Mrs. Plansky’s Revenge by Spencer Quinn

If you don’t know what to read, what is your go-to? I gravitate towards cozy mysteries starring elderly people. My latest read was Mrs. Plansky’s Revenge, the first book in the new Mrs. Plansky series written by Spencer Quinn, a pseudonym used by author Peter Abrahams. Spencer Quinn is most known for his Chet and Bernie Mystery series that started in 2009, starring Chet the dog and his human partner PI Bernie Little.

Mrs. Loretta Plansky has been dealing with a lot lately: her husband has just died, her retirement in Florida is mired with dealing with her cantankerous 98-year-old father, and her children and grandchildren are constantly asking her for money. As a recent widow in her seventies, Loretta just wants to spend her day playing tennis and enjoying her new hip!

Mrs. Plansky receives a phone call in the middle of the night from her grandson, Will, saying that he has been arrested and needs ten thousand dollars. After asking some questions, she decides to give him the money. She sends him her bank details, delighted to receive another phone call a short while later saying that Will has the money and has been released. She heads back to sleep, happy that Will is safe.

Loretta wakes up the next morning and phone calls start pouring in. She is shocked to discover that she has lost everything. Her bank and her financial advisor call to say that she drew her accounts down to zero the night before, millions of dollars gone in the blink of an eye. Loretta soon finds herself in meetings with law enforcement who inform her that her life savings are gone and unfortunately there isn’t much they can do to help her. The scammers are gone, their heist complete, and Loretta is left with nothing. After processing her emotions, she decides to start investigating on her own, following the only clue that she has to a small village in Romania. Mrs. Plansky wants her money back. She isn’t a fool and won’t be taken advantage of anymore.

This was a good introduction to a new series, enough to have me hoping that the subsequent books in the series will be more entertaining. Typically cozy mysteries have a main character with a quirky sidekick, but this book popped back and forth between two view points: 1) Mrs. Plansky and 2) the scammers in Romania. Mrs. Plansky spend the majority of the book by herself with no relief or help. The story focused instead on her forgetfulness as a character, which was distracting. Thankfully about 80% of the way through, some helpers popped into Mrs. Plansky’s life, adding some comic relief to the story. Hopefully these characters are also present in the next books.

This title is also available in large print.

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