Available in ebook, hardback, audio & hardback (3 September 2020)
Source: Copy received for review
ABOUT THE BOOK
In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet up once a week to investigate unsolved murders.
But when a brutal killing takes place on their very doorstep, the Thursday Murder Club find themselves in the middle of their first live case.
Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron might be pushing eighty but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves.
Can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer before it’s too late?
This was one of my most anticipated reads of this year from many months ago and I was thrilled to receive an invitation to take part in the blog tour. My thanks to Ellie and the publisher for the copy to review.
Set in the heart of the Kent countryside is the Coopers Chase luxury retirement village, home to our four elderly protagonists and members of The Thursday Murder Club. They may all be in their 70s and 80s but they are certainly not ready to retire from life and relish a good murder to solve!
The leader of the group is Elizabeth whose background she is rather secretive about but it is clear that she is well used to carrying out investigations and she ‘knows people’. She originally set up the club with her retired DCI friend Penny to look over old unsolved cases, but Penny is now unable to participate as she is very ill in a nursing home on the complex. However accompanied by Ron, an ex trade union leader, Ibrahim – a psychiatrist and the newest member of the club, Joyce, previously a nurse, the murder club meetings continue.
From re-visiting cold cases, the club go to their first live one when a murder occurs on their own doorstep and following a fortuitous and unconnected visit from a police officer, PC de Freitas, to talk about home security, they involve themselves in an investigation (or perhaps ‘interfere’ might be more accurate, to the frustration of the police). However, they may be amateurs but their sleuthing skills should not be casually dismissed.
This has been called a ‘cosy mystery’ and I suppose it is in that there is no fast paced thrilling action or hard core crime although one of the murders here is rather inventive in its execution. What there is however is a warm and humorous crime story and where the storyline dictates, reflects sensitively on love, relationships and loss.
Most of the story is told in the third person, some featuring the perspective of a particular character whilst others are narrated by Joyce as though they were journal entries and its the mundane detail and minutiae that is the charm of this book. Joyce is one of the quieter members of the group and because of this, is sometimes overlooked. However she misses nothing and seeing events and people from her perspective, was both refreshing and enjoyable.
Each member of the club brings their own skills to the investigation, they have all lived full lives and some are no strangers to heartache. There are some scenes away from the murder that feature illness and loneliness and are especially poignant.
Richard Osman is one of my favourite TV personalities and his gentle wit and humour comes through clearly through in this book, both in narrative and dialogue – there are some wicked one liners. Engaging characters are plenty including DCI Chris Hudson – the lonely and overweight detective who against his better judgement finds himself unofficially (and often unintentionally) assisting the four sleuths; PC Donna de Freitas – newly transferred and assigned to the murder team – the engagement between these two was excellent and I loved the banter between them. I doubt that a real life DCI would divulge any information about an ongoing murder investigation to civilians, but what does it matter – this is fiction!
This is the first in a series as well as being the author’s first novel. I thoroughly enjoyed it for being a little different and will be looking forward to the next one.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Richard Osman is an author, producer and television presenter. The Thursday Murder Club is his first novel. He is well known for TV shows including Pointless and Richard Osman’s House of Games. As the creative director of Endemol UK, Richard has worked as an executive producer on numerous shows including Deal Or No Deal and 8 Out of 10 Cats. He is also a regular on panel and game shows such as Have I Got News For You, Would I Lie To You and Taskmaster.