The Thursday Murder Club

The Thursday Murder Club

Richard Osman started out his career as a TV producer before finding himself in front of the camera on Pointless. He was a natural. Apparently, even Her Majesty the Queen is a fan! In the past decade, he has rarely been off our screens since. Judging by the success of his debut novel The Thursday Murder Club, he won’t be disappearing from bookshelves any time soon either.

The countryside murder mystery has been a British institution for decades – from Agatha Christie to Midsummer Murders. However, Osman has managed to find a clever spin on the genre by giving centre stage to a plucky gang of Septuagenarians and Octogenarians living in a retirement community. The eponymous Thursday Murder Club – Elizabeth, Joyce, Ron, and Ibrahim – are called into action when the murders they love investigating start happening closer to home.

Along the way, they meet Detectives Donna and Chris, who begin working alongside the club – though often begrudgingly as the OAPs often take matters into their own hands.

Osman weaves in plenty of gentle humour and plot twists along the way, as well as a red herring or two. It turns out that Coopers Chase retirement village is hiding plenty of secrets behind its seemingly innocent exterior. 

Perhaps the greatest achievement of the novel is the fact that all of the elderly characters are shown to be clever, resourceful, and ultimately useful – something that is often sadly forgotten in our society.

While the book is highly enjoyable, it isn’t a perfect debut. The plot zips along at a nice pace, but it starts to become a little convoluted in the final pages as Osman tries to wrap up all his story lines at once. Despite this, if you are a murder mystery lover or even just a fan of Osman himself, there is plenty to love here.

With over a million copies already sold, the incredible popularity of The Thursday Murder Club means that this is likely to be a long-running series. We may even see the crime-fighting pensioners on the big screen as the film rights have been bought by none other than Steven Spielberg.

The paperback edition is due on May 13, but if you can’t wait until then, you can get the original hardback here.

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