I am looking for a series of books, where the two main protagonists are old women, solving crime, much to the dismay of the local police.

If I remember properly, they stumble on their first crime by chance (and I think one of the two is not so enthusiastic about solving crime initially, even pretending to have lost the ability to speak/to become crazy to cool down the enthuasiam of her friend at some point - she start writing weird notes to herself so her friend finds them), then actively look for crime. They are retired, and long time friends or sisters (either widows or never married). One is extremely extroverted and active (and grumpy?), the other introverted and much calmer (it's this one who pretends to go crazy in one of the stories).

I read the series around 2010, but I think it was way older than that. I read it in French, I'm not sure if it has been translated. The series must have worked well enough because I remember reading at least 5 stories with the pair of them.

  • 3
    I know about a television series that sounds similar to this, Rosemary & Thyme, but it doesn't seem to be based on a book series.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Dec 3, 2020 at 9:37
  • I'm quite sure it does not fit, because the protagonists in my books are not gardeners, but your recommandation looks nice, I'll check it out :D
    – Clef.
    Dec 3, 2020 at 9:39

2 Answers 2


Thanks to a friend, I found my book!

It's the series of The Bodin sisters, Blanche and Berthe Bodin, written by Jean-Pierre Ferrière from 1957 to 1961. I don't think it has been translated to English, though, and, after skimming through the first tome, I think it qualifies more as "roman de gare" than "polar".

Two 70 years old women start solving crime in their little provincial city, after stumbling on their first crime by mistake, being almost accused of having done it themselves. After the first tome, they actually annoy the police to no end to help with cases. One is more extroverted and easily annoyed, and the other sister is a bit deaf and more docile (or so it seems at first).


It could be Simon Brett's Feathering series.

What matches:

  • Two retired ladies solving mysteries.
  • Jude is extroverted, Carole is much calmer.
  • stumble on their first case by accident.
  • series started in the year 2000. I'm not sure if that counts as "way older" than 2010.

I've only read one of them, and that years ago. I don't know about losing the ability to speak. But I've read several of Brett's other mysteries (The Charles Paris series) and that is a plot device he might well use.

Here's a description of the first book, The Body On The Beach.

Very little disturbs the ordered calm of Fethering, a pleasingly self-contained retirement town on England's southern coast. Which is precisely why Carole Seddon, who has outlived both her husband and her career at the Home Office, has chosen to reside there.

So the last thing Carole expects to encounter in Fethering is a new neighbour with but one name and an obviously colourful past. 'Jude' was not really Fethering . . . but neither was the body Carole found on the beach.

A body, it has to be said, that has disappeared by the time the police arrive. Only Jude is ready to believe what her neighbour says she saw - and from that moment on, the two women are resolved to turn detectives.

  • The summary does not ring a bell at all, and I did not find a French compilation, so I don't think this is it, but I'll read them to be sure and tell you!
    – Clef.
    Dec 3, 2020 at 18:03

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