Four septuagenarians with a few tricks up their sleeves.
A female cop with her first big case.
A brutal murder
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?
Violence, Murder, Suicide, Suicide Ideation, Racism.
“I’m afraid I don’t know WTDF. I only learned LOL from Joyce last week.”Richard Osman, The Thursday Murder Club
With the second book in The Thursday Murder Club’s series bridging the horizon, it seems a good time to give you my thoughts on this cosy mystery. First and foremost, this book is very funny. We should expect nothing less from Richard Osman, a comedic presenter best known for Pointless and House of Games. There are some great one liners, the set up and timing of jokes is on point (pun not intended) and generally, if you enjoy Agatha Raisin style murder mysteries, or the casual japes of Bertie Wooster, this is a series you can sink your teeth into.
There are loads of reasons why I love that the detectives are retirees. It justifies extensive knowledge and cunning; Elizabeth is ex secret service, and absolute matriarch. She knows everyone, and anyone she doesn’t know, she gets to know (and by that, I mean she goes full FBI mode and gets the info she needs. We love a women who’s not afraid to get deep into the research). Joyce is a retired nurse. She’s forgotten more about knife wounds than you’ll ever know, and her peaceful demeanour keeps everyone (kind of) honest. Ron is a seventy year old West Ham fan, and really that says so much already. And Ibrahim is a psychiatrist, who helps the team illuminate motives and keep the facts straight. And whilst they all rely on the stereotypes that old people don’t know where they are, or what’s going on, they’re manipulative, cunning, and driven by a mutual love of solving the unsolvable. All good stuff, and generally makes for an enjoyable read. They subvert the traditional detective tropes, but in a fun parody type way. It’s a good time.
Obviously, no book is perfect and debut novels always struggle with something. For me, the main issue with this is that there are so many strings/layers, Osman didn’t seem to know how to wrap everything up. I’m not going to get into too much at the risk of spoilers, but killing off characters rather than confronting them is frustrating once… And saying any more will just be straight up spoilers. Thrillers and mysteries are a tightrope of facts, some of which are red herrings and others which are actual clues, but when there’s a lot to wade through, I can get a little frustrated when you’re not given the clues at all, which is definitely how I felt with this novel.
But. My one flaming issue. The one thing that ground my gears. Caused me to pause and have a mini rage (and I appreciate no one else would have noticed or cared) but Richard Osman, author of fun and good times, had the AUDACITY to slander (or is it liable because it’s written?) Folkestone. My home town. Folkestone is described as a broken down high street with one good flower shop, coffee shop and ‘potential’. Which is totally true and unfair. But I can say Folkestone is a dump because I’ve lived her most of my life, you Mr Big Author Man cannot. We’ve got the Creative Foundation, and the Harbour Arm, and miles of beach, and cute little beach huts, two theatres and a literary festival. How dare you boil it down to one street which isn’t doing so well. (But which does have a really cute Media Merch type store where you can buy a goblet from Game of Thrones or a backpack with Beetlejuice on it.) I’m not saying it’s super jarring seeing someone else’s interpretation of my home, I’m saying it was rude, and Mr Osman – this is my formal invitation for you to come back to Folkestone so I can give you a proper tour. So that when you write book 3, you can show your audience the magic that is this place.
Petty grudges aside, I had a good time with this one and gave it 3.5 stars. I would recommend it to people who love a good mystery but are looking for something different, fans of classics like Enid Blyton, P. G. Wodehouse and Agatha Christie. This is not a hard going, epic thriller type mystery. It is the ultimate cosy read, and perfect for your staycation. (In Folkestone, we have some lovely hotels and campsites. Just saying).
If you’d like to get your hands on a copy of The Thursday Murder Club, click on the link here.
Thank you for reading! Let me know in the comments below what you thought of The Thursday Murder Club!