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Authors: Getting Old Is Murder

Rita Lakin_Gladdy Gold_01

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GETTING OLD IS MURDER

Rita Lakin

Contents

Title Page

Dedication

Epigraph

Introduction to
Our Characters

Map of Lanai Gardens

Gladdy's Glossary

Death By Delivery

Chapter 1: Gladdy Gets Going

Chapter 2: Walking

Chapter 3: Swimming

Chapter 4: The Designated
Driver

Chapter 5: Going into Town,
Or Trying to

Chapter 6: Supermarket
Shuffle

Chapter 7: No Rest for the
Weary

Chapter 8: Library and
Liberation

Chapter 9: Dinner at the
Deli

Chapter 10: A Waltons' Good
Night

Chapter 11: Death by
Chocolate

Chapter 12: Getting Old Is
Murder

Chapter 13: Funerals on the
Run

Chapter 14: Murder Will Out

Chapter 15: Making a
Decision

Chapter 16: Keystone Kops
and Nosy Neighbors

Chapter 17: Canasta

Chapter 18: Old-Timer's
Disease

Chapter 19: Gladdy's
Gladiators

Chapter 20: Job Descriptions

Chapter 21: Kronk Strikes
Again

Chapter 22: Ye Olde
Curiosity Shoppe

Chapter 23: Lust in the Heat

Chapter 24: Death by
Dumpster

Chapter 25: Sing Gypsy, Cry
Gypsy, Die Gypsy

Chapter 26: Death of a Poet

Chapter 27: Digging up the
Dirt?

Chapter 28: Where Did
Everybody Go?

Chapter 29: My Worst
Nightmare

Chapter 30: Nobody's Talking

Chapter 31: The Dating Game

Chapter 32: Back to Reality

Chapter 33: The Living Dead

Chapter 34: Back in
Business Again

Chapter 35: Warning the
Victim-to-Be

Chapter 36: Double Feature

Chapter 37: Stuck in the
Minimall

Chapter 38: No Way to Treat
a Mother

Chapter 39: Death by Poppy
Seed

Chapter 40: The Cop and the
Private Eye

Chapter 41: M Is for
Mothers and Murder

Chapter 42: Feeling the
Blues

Chapter 43: To Sleep,
Perchance to Dream

Chapter 44: Poor Denny

Chapter 45: Scavenger Hunt

Chapter 46: Book Soup

Chapter 47: The Very Sad
Story of a Very Foolish Mother

Chapter 48: Now What Do We
Do?

Chapter 49: Poor Harriet

Chapter 50: The New Old
(Not an Oxymoron)

Chapter 51: All's Well . . .

Acknowledgments

About the Author

Preview of Getting
Old Is the Best Revenge

Copyright Page

Introduction to Our Characters

GLADDY & HER GLADIATORS

Gladys (Gladdy) Gold, 75
Our heroine, and
her
funny, adorable, sometimes impossible partners:

Evelyn (Evvie) Markowitz, 73
Gladdy's
sister.
Logical, a regular Sherlock Holmes

Ida Franz, 71
Stubborn, mean, great for
in-your-face confrontation

Bella Fox, 83
"The shadow." She's so
forgettable, she's perfect for surveillance, but smarter than you think

Sophie Meyerbeer, 80
Master of disguises,
she
lives for color-coordination

Francie Charles, 77
Always optimistic,
Gladdy's best friend

YENTAS, KIBITZERS, SUFFERERS:

THE INHABITANTS OF PHASE TWO

Hy Binder, 88
A man of a thousand jokes, all
of them tasteless

Lola Binder, 78
His wife, who hasn't a
thought in her head that he hasn't put there

Denny Ryan, 42
The handyman. Sweet, kind,
mentally slow

Enya Slovak, 84
Survivor of "the camps" but
never survived

Harriet Feder, 44
"Poor Harriet," stuck with
caring for her mother

Esther Feder, 77
Harriet's mom in a
wheelchair. What a nag

Tessie Hoffman, 56
Chubby, in mourning for
her best friend

Millie Weiss, 80
Suffering with Alzheimer's,
and

Irving Weiss, 86
Suffering because she's
suffering

Mary Mueller, 60
and

John Mueller, 60
Nosy neighbors

ODDBALLS AND FRUITCAKES

The Canadians, 30ish
Young, tan, and clueless

Leo (Mr. Sleaze) Slezak, 50
Smarmy real
estate broker

Greta Kronk, 88
Crazy like a fox

Sol Spankowitz, 79
A lech after the ladies

THE COP AND THE COP'S POP

Morgan (Morrie) Langford, 35
Tall, lanky,
sweet, and smart

Jack Langford, 75
Handsome and romantic

THE LIBRARY MAVENS

Conchetta Aguilar, 38
Her Cuban coffee could
grow hair on your chest

Barney Schwartz, 27
Loves a good puzzle

AND

Yolanda Diaz, 22
Her English is bad, but her
heart is good

Gladdy's Glossary

Yiddish (meaning Jewish) came into being between the
ninth and twelfth centuries in Germany as adaptation of German dialect
to the special uses of Jewish religious life.

In the early twentieth century, Yiddish was spoken by
eleven million Jews in Eastern Europe and the United States. Its use
declined radically. However, lately there has been a renewed interest
in embracing Yiddish once again as a connection to Jewish culture.

a choleria

a curse on you (get cholera)

a klog iz mi

woe is me

aleha ha-shalom

rest in peace

alter kuckers

lecherous old men

chozzerai

a lot of nonsense

dreck

dirt, filth

fahputzed

overly done

farbissener

embittered person

farblondjet

bewildered

gefilte fish

stuffed fish

geshrei

uproar

gonif

thief

Gott im Himmel

God in heaven

Kaddish

mourner's prayer

kasha

buckwheat groats

kasha varnishkas

groats & bowtie noodles

kibitz

someone offering unwanted
advice

knish

meat or potato filled
wonton

kreplach

like a wonton

kurveh

whore

kvetch

whining & complaining

maven

someone who knows
everything

meeskite

ugly one

meshugeneh

crazy

mitzvah

a blessing

ongepatshket

overdone, cluttered

oy

an exclamation for
emotions

oy gevalt

an anguished cry

pisher

a squirt, a nobody

putz

penis

rugallah

pastry with fillings

schlep

dragging a load

schmaltz

fat

schmear

to coat with butter or
cream cheese

shayner boychik

darling boy

shayner kindlach

beautiful children

shikseh

non-Jewish girl

shmegegi

a fool

shnapps

whiskey

shpilkes

on pins and needles

vantz

bedbug

vay iz mir

woe is me

yenta

busybody

Death by Delivery

T
he poison was in the pot
roast.

In a few hours Selma Beller would be dead. This was
regrettable because tomorrow was her birthday and she was so looking
forward to it. Her husband, Ernie, had keeled over at seventy-nine.
Having beaten him at gin rummy and shuffleboard, she had gleefully
intended to beat him yet again, this time to the big eight-oh. Alas,
poor Selma.

While she was waiting to die, Selma was dusting.

Dust was her enemy. And she battled mightily. No
fragile feather duster for her. And forget that sissy stuff like lemon
Pledge. She used good old-fashioned Lysol, confident that neither dust
nor germ escaped its lethal dose. Death to dust, she thought and then
laughed, dust to dust.

Looking up, Selma glanced at the clock. Where
had
the
afternoon gone? It was nearly dinnertime. Too bad her best (and only)
friend, Tessie, was busy tonight with out-of-town visitors. She should
have gone shopping this morning. Oh, well, there was always cottage
cheese, with a piece of cut-up peach and some sour cream. She wrinkled
up her nose. What she really craved was red meat. Bloody and rare.

There was a knock on the door.

Selma groped around for her glasses, misplaced, as
usual. Giving up, she moved as quickly as she could manage toward the
door, automatically straightening the doily on the arm of her emerald
green recliner. Glancing toward the array of grandchildren's photos on
her foyer table, she blew a kiss at the smiling faces.

"Who is it?" she trilled. She would never open the
door to a stranger.

"Delivery. Meals on Wheels."

Squinting through the peephole, Selma, though her
vision was blurred, identified the familiar shopping bags with the
Meals on Wheels logo. A volunteer wearing jeans, a windbreaker, a
baseball cap, and sunglasses stood there, arms full.

"Wrong apartment," she said wistfully.

"Mrs. Beller? Apartment two-fifteen?"

"Yes, but I didn't order--"

"Happy birthday to you from Meals on Wheels. A
special introductory order."

"Really?" Selma was feeling the beginnings of hope.
"Something smells wonderful. What's in the bags?"

The volunteer consulted a piece of paper. "Pot
roast.
Stuffed cabbage rolls. Mushroom and barley soup, potato pancakes with
sour cream, and apple strudel for dessert."

Practically drooling, Selma unlocked the deadbolt
her
son, Heshy, had installed, then the other two safety locks.

She squinted again as the volunteer entered with the
packages. "Don't I know you? You look familiar. . . ." But Selma was
distracted as she sniffed the air in appreciation. "I can't wait," she
said as she took the bags and carried them into her spotless kitchen.
She quickly unwrapped the containers and began setting them out on her
best Melmac dishes on her small white Formica dinette table.

"I just hope the soup isn't too salty. My blood
pressure, you know."

A wrought-iron chair was pulled out for her.
Smiling,
she let herself be seated.

"At your service, Mrs. Beller."

"What a way to go." Selma giggled, tucking her
napkin
in.

Those were Selma Beller's final words. The last
thing
she
saw as she was starting to lose consciousness was the logo on the Meals
on Wheels shopping bags as the killer calmly refolded them, and her
last fading thought was that the pot roast had been a little stringy. .
. .

BOOK: Rita Lakin_Gladdy Gold_01
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