Book Review: The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman


The Thursday Murder Club
Richard Osman
Title: The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
Rating: 5 stars (🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟)
Publisher: Penguin

It's fecking brilliant, people!! One of my favourites of 2020! I can't even express here my joy after reading through that there will be another (A pre-order prompt? Yes, please, take my money!).

After days of a book hangover from this, I can finally put down some of my thoughts about this gem of a read.

DCI Chris Hudson and PC Donna De Freitas are the officers who find themselves working with the Thursday Murder Club and I very much liked them. They received just as much characterization as Elizabeth, Ibrahim, Ron and Joyce. I adored every club member but if pressed, Ibrahim would probably be my favourite. I hope to enjoy the puzzle of what Elizabeth did in her past life for a while. Ron was a lot of fun and also endearing in his blustering way plus it was nice to see him with his son. Joyce and her cooking and baking along with her journal-keeping and mentions of her daughter were the best. As I read about all of them and the asides of what was happening with other residents of The Villages, I wished for two things: for my mother to be this kind of elderly woman when she becomes one and for me to be one when it's my turn. I loved hanging out with them all!

While there's a lot to smile at and about three lines of mystery to unravel here, there was also poignance to be found in several characters. I won't say who but I was moved more than once by the depth of love and need for accounting (maybe they felt it was justice) and also how that sometimes took people down paths of irrevocable ends. It was an unexpected but wonderful theme here.

I loved all the mentions of some of my favourite sleuths, investigators and mystery writers. Every time one popped up I smiled. The one thing I thought odd was we never met a murder victim's wife. He was like Harvey Nigel Baines 2.0 (Waiting For God) with more malice. I mean, there was an abundance of suspects but I thought between the officers and the club members, someone would have got around to her. Mostly, I wanted to see what woman had agreed to marry and remain married to him. Or, some mention of a woman in black, leaping through the town center in joyous rapture because she'd just had a windfall. I keep trying to decide if this is a cozy mystery. It had some of those elements but didn't really read that way to me. It probably doesn't much matter but I do like my cataloguing to be tidy. A bookish tussle for another day.

Recommended. Highly.

Favourite passages:

"It was Thursday because there was a two-hour slot free in the Jigsaw Room, between Art History and Conversational French. It was booked and still is booked, under the name Japanese Opera- A Discussion which ensured they were always left in peace."

"Ian Ventham parks his range rover in the last empty disabled bay outside, not because he's disabled ut because it's nearest the door."

'We normally meet in the Jigsaw Room, you see. 'But it's not Thursday and the Jigsaw Room is being used by Chat and Crochet.'
'Chat and Cochet is a fairly new group, Detective Chief Inspector,' says Ibrahim. 'Formed by members who had become disillusioned with Knit and Natter. Too much nattering and not enough knitting, apparently.'

"Many years ago, everybody here would wake early because here was a lot to do and only so many hours in the day. Now they wake early because there is a lot to do and only so many days left."

"There had been a schism in the Cryptic Crossword Club. Colin Clemence's weekly solving challenge had been won by Irene Doughtery for the third week running. Frank Carpenter had made an accusation of impropriety and the accusation had gained some momentum. The following day a profane crossword clue had been pinned to Colin Clemence's door, and, the moment he had solved it, all hell had broken loose."

Summary: Four septuagenarians with a few tricks up their sleevesA female cop with her first big case
A brutal murder
Welcome to…
The Thursday Murder Club

In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet weekly in the Jigsaw Room to discuss unsolved crimes; together they call themselves The Thursday Murder Club. Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron might be pushing eighty but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves.

When a local developer is found dead with a mysterious photograph left next to the body, the Thursday Murder Club suddenly find themselves in the middle of their first live case. As the bodies begin to pile up, can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer, before it’s too late?

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