Book Review

Review: The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

I’ve been a long time fan of the freakishly tall, bizarrely handsome Richard Osman. I’ve also been waiting for my invite for House of Games for a few years now and I would absolutely DESTROY the competition (just as I do my partner every time we play. Hehheh). So first off I’m delighted that he’s written a cosy (?) murder mystery – and that there’s another already published (good lord I am BEHIND). Here we go:

Title: The Thursday Murder Club
Author: Richard Osman
Series: Thursday Murder Club #1
Pages: 382
Publisher: Viking (Penguin Books UK)
Publication Date: 3rd September 2020
Ownership: eARC

Rating: 3.5 stars

There was a lot to enjoy about this book and it is absolutely about the most English of settings – a retirement home. Not just any retirement home though, this is a whole community of people who are not done yet. There are squabbles about parking permits, residents committee, pilates and knitting club. All in an idyllic area of the south east. (Genuinely it sounds like a wonderful place).

Joyce, Elizabeth, Ibrahim and Ron are the Thursday Murder Club – they look over old cases, try and come up with new lines of reasoning and have fun puzzling things out. And when a real murder happens close to their retirement community, it’s the perfect time for Elizabeth to bring in her particular skillset to help solve the crime.

There’s also a lovely secondary story going on featuring the police investigating the murder and the growing relationship between these two characters is a lot of fun to read. There are also plenty of amusing asides that are delivered in a very dead-pan British way that are wryly amusing … and then you move on.

Some things were quite jumbled, however. I’m not sure why we needed a very giddy set of diary entries from Joyce during the book, and there were quite a few POV switches that did make things confusing. There are also a lot of characters – the book is short enough to keep track of them but it also means that you never quite feel the satisfaction of getting to know anyone fully.

There are also quite a few themes that I wish had been developed properly – one was the Murder Club itself – what exactly had been their previous success rate and what did they do when they found things out before now? And Elizabeth’s own contacts and skills seemingly knew no bounds to keep the group always a couple of steps ahead of the police. But because there was a lot of behind the scenes action, it often seemed quite muddled which exact strings were being pulled.

Look, it was a fun book. It became a little convoluted, a little hard to believe and had a slightly strange sense of justice throughout – but it was exciting and enticing enough to pull me out of a significant reading slump and I’m actually looking forward to the next one.

I received an eARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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