By Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg

The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules is an incredibly quirky, humorous and warm-hearted story about growing old disgracefully – and breaking all the rules along the way!

79-year-old Martha Andersson dreams of escaping her care home and robbing a bank.

She has no intention of spending the rest of her days in an armchair and is determined to fund her way to a much more exciting lifestyle. Along with her four oldest friends – otherwise known as the League of Pensioners – Martha decides to rebel against all of the rules imposed upon them. Together, they cause uproar with their antics protesting against early bedtimes and plasticky meals.

As the elderly friends become more daring, they hatch a cunning plan to break out of the dreary care home and land themselves in a far more attractive Stockholm establishment. With the aid of their Zimmer frames, they resolve to stand up for old aged pensioners everywhere – Robin Hood style. And that’s when the adventure really takes off . . .

Perfect for fans of The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.


First published by Forum, Sweden, 2012.
368 pages


Arabic, Dar Al-Muna
Brazil, Editora Gutenberg
Bulgaria, Colibri
Czech, Argo
Denmark, People’s Press
Estonia, Tänapäev
Finland, Schildts & Söderström
France, Fleuve Noir
Germany, S Fischer Verlage
Hungary, Animus
Iceland, Bjartur
Israel, Keter Publishing
Italy, Newton Compton
Japan, Tokyo Sogensha
Korea, Open Books
Latvia, Lauku Avize
Netherlands, Meulenhoff
Norway, Silke
Poland, Sonia Draga
Russia, Ast
Slovakia, Fortuna Libri
Spain, Random House Mondadori
Sweden, Forum
Turkey, April
UK, Pan Macmillan
USA, Harper Collins
Vietnam, Nha Nam


Sweden, SvT


Such a great read! This definitely proves the wisdom: it’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.
Suspense Magazine

Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg has written a truly fun and enjoyable novel here, with spunky main characters, a cunning plot, great supporting characters, and even a little bit of romance. This is a wonderful novel.
San Fransico Book Review

Readers will fall for the unlikely gang in their efforts to commit the ‘ultimate crime’ toward the end of this appealing crime novel.
Publishers Weekly.com

The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules is a pleasant piece of comic crime fiction with some very clever plotting. But it is more than that: It is a condemnation of the manner in which our society—and certainly not just in Sweden—treats its older generation.
New York Journal of Books

There are many surprising and funny scenes. For instance, the planning and execution of the robbery is hilarious. The group is overlooked as suspects, because the thought that old people would never be able to pull off a heist of epic proportions. A must-read.
Collected Miscellany

…A hilarious comedy of errors… The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules is the read of the summer and it will make a splendid movie!

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel meets The Italian Job in internationally-bestselling author Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg’s witty and insightful comedy of errors.
Library Love Fest

Instead of hyperbolic, mustache-twirling villains, Ingelman-Sundberg deftly orchestrates the twists and turns in the plot through the foibles of real life, including an overly zealous housekeeper, a vaguely menacing convict, a lazy pair of crewmen, and police officers whose ageism blinds them to the clues right under their noses. This tale captures the rebelliousness percolating just under the surface of ignored, shuffled away elderly folks. A merry, light hearted caper.
Kirkus Reviews

Swedish writers may be known for their crime novels, but Ingelman-Sundberg’s caper involves illegal activity of a rather unusual order: The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules is a story about spirited seniors determined have fun and raise some hell.

This is hilarious! Ocean 11 group meets the 70’s group from the nursing home. I hope I am as spry as the 79 main character. They antics they get into make the book a delight to read….such fun.

The best book of the new year – I laughed so hard and adored the kooky and clever “little old lady” and her troupe — I can see Maggie Smith in the film. If you liked The Best Exotic marigold Hotel and The Little Old Man Who Jumped Out the Window, The Number #1 Ladies Detective Agency series, and stories that will make you smile, and entertain you from page 1 till the end, buy this book! A great Christmas gift for readers of all ages. I just loved it!
Amazon review, Becky Eastwood

A quirky, offbeat delight and a heart-warming reminder that one is never too old for some mischief and adventure.
Tom Winter, author of Lost & Found

This novel is hilarious and heartwarming and very addictive . . . one of my favourite books of the year for pure entertainment value.
LizLovesBooks.com, blog

For fans of Last Tango in Halifax or Waiting for God, this is a delightful, fun tale of pensioners fighting back . . . their escapades bring lots of laughs and excitement, and even a little romance, into their lives, proving you’re never too old for fun.
networkedblogs.com, blog

Delightful! Neither blood nor murder in this well crafted crime comedy. The depicted scenes are funny but also evoke thoughts about the place given to the elderly in our society.
Femme Actuell

You’ll rush through this deftly plotted novel brimming with amusing and inventive scenes. When closing the book, this phrase uttered by one of the characters will linger with you: Maybe it isn’t so bad getting old after all.
Le Parisien

It’s a good-natured, humorous crime caper in the Ealing comedy mould.
Independent on Sunday

Their escapades bring lots of laughs and excitement, and even a little romance, into their lives, proving you’re never too old for fun.

You find yourself smiling on each page, it has go and speed. It is said that humor carries the soul across the depths, read this and enjoy!
NRK, Norwegian radio

The funniest book this year!
Magazine Familjen

A hilarious farse … highly entertaining and the five old ones are very well crafted characters.
Frettabladid newspaper

It is really very, very funny!
Radio P4 Blekinge

On of this fall’s funniest and most different books.
Radio P4 Skaraborg

It is a lighthearted and enjoyable detective comedy, very cozy.

A group of seniors get tired of the constant cut downs at their retirement home and takes off to do some burglaries. That is the beginning of a really funny and sometimes serious book that can be seen as a tale, but also provides both reflection and good laughs. The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules by Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg should be read by people of all ages.
Radio P4

The style is driven, the plot skillfully woven and you read with excitement and rising good humor until the surprising end. As a reader you find yourself being totally loyal to the proposed elders in their new amoral life.

What I like most with The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules is its shining expression of how joyous life is. It is not dangerous to grow old if you are like Martha and the gang.
Hyllan, blogg

It has humor, brilliant dialogue, irony and warmth. At the same time revealing gentle and biting social criticism. Both towards the retirement homes and the police failings. A lighthearted and enjoyable detective comedy with breathtaking events, which provide many smiles but also reflection.
PRO Pensionären

This book is a real jewel. I love the old men and women in The League of Pensioners, what great characters! It’s fun, hilarious, and several times I held my breath, worrying about Martha and the crew as they put themselves in tricky situations.  I hope this is just the first of a number of book about The League of Pensioners because I definitely want to read more adventures with Martha, The Genius, The Rake, Stina and Anna-Greta.
Med näsan i en bok, blog