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Retirement Homes Are Murder (Paul Jacobson Geezer-Lit Mystery #1)

3.54 of 5 stars 3.54  ·  rating details  ·  158 ratings  ·  46 reviews

Remembering nothing from the day before, crotchety octogenarian Paul Jacobson must become an amateur sleuth to clear himself as a murder suspect when he finds a dead body in the trash chute of a retirement home. As Paul's snooping and short-term memory loss get him in trouble with the local police, his new friends and granddaughter Jennifer help him solve an expanding list

Hardcover, 291 pages
Published January 1st 2007 by Five Star (ME)
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Not really a 4 star book, but close. It was a quick, light murder mystery, but the characters tickled me. The main character is an 80 year old man who can't remember anything for the past 5 years once he falls asleep (view spoiler) That makes his predicament that much tougher to figure out & adds more humor.

I thought the ending was a bit weak. I hate it when the crook confesses all completely, but that d

Retirement Homes are Murder by Mike Befeler

I am giving this author an A+ for his originality and creativity in writing a cozy mystery focusing on the end of life with a sense of humor. A big thank-you to him from this baby boomer and former worker at a nursing home and case manager for the elderly.

And just how did this author get away with this topic without offending me, the reader? By using a cantankerous old geezer by the name of Paul Jacobson as his main character. That's how!
Paul Jacobson
Paul Jacobsen is 80 years old and recently incarcerated (by his son) in an assisted senior living center. Everything functions the way one would hope when you're 80 years old (even if they do need a little chemical assistance), except for one thing: every morning, he wakes up having forgotten everything that has happened in the last 5 years, including everything that happened yesterday (or even earlier the same day, if he takes a nap). Now that he's the number one suspect in a murder, that could ...more
#1 in the Paul Jacobson Geezer-lit mystery series. 2007 debut novel has an interesting twist, octogenarian Paul Jacobson has a short term memory problem - when he wakes up, he can't remember anything more recent than 5 years ago. The novel starts when he awakens in a retirement home and has no idea where he is or how he got there. He discovers a body and becomes an instant suspect to a particularly dense detective who wants to connect him to all manner of crimes. The concept is interesting and t ...more
Kathleen Hagen
Retirement Homes Are Murder, by Mike Defeler, b-plus, Narrated by Jerry Siarrio, produced by Books in Motion, downloaded from

Paul Jacobson, in his ‘80’s, has just been moved into a retirement home by his son. But the problem is that he has short-term memory loss, which means that every morning when he wakes up, he doesn’t remember anything from the day before. So, when he woke up the first morning, he didn’t know where he was. He was re-introduced to the two guys who sat with him at
I got a kick out of this book: it’s poignant and funny, respectful and compassionate. The protagonist, Paul Jacobson, is in his 80s and suffering from short-term memory loss. When he wakes up in the morning, unless he’s spent the night with his love interest, he can’t remember anything that happened the day before. At the suggestion of his new friend Meyer (who he has to meet again, every day), Paul writes everything down. But writing stuff down only works if you remember that you wrote it down ...more
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
I think that I was severely remiss in taking so long to read this book. However, I have read this book now and am delighted.

An eighty-something man, Paul Jacobson, wakes up in a room he doesn't recognize and has to cope. He is told he has 'short-term memory loss.' To be honest I kept waiting for a miracle cure, but, the character remained honest. He has a severe disability...he forgets the last 24hrs. He even forgets faces and names. I actually stopped reading and gave thought to how this disabi
This book had some serious problems, but ... I'm willing to listen to the sequel. Here's what you can expect if you're curious:

Widower Paul Jacobsen cannot remember anything from the previous five years once he feels asleep - nothing - zip, zero, zilch; he's had this condition for a while as our story opens at the retirement home in Hawaii where he's just moved in at the urging of his son. He finds some trash in his flat, goes to dump it in the trash chute, where he finds a corpse blocking his c
This book was a fun and witty, yet sometimes sadly touching, cozy mystery. As a Caregiver, I love Paul and Meyer, both who could be representative of seniors who can't quite live alone, but don't yet need the full care of a skilled-nursing facility. I laughed out loud at some of Paul's attitudes (some of which I have felt, some of which I could appreciate based on his current life), and was saddened by the truths of the changes in health for Paul and his table-mates. I very much appreciated the ...more
Diane Heath
Paul Jacobson wakes up in a new place with no memory of how he got there. Apparently he moved into a retirement home the day before. He has short term memory loss in the same manner as Dana Carvey did in the movie Clean Slate. Paul has to write the events of the day in a journal each night in order to keep track of the past. This becomes even more vital when he finds the body of a murdered man in a trash chute. He is the prime suspect....
This book was a real hoot! The main character is feisty and funny, and the story is richly plotted with ingenious situations. Paul Jacobson is 80 years old and has short-term memory loss, so he wakes up every day and doesn't remember anything from the last 5 years. He finds a dead body in the garbage chute at the retirement home he's just moved into and, after he reports it to the police, the homicide detective accuses him of the murder. The detective is so set on Paul as the murderer that he wo ...more
Book #29 for 2013

This book got off to a very promising start as sort of a geriatric version of Memento. I found, however, that I had a hard time warming to the main character, Paul Jacobson, and the supporting cast seemed to be lacking in nuance. I did like that Mike tried to explore some of the moral implications of Paul's self-"treatment", but I got the impression that he was also at a loss as to how to deal with that angle and eventually dropped it. And maybe I've read too many cozy mysteries
Theresa de Valence
I’m not looking forward to our inescapable sentence of frailty; it’s hard enough hanging around aged relatives, why would I want to read about it?

You’d think that reading a book about a retired old fart would be pretty darn boring. You’d think that garnering the occasional smirk would be the best you could get.

You’d be wrong on both counts.

RETIREMENT HOMES ARE MURDER by Mike Befeler is an entertaining story, though improbable in places. No Matter. It’s a light-hearted book with surprisingly li
Andrea Escaffi-James
This was very enjoyable and the plot was exciting.
I loved reading a cozy mystery rom a man's point of view as there aren't many out there.
The old man angle was pretty interesting , too.
I read this book for my mystery discussion group. The premise is interesting, Paul Jacobson,the 80ish main character, has short term memory. Every morning he wakes up and doesn't know where he is or who the people are that he encounters. When he finds a body in the trash chute of his retirement home, he doesn't expect to find himself the prime suspect, but that's exactly what happens. Paul knew the murdered man, but he doesn't remember him. Paul turns amateur sleuth with the help of friends at t ...more
This was so funny! What a great idea for a book and well executed. Kind of like the movie Memento, but funny.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Petula Darling
Cute, but the mystery and its resolution was really silly.
A laugh out loud book that somehow makes growing old look like fun but at the same time mixes in the pathos and problems of the elderly in assisted living and nursing homes. Set in Hawaii (with lots of local color) we follow Paul Jacobson who suffers from short term memory loss and must keep a detailed journal to help him remember his day to day happenings. He is falsely accused of murder and theft and struggles to absolve himself. He is aided by Meyer,a fellow retirement home resident.
Real fast
This is a delightful mystery with a somewhat crotchety old protagonist. Despite dealing his unique form of memory loss and with the problem of "being stuck living among a bunch of old people", Paul Jacobson, whom someone called "a male Miss Marple", manages to find some good-hearted companions and manages to solve an intriguing murder mystery. It is a fun read.
It took us some time to finish because it was reserved for long car rides. The memory loss led to a lot of repetition. The story had us both guessing as to the suspect. We were both wrong.
This book was like having a very special, two-hour episode of Murder She Wrote where Jessica Fletcher travels to Hawaii to visit an old friend and there is a murder in the assisted living home where her friend lives. It is light and a quick read. The story is more than predictable. Full of likeable characters with lots and lots of witty banter. Some have described this book to me as HILARIOUS. I hated it. The story was as implausible as a Scooby Doo episode.
I thought this might be a book based on Alzheimer's, but it really isn't. The premise is that a 70+ guy who has just moved into a retirement home can't remember anything that happened in the last five years or so once he goes to sleep. He gets involved in a trying to solve a murder and has to reset his memory every morning. It's a clever premise and this light diversion is well done. A quick read, but fun. Set in Hawaii, and it does have a good sense of place.
What an obnoxious story. This "cozy" mystery lacks any real detective quality. For example: Fingerprints are identified shortly after events take place with no time at all to run them through a data base. The short-term memory loss angle got a bit worn out rather quickly. Author uses the same vulgar slang words with frequency. A vulgar little story at best. Read 35% of this Kindle-formatted book, and had enough of it. It was sorely lacking class.
Gusto Dave
The author of this title is an RMFW member. For that reason, we do not rate these selections. We’re kind of biased. However, it wouldn’t be right if we didn’t have them on our shelves. And you’ll see this message on any other titles that come from our members. We do hope that you’ll consider reading it, though. ;)

Gusto Dave, Publicity Chair for RMFW
I've heard of chick-lit but never geezer-lit. Mike Befeler was a speaker at the women's group I belong to. He was entertaining and interesting. So I read this first novel of his. Funny mystery with lots of references to being old, getting old, and dealing with again issues. OK read. May read the next one "Living with your kids is murder".
Mike McClanahan
As one poised on the brink of geezerdom, I found Paul Jacobson to be a delightful character. A good, fast-paced story with witty dialog and a good plot. It's a fun, light read that captures some of the poignancy of aging without bringing the reader down. And the thought of having one's memory refreshed by a roll in the hay makes me happy.
Bob Olson
Warm, funny mystery set in a nursing home with a hero who suffers from memory loss so severe he can't remover what he did the previous day. Then, he discovers he is the prime suspect in a theft and a murder. I really enjoyed getting to know this character and look forward to visiting with him again in other installments of this series.
Very funny book--espcially if you are getting older and your memory lags a bit. This book is just for fun. While it may not satisfy hard core mystery readers, it packs a bunch of laughs. This is the second book and I think it was better than the first, I've enjoyed both of the stories in this series and look for more.
Dec 01, 2008 Caroline rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who likes cozy mysteries or geezer lit
Recommended to Caroline by: Good Read group member
Very amusing! Main character is male and older than the first book I read in this genre, so different kind of "geezer" challenges, like very short-term memory loss. Pacing was good and characters well crafted. Went through this book quickly -- a page turner. Looking forward to the next novel in this series.
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Mike Befeler writes the humorous Paul Jacobson "Geezer Lit" mystery series featuring an ocotgenarian protagonist with short-term memory loss. The series includes: Retirement Homes Are Murder, Living With Your Kids Is Murder, Senior Moments Are Murder, Cruising in Your Eighties Is Murder, Care Homes Are Murder and Nursing Homes Are Murder. His latest book is Mystery of the Dinner Playhouse, with a ...more
More about Mike Befeler...

Other Books in the Series

Paul Jacobson Geezer-Lit Mystery (6 books)
  • Living with Your Kids Is Murder
  • Senior Moments Are Murder
  • Cruising in your Eighties is Murder
  • Care Homes Are Murder
  • Nursing Homes Are Murder
Living with Your Kids Is Murder Senior Moments Are Murder Cruising in your Eighties is Murder Care Homes Are Murder Mystery of the Dinner Playhouse

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