Reviewed by Jessica Barbosa for Readers' Favorite
An Old Shrew, a Tortured Soul, and Everyday Angels is a murder mystery by Rosina Anderson. After World War II ended, a few places had been obliged to take in a large number of displaced persons who had nowhere else to go. Such happenings invited a very interesting conglomerate of characters into Olga’s hometown. Olga did not care much for these new characters. She was over eighty years old and she had lived through a war and gotten through her life without other people’s help. Seeing these refugees getting public assistance grates at her nerves and thinking about it just makes her angry. As a result, she is not shy in using these refugees to get what she wants, promising her home to a few people and they help her in turn, but the truth is her home had been earmarked for an animal charity. Some people try to stay on her good side, but Agnes was different and she had nothing to gain by being nice to Olga. This single mother in her early fifties fearlessly calls her out for being a hypocrite. Both women had their imperfections and clashed with each other but neither expected their lives to turn out the way they did.
An evenly paced mystery tale filled with distinctive and interesting characters, each with their problems and vices they struggle to fight against or were in denial about having. Rosina Anderson’s An Old Shrew, a Tortured Soul, and Everyday Angels is a tale that tackles commonplace problems, frustration, relationships among people, and murder. The story is about a community that changed because of the war, the countless families displaced by it, and the foreign people who are adjusting to their new lives. Anderson tackled the various problems and frustrations of her varying characters well. This is a skillfully woven tale that seamlessly built up to a surprising reveal. Once the killer was revealed I could not help but think back to the interactions that led to such circumstances. I re-examined the relationships between family and friends and felt regret for the victims and the main perpetrator. This murder mystery is an intriguing read that had me hooked because of its in-depth characters and ingenious plot. An Old Shrew, a Tortured Soul, and Everyday Angels is a masterful combination of historical fiction and mystery that left a lasting impression on me. Ten out of ten and I would read it again!