Friday, June 22, 2007

Life Imitates Art?

When I interviewed author Cheryl Hagedorn (see my May 29 post here), I expressed doubt about two things in her book, Park Ridge: a Senior Center Murder. Would senior citizens actually spend so much time playing cards, and would we "mellow" oldsters actually resort to violence? I assumed that murder was the province of the young, the disadvantaged, and the deranged.

Today, I heard a news report of a shooting at a senior residence in Maywood, Illinois. A male card player shot a female fellow resident and card player. Both are in their seventies. As far as I know, both survived, and I haven't heard any speculation about the motive.

I am now convinced, however, that card games can become all-consuming and very important to some people, and that not everyone mellows with age. I wonder where the man got his gun.

Cheryl seems to have discovered promising mystery story settings and likely groups of fictional characters in environments many people choose to write off rather than write about. Good for her!

Copyright 2007 by Marlys Marshall Styne


Dorothy said...

Marlys, card playing can get me shot? What has this world come there no safe haven anywhere? Next, we wear bullet proof vest to go to lunch..


seniorwriter said...

Actually, investigators haven't revealed whether the motive had anything to do with card playing or not (they probably don't know), but Cheryl's Hagedorn's book presents an interesting premise: that more active seniors sometimes resent those who just sit around and play cards day after day--and the card players resent those who keep pestering them to participate in other activities. Did you read my interview with Cheryl earlier in this blog? I don't live in a senior residence (yet), so I don't know. However, it's an interesting concept for a murder story! Thanks for your comment.

Cheryl Hagedorn said...

Hey, Marlys. I was as dismayed as you were. It happens too often. I have earlier posts about violence between seniors that will make your hair stand on end (you might like the new look!)
Growing Old Behind Bars and Senior Motives for Murder

seniorwriter said...

Hi, Cheryl! I appreciate your comments. I am now definitely convinced that the motive in your book is plausible. I'll be checking for tendencies toward violence once I move into The Clare!