Wednesday, March 13, 2013

There Was an Old Woman; Hallie Ephron

Title: There Was an Old Woman
Author: Hallie Ephron
Publication Year: 2013
Publisher: William Morrow
Edition: eGalley

Source: Edelweiss
Date Completed: March - 2013
Rating: 4/5 
Recommend: yes

There Was an Old Woman by Hallie Ephron was a somewhat creepy, psychological mystery,  that hooked me early on.
The story begins when an older woman by the name of Sandra is taken from her home by ambulance.  She's an alcoholic and for her,  it's not her first time being hospitalized, but this time she seems worst than ever.  Across the street from Sandra, lives Mina, an independent, spry lady of 91. Mina is the neighbor that contacts one of Sandra's daughters to let her know that her mother has been taken to the hospital.

When Evie, one of Sandra's daughters, arrives at her mother's house after not having visited the home in a while, she is shocked by what she finds.  The house is packed with clutter, trash and even cat food cans (think TV show Hoarders).  However, mounted on the wall is a big flat screen television, and she also finds lots of envelopes filled with hundred dollar bills that can't be explained.  Upon further checking into her mother's affairs, she notices that a hefty credit card bill has been paid off, yet no money is missing from her mother's bank accounts. On top of this strange things are happening in the neighborhood, and she learns through hospital staff that it may have not been just too much alcohol that caused her very very ill mother to be hospitalized.

As Evie spend more time cleaning up her mother's house, she gets reacquainted with Mina, her former neighbor.  In the process, she learns more strange but interesting information.  What is going on in this Bronx neighborhood, and are the elderly being targeted?

The story is told by both Evie and Mina, and although it's slightly creepy at times,  it's also well written.  Mina was one of those characters I thought about even after I was done --she still lingers.  The story is written in a way that makes you want to finish this one in one sitting if time allows. I thought it was an enjoyable read.


  1. The title is sure catchy! I like the sound of the book too. I will have to look for this one.

  2. I love psychological books - this sounds great to me!

  3. This does sound very good. You've made e wonder what happens in this story. Very nice, succinct review, Diane.

  4. My eyes read "a somewhat crappy mystery." It took me a sec to figure out why it hooked you! ;-D

  5. Not sure if this is my type of read :))

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  6. Now you've got me curious! Money and televisions, and messes and secrets? I am wondering what is going on here, and how it affects the people of the neighborhood, not just Mina's mother! I am off to see if I can grab this one!

  7. I loved the last Ephron book I read. So far I've read only good reviews about this one.

  8. Hmmm.....I want to read this one!! I think it sounds like a book I would really get into!

  9. I've read a couple of Hallie Ephron's books and liked them. This one sounds good.

  10. I'll be reviewing this one April 25 for Partners in Crime Tours and can hardly wait to read it now that I've read your review.

  11. I don't know why I've not read any HE books. I've read Nora's and Delia's with great pleasure but somehow Hallie's have seemed darker perhaps. Anyhow, I was intrigued by the first paragraph you posted, and now this review has sold me. I wonder how many of us read obits. I have for years and years, but probably less to do with ages when they died, and more to do with living in a small area. I know my parents did the same.

  12. Creepy and psychological, that's a book for me. Plus I liked Hallie Ephron's last book so this sounds like a winner.

  13. Sounds like a great book, and it sounds like Mina may not be all she seems to be.

  14. Oh, I'm glad this one is good. I love Hallie :)

  15. I've read Hallie before and enjoyed her stuff so I will be getting this one!

  16. I loved this book...and Mina. We could all use a neighbor like her!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts....


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