Retirement Homes are Murder

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 Pauls 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 of crimes. Paul finds romance as he struggles to escape a murderer intent on a repeat performance.

Based on 108 Reviews
M. Daly
March 30, 2023

5.0 out of 5 stars A Fun Tale of Creative Problem Solving

On his first day in his new retirement home, Paul discovers a body in a trash chute. To make matters worse, a connection to the victim makes him the prime suspect. Unfortunately, To clear his name, Paul and his new friends must discover the identity of the killer. Unfortunately, his faulty memory makes solving the case difficult. How can he discover the truth when he can’t even remember what he did yesterday. Might he really be the culprit? This is a different kind of mystery and Paul is a different kind of detective. It was fun to see the mystery unfold and watch Paul as he and his friends came up with innovative ways to overcome his lack of memory. I’m looking forward to reading more in this series.

September 10, 2022

5.0 out of 5 stars Funny story, sad background, great narration

This book made me laugh. It’s a nice light crime-mystery story, set in a very extra ordinary setting. The setting described can easily make you sad. Thinking about how society treats older people, and the industry of retirement home. Not a book I would recommend to the elderly.

January 19, 2021

4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting take on memory loss

I wasn’t sure what to think about this book at first. Frankly, it brought back bad memories of my elderly parent with memory loss. A truly devastating situation. The story is generally gentle in its treatment of people facing old age. As my elderly parent once said, one is always young in their head if not in their body, and the loss of body functions (memory, eyesight, urinary control, hearing, walking, etc) is as horrifying to that person as it would be to someone young. However, the book also presents a totally unrealistic depiction of memory issues (at least as far as I have been exposed to such issues). It’s sort of like the author is saying, see, it’s not so bad. In my limited experience, it’s very bad and it’s relentlessly progressive. I thought the story was very different from the boatload of mysteries I’ve read in life, and I did find it amusing at times. I was cheering for the inmates (as the main character would say). There was a scene of graphic sex and there was some coarse language (no effs) in this story. I give it 4 stars for having a truly unique premise. I wouldn’t be inclined to read other similar stories in this series, however.

Fred Summers
December 3, 2020

5.0 out of 5 stars Funny.

I didn’t want to put it down. Funny. Just flowed. I loved the part about Martha!!! Read and enjoy. Light.

November 17, 2018

Very enjoyable reading!

Mike Befeler’s books are great. Being a “geezer” myself, I enjoy his genre of “geezer lit”. His characters are well-written and appealing, and the mysteries are engaging, yet not heavy and overwhelming. These books are “good reads” in my opinion!

Sabine Foster
November 3, 2018

4.0 out of 5 stars Humorous geezer mystery

I loved this “geezer mystery”. It was laugh out loud funny and sad at the same time. Paul becomes the main suspect in a murder case and has to clear his name. This is quite difficult since his memory leaves him with a blank page every morning he wakes up. The last thing that he can remember is at least 5 years ago. To keep track of what is going on and trying to find the real killer he has to keep a journal that he needs to read every morning when he wakes up….if he sees the note that tells him to do just that. I absolutely adored this story and will read more of Paul’s adventures – I love this grumpy old hoot.

Charles L. Baker
June 20, 2017

4.0 out of 5 stars Humorous "Mystery"

Looking for some light, quick reading? This is fun, and I’d guess it would make a good “kitchen” book to read aloud, since the mystery doesn’t have enough suspense that you couldn’t let it go for a day or two. I like how it humanizes nursing home folks, who need relationships, even sex, and having an amateur detective with a short term memory problem actually adds to the humor and his humanity! Well done Mr. Jacobson.

4.0 out of 5 stars What a great listen

I actually had this as an audio book and it was great. It made my traveling go so much faster. This reminded me of the movie 50 first dates but set as a murder mystery instead. It was an engaging story, that had me cracking up throughout. You can’t help but to fall in love with these old people. I hope to have as much fun as they do when I get to be there age.

November 16, 2015

5.0 out of 5 stars He is a good author of geezer lit

My husband laughed through the whole book. I wish his other books were in paperback, not just hardback or ebooks. He is a good author of geezer lit!!!

December Bride
November 3, 2015

4.0 out of 5 stars Laugh out loud

A fast, easy read. Laugh aloud while wondering who actually did the murder. Well written and makes me want to read more of the authors books.

April 6, 2015

4.0 out of 5 stars Good ol' Geezer fun

This book was funny and entertaining. As a geezer myself, I could relate to the characters and predicaments they got into. It was a different kind of mystery in that you get lost in the antics of the characters more than the mystery of whodunit. In fact, I had my doubts that Paul could ever solve a mystery with short-term memory loss. But the trio of misfits find a way and leave the reader with plenty of laughs along the way.

November 22, 2014

so far so good.

Husband is reading now and I will read it after he is done, so far so good.

Regina Skiles
November 13, 2014

4.0 out of 5 stars Nice, clean

Nice,clean,enjoyable book. The author did not have to use bad language or explicit sex scenes to have a good story.

Kay L. Kamp
October 9, 2014

5.0 out of 5 stars I love this series of books

I love this series of books. They are amusing–and frightening in places. It’s unrealistic that someone would find so many dead bodies or be present when crimes have been committed, but they are great fun to read–and when Paul is in danger, I can’t put the book down!

J Ro's mom
June 23, 2014

4.0 out of 5 stars Would buy more in this series

I thought the characters were believable and likable, and the story was entertaining and kept my interest until the end.

June 18, 2014

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Read for Seniors

Great premise for a book–loss of memory mixed up with murders galore. If you’re a mystery lover and are looking for a book more targeted to senior citizens, this is it. And there are more in the series after this one.

May 25, 2014

5.0 out of 5 stars This series is awesome!!

This book is about an octogenarian with memory problems where he cannot remember what happens from one day to the next after he sleeps. I really love this book. It is so funny and lighthearted. I love seeing life through the eyes of a gentleman in his eighties and the funny things he thinks. His character is so funny and interesting on its own, the mystery is just a bonus. I usually read cozy mysteries which are mostly written by women, reading a man’s perspective and especially an older man, is refreshing and a nice change. don’t know why more people have not read or reviewed these books because they are truly Great reading!!

evelyn swecker
January 13, 2014

5.0 out of 5 stars Love This!

Fell in love with the character Paul Jacobson. What an adorable crusty guy. Can’t wait to read the next adventure.

J. Harper
November 30, 2013

5.0 out of 5 stars A great read….

Mike Befeler has written a charming mystery series and I recommend it with joy. Can’t wait to read the next one and see what Mike has in store for Paul and the gang. A very good read.

FFL – Jupiter Fl
November 29, 2013

5.0 out of 5 stars The King of geezer-lit

Mike Befeler has hit the mark again with his Retirement Homes Are Murder. Be careful where you move to retirees!!

Joy C. Davidson
November 5, 2013

5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed this book!

I had the pleasure of meeting Mike at a recent Colorado Author’s Fair. I was intrigued by the concept for his book and decided to purchase a copy. Working with many older adults and their families, this book was a really fun read. An octogenarian with memory problems solving a murder, some might say it is improbable and perhaps it is, but that is part of the fun of books and movies – making the improbable probable. I quickly devoured the book, thoroughly enjoying the sense of humor of the characters in the community, because the dialogue, the “stubbornness”, the concerns, and the frustrations were so close to real life. The flair that the main character, Paul Jacobson, brings to the story is a ray of hope for all older adults and yet-to-be older adults.

David Scott
October 29, 2013

5.0 out of 5 stars Unique solution for the reading sleuth

Paul ‘ the Geezer ‘ Jacobson is blazing a trail in uncharted territory. These wonderful mysteries follow the now demographic like an old blood hound only snappier.

Theresa de Valence
July 24, 2013

5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely good for some entertainment!

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 lively octagenarians. And a few laughable lines that nearly got my ereader spattered with red wine. I shall be reading more of these tales. […]

January 18, 2013

4.0 out of 5 stars A Different Kind of Cozy

I picked this as a change from female-centric mysteries. It offers humor as well as mystery. The main character seems very true to life.

September 11, 2012

4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting premise….

There are lots of different venues for murder mysteries and this one is certainly different. I enjoyed the story, although the repetitiveness of the main character “starting over” every day was a little bit much. It was a fun, quick read, though and I will continue the series.

P. Sherman
June 6, 2011

4.0 out of 5 stars A fun read!

I enjoyed this book, loved the characters. I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 because of the similarity between this book and the movie “50 First Dates,” which came out a few years earlier. In the movie, Lucy has a good longterm memory but can’t remember events of the day before. She keeps a journal so she can track her life since an accident took away her short term memory (and later, videotapes). Kind of the same thing. However, this book has the murder mystery (and I was so sure I had it figured out early on, but I was wrong. Nice surprise!) plot and the setting is very different. Knowing that similarity ahead of time shouldn’t keep you from reading this fun book.

December 7, 2010

5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun!

When a curmudgeon finds a dead body in the trash chute of his room at the retirement home, he doesn’t know what happened. He only knows he didn’t do it. He has the perfect motive, and no memory of the day in question, and a single minded detective on his tail, so he has to rely on his friends and his wits to piece together what happened. A fun tale filled with humor and great characters. I laughed aloud throughout the story.

A. Roberts
March 2, 2010

4.0 out of 5 stars What a Hoot!

If you’re ready for a good laugh or two amidst the cast of zany characters in this book-then this is just what the Dr. ordered. There is Meyer a retired attorney and judge who is loosing his sight and Henry who suffers from Asperger’s syndrome and insults everyone as well as the main character, Paul who has short-term memory loss and starts every day over with no memory of what happened the day before-maybe that’s not all bad. :) With help from his new friends he got on to writing a journal and reading it first thing in the morning to give him a heads up on what’s going on in his life. I had picked this book up at the library and after I got home I went to Amazon and read the reviews. A couple people mentioned the terrible profanity in the book and stopped reading after the first chapter. I thought well maybe I don’t want to read this but decided to give it a shot. SO I get through the first chapter and I’m still looking for this terrible profanity. I saw all of 3 words (no f*** word which I consider the worse profanity). Even the rest of the book is not filled with profanity-a little crudeness perhaps. I read a lot and I can name some authors who write amazing books but from start to finish there is intense profanity. This one is very mild. Getting back to the review, our main character gets involved in a murder and a cop who is out to pin it on him. The rest is Paul and his octegenarian friends trying to clear Paul. In the course of this his son and daughter-in-law come for a visit with his granddaughter who takes to grandpa and is not a bit intimidated by his blustery manner and forgetfulness. She was a delight. There is even a little romance between Paul and one of the ladies at the Retirement Home-just shows you’re never too old for romance. How it all plays out and Paul unmasking the killer is almost unbeliveable for some 80’s gentlemen-but this is fiction and it’s just fun reading.

January 9, 2010

4.0 out of 5 stars Retirement homes are murder

Light fictional murder mystery written with humor and understanding of the retired and of retirement homes.

S. Ervin
June 12, 2009

4.0 out of 5 stars Retirement Homes Are Murder

Mike Befeler’s RETIREMENT HOMES ARE MURDER is a cozy that looks the onset of old age straight in the eye and removes much of the dread. It gives readers glimpses of the inconveniences of aging, and points up the fact that a sense of humor and friends can help handle the inevitability of our later years. It is a comfortable and comforting read.

Vivian P. Goodman
June 5, 2008

5.0 out of 5 stars vivian goodman

This is the first of a series by this author and it is great. It is funny, enjoyable read. I am really looking forward to the next issure in this series.

5.0 out of 5 stars retirement homes are murder

Mike really knows how it is to get older, but in spite of memory loss, still wise. His understanding of the Hawaii scene is outstanding, and historically relevent items are snuck in , only recognizable to a Honolulu native. I look forward to more of his work.

March 19, 2007

4.0 out of 5 stars What do you get when you mix…

Old geezers, murder, stamps, and a Heniken bottle? An interesting story that keeps you guessing about what’s for dinner and what the hell happened the day before… Mike Beffler does a great job moving the story along (not easy for old folks…)and has created a character in Paul Jacobson that is so crotchety that he keeps getting himself into trouble. An easy read that makes you think twice before you use a trash chute.

February 13, 2007

5.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining!

Yes, it’s a murder mystery, but I kept finding myself chuckling out loud! I just finished the book last night, and it’s got all of the elements of a wonderful story – unforgettable characters, humor, geriatric sex, and of course an intriguing mystery. I sure hope there will be a follow-up to this story.

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