15 August 2021

Review: THE THURSDAY MURDER CLUB, Richard Osman

  • this edition made available in my local library through Libby
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Penguin (September 3, 2020)
  • 382 pages| 
  • ISBN 9781984880987 
  • Questions for discussion available
Synopsis (Random House)

Four septuagenarians with a few tricks up their sleeves
A female cop with her first big case
A brutal murder
Welcome to…
THE THURSDAY MURDER CLUB

Every Thursday, four unlikely friends meet in the Jigsaw Room at the luxurious Coopers Chase Retirement Village to solve cold cases that have been languishing on the books for years. There’s Red Ron, the infamous former socialist firebrand, still causing trouble wherever he can; gentle Joyce, widowed, pining for another resident, but surely not as innocent as she seems; Ibrahim, a former therapist who understands the darker side of human nature; and Elizabeth? Well, no one is quite sure who she really is, but she’s definitely not a woman to underestimate. Though they may be in their seventies, Elizabeth, Ibrahim, Joyce, and Ron still have a few tricks up their sleeves.

When a local property developer winds up dead, The Thursday Murder Club finds themselves in the middle of their first live case — can the four catch the killer before it’s too late? 

My Take

Though the book follows the four friends—Joyce, Elizabeth, Ibrahim, and Ron—solving the murder, the only first-person POV is Joyce’s via her diary. We meet Joyce right at the beginning and she introduces us to the others and keeps us up to speed with events.

Elizabeth and her friend Penny, a former police inspector who now lies comatose in hospital, founded the Thursday Murder Club, to investigate some cold cases that Penny never managed to solve. After Penny had a stroke, Elizabeth invited other residents to join her on Thursdays in the Jigsaw Room to continue with the "work" that she and Penny had started. Elizabeth visits Penny, who is on life support, regularly to report progress.

Meanwhile PC Donna De Freitas, recently transferred to the country from London, arrives at the Coopers Chase Retirement Village to give a talk on home security and so meets the members of the club. This meeting is important for her career.

The Coopers Chase Retirement Village, billed, when it was first built on land bought from a convent, as "Britain's First Luxury Retirement Village", has 300 residents, and a local property developer is aiming to add to it by demolishing an old cemetery. Ian Ventham, the property developer, decides to get rid of his builder partner. A few days later Ventham himself drops dead after a struggle with people at the cemetery and the Thursday Murder Club are all witnesses.

Each member of the Thursday Murder Club brings different strengths to the club, all useful in tracking down suspects, and following leads. 

This is a delightful read, full of humour, but also rapidly moving. The plot turns out to be quite complex, and there is more than one death.

My rating: 4.5

About the author

Richard Osman is an author, producer, and television presenter. His first novel, The Thursday Murder Club, was a #1 million-copy international bestseller. Critics have already described The Man Who Died Twice as “his second novel.” He lives in London.

1 comment:

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