A third, vastly more potent dose of geriatric homicide for Laura Michaels, assistant director of Oklahoma's Timberdale Retirement Center. First, Violet Mayberry, who detoured en route to the neighboring JiffyGrub to check out a blinking red light, is attacked and left for dead. Then Davidson Bell, a new resident who has ideas of his own about the mysterious red light and weed- trimmer Violet says she saw, meets the same fate. As James Aikman, the deadeyed security guard whom Laura's heartless boss Judith Epperman has brought in to reassure the surviving residents, patrols the grounds beating and terrorizing whoever makes one false move—talk about the cure being worse than the disease—Miles (a.k.a. Jack Bickman) expertly coaxes suspicion, suspense, and a frisson of fear out of his cast of endearing old warhorses right up to the neatly satisfying end. A welcome leap from the contrivances of Murder in Retirement (1994) to the open air of everyday life at Timberdale. Shame on you, though, if Laura and her beau, Deputy Aaron Lassiter, dope this one out before you do.
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