From the Stacks
By Carol Ann Robb, PPL Reference Librarian
I can remember the dismay I felt the first time someone called me “ma’am.” I’m not sure I was even 30 yet. Neither was I amused when years later I was asked at the movie theater if I got the senior discount, though I’m sure that to the teen-aged employee everyone older than 25 looked eligible (and if I had been smart rather than offended, I would have jumped at the chance at a cheaper ticket). Perhaps I should have been more concerned that I looked older than I was.
Now I proudly inform cashiers that I’m a certain age when there’s a senior discount available; I’d rather save money than save face. And it does prevent the almost-always younger clerk the dilemma of asking.
When I first saw publicity for Deanna Raybourn’s latest book, “Killers of a Certain Age,” it immediately went on my “must read” list. It ticked off boxes for me: mystery, mature women protagonists, and assassins. Doesn’t that sound like a great book?
Apparently, many readers thought so since I had to wait months before I found it on the shelf at the same time I needed a book. I was immediately hooked and raced through it.
In a nutshell, Billie, Mary Alice, Helen, and Natalie met forty years ago when they became the first women trained to work for the Museum, an elite network of assassins (they only kill those who deserve it). Now the organization is treating them to a retirement cruise as they are considered too old-school, not to mention, just too old, to function as trained killers. Yet the four women know far too much to simply sail into the sunset, so the younger, male members of the Museum’s board have plans to permanently silence them. However, they failed to realize that with age comes wisdom and the four friends are about to show them to never underestimate women eligible for the senior discount.
Buzzfeed called this book “… Golden Girls meets James Bond…” but be aware these four women are no Blanche, Dorothy, Rose, or Sophia. “Killers of a Certain Age” takes a subtle look at the discrimination that seniors face from a society that often seems to worship youth over experience and wisdom. Those of a certain age may not move as fast, but still have the know-how to outsmart those foolish enough to underestimate them.
I liked this book a lot, possibly because I identified with the women. Not the assassination bit but sometimes being dismissed for not being young and hip (no doubt that reference dates me). No matter your age—put this title on your list.