Picture your grandmother as a crimefighting super hero. Then picture her with her own team of fellow heroes. Now prepare to laugh yourself silly as Janet Babin brings this picture to life with six senior citizens working undercover as insurance investigators in “Shadows in the Night.”
Babin has created a group of readily identifiable women who don’t want to be stuck on a shelf. Narrator Jen worked as a legal secretary; her best friend Barbara knows all of Jen’s secrets, since they grew up together; Mattie retired as a gym teacher and uses a walker because of a bilateral knee replacement; Margie earned sharpshooter awards during her service as an Army sergeant; Cookie, an overweight retired computer analyst, handles the electronic side of their investigations. The sixth member of the team is Belle, a woman who looks a decade younger than her sixty years.
The six women each bring different skills to the process and join in to take their Senior Quilting Society up a notch to SQS, freelance investigators helping investigate insurance fraud in south Mississippi and environs. In between potty stops and sleepovers, the ladies solve bank robberies and murders. They’ve come out of retirement and into covert operations as part of a desire to remain relevant.
An unfinished quilt sits in the quilting frame awaiting the return of the intrepid adventurers as they undertake their first case, surveillance on a man claiming a disabling injury. As they complete their first assignment, the group decides to continue as investigators and takes on a question of accidental death vs. murder. As the ladies work out their logistics and follow suspects all over the South, you’ll find yourself wondering why more agencies don’t hire stealthy seniors to investigate wrongdoing.
The book has moments of white knuckle suspense interspersed with hilarity and throughout, the wit of the mature ladies sees them through trouble. They use their brains and resources rather than brute strength, but they get the job done.
They want to be where the action happens and that’s exactly where Babin puts them. They take road trips and face armed intruders. With feminine intuition and the wisdom of their years, the ladies work to have a little fun and bring the truth to light. Oh, and they happen to make some money along the way, which doesn’t hurt.
Babin uses occasional salty language and the women engage in some earthy conversation, but the book will appeal to readers who like feisty heroine and intricate mysteries. In the vein of television’s “Barnaby Jones” and “Murder She Wrote,” and Lorena McCourtney’s Ivy Malone novels, Janet Babin gives senior citizens a chance to show their stuff in her first novel. As she notes, “Old age is the perfect disguise.”
“Shadows in the Night” by Janet Babin
Published by PublishAmerica LLLC (part of America Star Books LLLC)
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