Retired librarian Carolina Pennsbury is quite content living in a retirement home. She just wishes that her meal time tablemates felt as she did. However, all seem to have their own complaints. But those complaints are put on the back burner when one of the retirement home’s residents is stabbed to death in her apartment and the police arrest one of Carolina’s tablemates, Margie, for the murder. Carolina, knowing her friend cannot possibly have committed such a deed, sets about to prove Margie’s innocence––a difficult feat for an elderly woman with a cane. Knowing the real killer is probably still roaming the halls, Carolina uses her wits and her wit to investigate, and ultimately––after a fake fire alarm and a lengthy blackout––manages to ferret out the killer. But clearing Margie and getting her out of jail is not the end of Carolina’s tasks. She has work to do for all of her tablemates and she won’t quit until they are all happy.
Helen Grochmal was born and raised in a coal town until sent by the Great Society of the 1960s to a small private college. After graduation, she worked in the civil service to pay her way through an M.A. in English from Penn State and an M.L.S. in Library Science from Rutgers. Then she worked as a professional librarian for over 20 years, ending her career as an associate professor at a state university in Pennsylvania. She began writing in her 60s, a memoir at first, then fiction. MANNERS AND MURDER is her first published work.