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Living With Your Kids Is Murder: A Paul Jacobson Geezer-lit Mystery (Five Star First Edition Mystery) Hardcover – April 15, 2009
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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.)
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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
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Paul Jacobson suffers from severe short-term memory loss and if he doesn't chronicle his day in a journal each night before going to sleep, he awakes the next morning with complete amnesia of the past six years. The diary really helps.
Paul is also the most unfortunate man in the world as to being a crime 'magnet.' In this volume, he is next to (literally,) two murders, a cash theft, a burglary, and vandalism. He offers to pay his granddaughter, a Hawaiian beanie baby for each case she and he solves. Let's just say, the girl will soon need a new shelf.
Paul is also attractive to senior Ladies. In fact he finds himself with two girlfriends and must make a choice. He does and the romance flourishes with a few close moments in closets etc.
I enjoyed reading Paul's exploits.
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.
You see, every time Paul turns around, he's being pinned with committing a crime-- theft, chopping down trees, using bad language and gestures around small boys-- the list is long and confirms the fact that he is a crime magnet. Each and every time he's questioned by the police, he can't help making wisecracks, and I can picture the twinkle in his eye as he does it. The police are not amused, but Paul's got a secret weapon on his side: his very bright, very forthright, and very devious granddaughter. The two of them together make quite the team.
The identity of the killer in this book was rather easy for me to deduce, but that's not the focus of Living With Your Kids Is Murder. The real focus is Paul Jacobson himself. Mike Befeler has given us a feisty character with a disability that would make many others in his shoes give up and plant themselves in a chair by the window so they can stare glumly outside day after day feeling sorry for themselves. Paul refuses to do this. He has close and loving relationships with the members of his family, he makes friends easily and helps them as much as he can... he even winds up with two girlfriends, and by book's end is ready for yet another adventure.
Paul Jacobson will not go quietly into that good night, and we readers are the richer for it.
Moving in with his grown son's family in Boulder, Colorado seems like a good idea. Spending time with his amateur sleuth granddaughter is a delight. When Paul is suspected of murder, the living arrangement becomes problematic. Paul's memory condition complicates his attempts to clear his name.
The second book in the Paul Jacobson series is as fast-paced as the first. While the story is laugh-out-loud funny, the author also delivers the tribulations of senior citizens with poignancy. This was a fun read with a suitably complicated mystery.