An Old Shrew, a Tortured Soul, and Everyday Angels

Fiction - Mystery - Murder
186 Pages
Reviewed on 09/23/2022
Buy on Amazon

Author Biography

I was born in Bavaria and now live in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. I have taught modern languages at various US universities, held the position of scientific-technical assistant at a psychiatric research institute in Munich, and worked as an interpreter in the ER of a California hospital. I enjoy painting and traveling.

A number of my characters are based on people I personally met in Germany, some so outrageous and malicious that their existence almost defied belief and, on the other end of the spectrum, some of the kindest individuals that had ever crossed my path. They were so compelling, and the contrast between them was so striking that they kept living in my mind until I sat down to weave their stories together into one of my own.

    Book Review

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!

Grace Ruhara

An Old Shrew, a Tortured Soul, and Everyday Angels by Rosina Anderson is an exhilarating and pacy thriller that maintains tension throughout, with constant twists and turns. Her parents usually ignored Olga growing up, starving her of love and attention. She, therefore, had to grow tough skin to stand up for herself. This made her a devious, tough-old dragon troublemaker who made people's lives hell. Her neighbors did not like her, and anyone she ever came across had nothing positive to say about her. She respected no one and constantly criticized others. Karma catches up with her when she finds herself linked to three murders. Is she guilty, or is someone out to tarnish her name? How does the turn of events shape her life?

I applaud Rosina Anderson for the well-executed plot. She takes enough time to introduce a new character through extensive use of vivid descriptions. This gave me a holistic impression of the characters and their roles in the plot, especially as helping characters for Olga, the protagonist. Giving background information about the characters helped me interact and connect with them. I could resonate with their thoughts and ideologies. I enjoyed how the author depicted Olga's mischievous deeds and flaws, which always seemed to cause her trouble. The author shows how we are individually often responsible for our choices. I recommend An Old Shrew, a Tortured Soul, and Everyday Angels to readers that love drama and criminal investigation novels.

Maria Victoria Beltran

An Old Shrew, a Tortured Soul, and Everyday Angels by Rosina Anderson is set in Bavaria, Germany, after the end of the Second World War. To her dismay, Olga Lindermann’s hometown is obliged to take in many displaced persons. Now over eighty years old, she only has disdain for them and spends her time spreading nasty rumors about her neighbors. She is particularly cynical toward Agnes, a former kindergarten and first-grade teacher whose parenting style produces three spoiled and devious children. Olga meets Sister Maria, a Turkish woman turned Catholic lay sister, who consoles her in her hour of need, and Zora, a gypsy woman whose garden she covets. Set in her old ways, most of Olga’s neighbors try to stay away from her. Then the community is shocked by a murder in their midst.

Rosina Anderson’s An Old Shrew, a Tortured Soul, and Everyday Angels is an absorbing mystery novel that will turn the reader into a detective trying to figure out who commits the crime and why. The plot is full of suspense with many realistic twists and turns. The author also provides false leads, so readers may find it challenging to anticipate the ending. Another literary device used effectively in this novel is foreshadowing. I found the setting unique and the characters extremely interesting. With a believable plot that unravels at just the right pace, author Rosina Anderson weaves a murder mystery novel that’s highly engaging. Try not to miss the clues interwoven throughout the plot and see if you can solve this mystery murder story!

Kayleigh Perumal

An Old Shrew, a Tortured Soul, and Everyday Angels by Rosina Anderson is a story about a small community and their day-to-day lives. At the center of the neighborhood is the mean-spirited Frau Olga Lindermann. Most people despise Olga and avoid her, as her wrath and countenance are off-putting. Olga enjoys spreading horrible rumors about everyone. The only one spared from her nastiness is her pampered pooch, Fluffy. Olga’s favorite subjects to spew vitriol toward are Agnes Berger and her three children, Simon, Monika, and Fabian. Dubbed the local delinquents, Olga takes personal offense at the existence of Agnes’s teenagers. She perceives the whole family as an affront and an eyesore. However, when three murders jolt the neighborhood, Olga begins to feel uneasy. She realizes that her passion for poisonous plants (and penchant for stealing them) has made her the number one suspect in the case.

Rosina Anderson portrays a microcosm of Bavarian society following the Second World War. Not only does she depict the nuances of specific relationships between people in this community, but she also emphasizes the lived realities of people who were displaced and homeless in Germany after the war. Anderson’s characterization is realistic. Each character possesses distinct features and an in-depth backstory, especially Adi, Sylvia, Hilde, Hans and Frieda, Sister Maria, and Zora. While Olga is deplorable and highly unpleasant, the other characters provide hope, compassion, comfort, and wisdom to each other, despite their circumstances. An Old Shrew, a Tortured Soul, and Everyday Angels is a lovely and original read.

K.C. Finn

An Old Shrew, a Tortured Soul, and Everyday Angels is a work of fiction in the murder mystery subgenre. It is intended for the general reading audience and was penned by author Rosina Anderson. In this unique and concise mystery tale set in Bavaria, we find ourselves following the epic feud between the elderly and cantankerous Olga and the chaotic anti-establishment Agnes. As the women continue their bitter rivalry, three murders suddenly take place, and we explore the women’s neighbors for answers. What results is a heartfelt snapshot of the displacement felt in Bavaria after the Second World War and a fascinating mystery where the clash of personalities is at the center of the enigma.

One of the features that I enjoyed most about this charming mystery novel was its sense of place and character, which gives it a unique cultural quality that few tales are able to accurately capture. I feel like I learned a lot about human nature, history, and culture in the background of author Rosina Anderson’s work, whilst also being led along a fascinating trail of different people, their life experiences, and the information that leads us to solve the three mysterious murders in the plot. The story packs a lot in for a concise read, and would make an ideal holiday read for those short on time, but who want a plot that delivers exciting twists and some very fascinating conclusions. Despite her obvious faults, I think Olga was by far the most enjoyable character for me to read about personally. Still, every reader will find something in An Old Shrew, a Tortured Soul, and Everyday Angels to make them smile.