Ever fantasize robbing a bank to take care of your financial issues? Don’t lie to me! I KNOW you have. We all have that fantasy. That one, and the one where we win the kabillion dollar lottery, or the one where we stumble over a chest full of gold coins and jewelry on the beach.
Mags is 83, feisty, down-to-earth, a chick you would actually like to meet, not at all like your crabby great Aunt Harriet who moans and complains all the time. Mags is one of 22 elderly residents of the Dawn Redwood Mobile Home Estates living off her social security check, as were most of the others. The park had been established in 1953 and was the last remaining mobile park in the city limits. The owner, son of the original creator of the park, promised his dying mother he wouldn’t raise the rent or sell the park until the last of the residents, all of whom were over 75, either moved away or died.
But alas, Raymond, the current owner, had been out of work for 15 months, had fallen way behind on the mortgage he had to take out to make city-mandated improvements to the grounds, and foreclosure was imminent. And all due to a few of the local pols who wanted the ground because some of them owned property contiguous to the park, to build high priced condos or something which would benefit them personally. The heck with the oldies whose homes would be taken from them.
What to do? What to do? Well, Harvey, the best friend of Mags, comes up with the idea to rob a bank. Not just any bank, but the bank that holds the mortgage, and which just happens to be only a couple of blocks from the park. His idea is to rob the bank, and then get caught, because let’s face it, how are a bunch of geriatric geezers going to get away with robbing a bank? Then, when he is caught, he will explain to the surrounding media their plight, give back the money and put out an appeal to all watching that if everyone would send just one dollar, they would have enough to pay off the mortgage and save their homes.
I know what I’m planning is illegal and that I’ll get caught; in fact that’s part of my plan. I want to make the news and have my story go bacterial.
I think you mean viral.
That’s right, viral.
He gets Mags to agree to help, then enlists Larry, who is huge and only able to get around on a motorized scooter thing, Jean, a smart lady, and Batty Betty to drive the get away car, because Betty is one of the very few who has a car and actually still drives. Batty Betty has the beginnings of dementia and isn’t always quite with it, but Harvey thinks he can get her to remember to just sit in the car in the parking lot and wait for them.
But, two days before the planned …. ummmm…. event … Harvey has a heart attack and dies, leaving the gang without its leader, and without its hope for a solution to their housing crises.
Then Mags, Buddha love her, steps up and takes command. They enlist another resident, Melvin, who is rather bent over from osteoarthritis, and has a limp from the war, but is sharp as a tack, to join the gang, and continue on with their plans.
I really really want to tell you how they go about this robbery, but that would be taking all the fun out of it, so you will have to read it for yourself. But be assured, it is clever, and funny and ….
Mags is my total hero. As are all the wrinklies in the story. You really do love everyone of them. It is a feel good book, and as I have told you before, I like feel-good books because I like to feel good, and this book makes me feel very good about my golden years to come. (Hey! Which one of you in the back said “That ship has already sailed”? You’re not going to get invited back if you keep that up.)
This book is something of a departure for Mz. Jarvis, who is the author of the Regan McHenry Real Estate mystery series, one of which, The Murder House, I reviewed here.
The sign-up form to be in my gang is attached. The name of my gang is the Dem Bones Gang.