The Humbugs Diet
The Keter Gardens Retirement Home, an upscale retirement home on the banks of the Hudson river in Yonkers, New York, has a problem. The state-funded charity cases who are occupying rooms that could be leased at far more profitable rates don’t seem to be freeing up those rooms as quickly as the owners would like. When the elderly Booger Rooney is found dead in the courtyard of the Gardens, the police decree his defenestration a suicide.
Claire, a fellow resident of the Home, does not agree; she launches her own investigation. This may not be a good idea, considering her reputation within the institution as a troublemaker with a penchant for pre-dawn operatic exercise, smoking and drinking, and a certain bluntness of tongue.
Claire discovers more than widespread indifference toward the elderly and political corruption. The trail becomes a mystery littered with a bizarre variety of ritual murders. The story is told from the peculiar and misanthropic voice of the man in the room next to Claire’s, Rotuf Mazal, an ex-cop with his own secrets. The Humbugs Diet is both a sometimes heart-wrenchingly humourous reflection on the social and psychological realities in the inevitable process of aging and death, and a breathless whodunit.