from a short term memory issue in which he loses all recall of what happened once he falls asleep. Due to Meyer he knows to write down the highlight film in his journal to inform the old geezer what is going on.

On the plane he dozed off before jotting anything down that occurred in flight. When he awakens he pushes his row companion off his shoulder only to realize the man is dead. He is the prime suspect in the martial arts chop to the neck death of Daniel Reynolds, a sales representative for Colorado Mountain Retirement Properties. Paul visits the Centennial Community Center to hear a pitch from another Colorado Mountain Retirement Properties rep Randall Swathes. Afterward, he finds the man dead in his car. Paul is the prime suspect. Soon he becomes accused of several other crimes. With his granddaughter as his lawyer, Paul investigates the two homicides while struggling to remember the identities of the two "young" women in his life.

The second "Geezer-Lit" amateur sleuth is a fun tale as Paul overcomes his handicap and age through his journal and his courage to keep going while wisecracking all the way including taking shots at himself and his lawyer. The story line contains several crimes besides the murder that either Paul or Jennifer resolve as he seems to step in it all the time. Readers will enjoy this fine cozy summarized nicely by overworked Boulder Police Detective Launo who says Paul is a crime wave as the prime suspect in 25% of his case load and that does not include the homicide on the jet (investigated by Detective Hamilton).

Harriet Klausner
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cathy G. Cole TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 30, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First Line: My eyes opened in the dim light.

In this second book in the "Geezer Lit" mystery series, 85-year-old Paul Jacobson has left the nursing home in Hawaii and has flown to Boulder, Colorado, to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and 12-year-old granddaughter. Unfortunately the passenger sitting next to him on the plane is dead by journey's end, and since Paul was seen arguing with him, the folks in law enforcement are looking at him with very narrowed eyes.

It just so happens that Paul has short-term memory loss. Every time he goes to sleep, he wakes up with his mind wiped clean of recent events, so he's not much help when he's questioned-- and it makes him cranky. When he attends a Colorado Mountain Retirement Properties presentation (the company the dead man on the plane worked for), another CMRP employee is killed, and Paul is convinced that the property company is at the bottom of it all. In no time, he and his granddaughter, Jennifer, set out to find a killer.

This series is laced with humor, and at the heart of it is the wisecracking old fart, Paul Jacobson. He's learned to minimize the effects of his memory loss by writing the day's events in a journal each night and then reading it when he gets up in the morning. When he arrives at his son's home, the first thing he does is ask his daughter-in-law Allison what the family's daily routine is, and what chores he can take care of. Allison gives him dog-walking duty, and his walks not only let him get acquainted with the neighborhood and the town, they have a tendency to get him in hot water.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tina on December 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the worst books I've read in quite a while. I am an avid fan of senior-sleuth cozy mysteries, but this one was full of redundancies and farfetched ideas. Also, the concept of having the main character with a memory that he loses every day when he goes to sleep made for a bad story. The reader has to hear about said memory issues repeatedly. And I mean REPEATEDLY! The writer must think his readers have memory loss as well. The book had little to do with the murder sub-plot and much to do about nothing. I believe this is the second book in the series, but I won't be backtracking to read the first or going on to the third. I'm still struggling through this one. A waste of time.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr James N Simpson on November 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Mike Befeler has brought back Paul Jacobson and his brain that resets his recent memory as he awakens each morning. Paul can remember in minute detail most of his life up to six years ago, but asked him what happened before he closed his eyes and nodded off and he can't remember a thing. This time Paul awakens on a plane, annoyed by a passenger leaning on him he pushes him away then wonders exactly where he is. While he ponders this it becomes apparent to others that the guy Paul pushed is dead. Unbeknownst to Paul, earlier in the flight he had an argument with the deceased which is passed onto the police along with his supposed violence towards that passenger when he woke up. Also unbeknownst to Paul he is flying from Hawaii to live with his son's family for a while, which includes his twelve year old wannabe lawyer grand daughter Jennifer. She reminds him of the crimes they solved together back in Hawaii when she came to visit and of his writing journal to remember the recent past. When he stumbles upon a scam ripping off retirees, Paul is determined to get to the bottom of it. However along the way Paul just seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, time and time again when crimes are occurring. Of course he can't remember if he did any of it or not but reading his journal writing each morning is sure he didn't. Of course the police aren't so sure he's innocent. It's up to Jennifer to remind him, and for Paul to do the legwork in solving each crime to clear Paul's name.

It's not a bad story, has a bit of a cheesy convenient doorbell related happenings at the end which the story probably would have been better without. It also lacks something without the other old age eccentric characters from the Kina Nani, Hawaiian retirement complex in the first novel.
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