Out West Books staff picks

Each week as part of SunLit — The Sun’s literature section — we feature staff recommendations from book stores across Colorado. This week, staff from Out West Books in Grand Junction recommends some age-centered murder mysteries.

Killers of a Certain Age

By Deanna Raybourne
September 2022


From the publisher: Billie, Mary Alice, Helen, and Natalie have worked for the Museum, an elite network of assassins, for 40 years. Now their talents are considered old-school and no one appreciates what they have to offer in an age that relies more on technology than people skills.  When the foursome is sent on an all-expenses paid vacation to mark their retirement, they are targeted by one of their own. Only the Board, the top-level members of the Museum, can order the termination of field agents, and the women realize they’ve been marked for death. 

Now to get out alive they have to turn against their own organization, relying on experience and each other to get the job done, knowing that working together is the secret to their survival. They’re about to teach the Board what it really means to be a woman — and a killer — of a certain age.

From Didi Herald, Bookseller: Escaping explosions and bullets, the crafty women lead their replacements on a wild chase. It is a joy to see women of a certain age as intelligent action heroes out maneuvering the top assassins in the world and an organization that has limitless resources. This page turning thriller is a delight. 

Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murders

By Jesse Q. Sutanto
March 2023


From the publisher: Vera Wong is a lonely little old lady — ah, lady of a certain age — who lives above her forgotten tea shop in the middle of San Francisco’s Chinatown. Despite living alone, Vera is not needy, oh no. She likes nothing more than sipping on a good cup of Wulong and doing some healthy detective work on the Internet about what her college-aged son is up to.

Then one morning, Vera trudges downstairs to find a curious thing — a dead man in the middle of her tea shop. In his outstretched hand, a flash drive. Vera doesn’t know what comes over her, but after calling the cops like any good citizen would, she sort of . . . swipes the flash drive from the body and tucks it safely into the pocket of her apron. Why? Because Vera is sure she would do a better job than the police possibly could, because nobody sniffs out wrongdoing quite like a suspicious Chinese mother with time on her hands. Vera knows the killer will be back for the flash drive; all she has to do is watch the increasing number of customers at her shop and figure out which one among them is the killer.

From Didi Herald, Bookseller: Sutanto brings together people who never knew they needed each other with humor and suspense in this delightfully twisty caper. I love the way the author builds the connections between the characters that she imbues with kindness and caring. The characters not only become friends with each other but make readers feel they have just spent some enjoyable time with good friends.

The Thursday Murder Club

By Richard Osman
August 2021


From the publisher:

In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet weekly in the Jigsaw Room to discuss unsolved crimes; together they call themselves the Thursday Murder Club. When a local developer is found dead with a mysterious photograph left next to the body, the Thursday Murder Club suddenly find themselves in the middle of their first live case. As the bodies begin to pile up, can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer, before it’s too late?

From Marya Johnston, Owner: Murder mysteries (cozy and otherwise) and thrillers are certainly in vogue lately here at the store.  Within that genre there is a trend toward the older murderer or crime solver, and we’re loving it.  Honestly, what can be more fun to read than septuagenarians solving cold case crimes in order to keep themselves busy in their retirement village?  When a brutal murder occurs right on their doorstep , the four crime-solvers-for-fun decide to tackle their first live case.  Underestimated, for sure, and given a pat on the head by the police, the sleuths have combined centuries of experience in their fields.  This book is being made into a movie and the fourth in the series, “The Last Devil to Die,” will be out in September.


Out West Books

533 Main St., Grand Junction


As part of The Colorado Sun’s literature section — SunLit — we’re featuring staff picks from book stores across the state. Read more.

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