Thursday, 10 September 2020

 

Book review: The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman [blog tour]


Oh hello, it's been a while. It has been a crazy year, hasn't it? I hope you've gotten through it all OK. I lost my reading mojo during the first months of lockdown in the U.K., and while I've been reading up a storm again the last month or two, it's taken me until now to finally dust off my blog again. But for a very good reason. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman (yes, the creator and presenter of Pointless), is the fastest selling adult crime debut since records began, and that after being published on the same day as nearly 600 other books during super Thursday last week. If that isn't a sign of a corking read, then I don't know what is. 

Imagine Miss Marple lived in a retirement village in Kent and was still solving murders in between playing bingo and gossiping with her neighbours. That's premise of this novel in a nutshell – and it's as good as it sounds.

Four very senior citizens – Elizabeth, Joyce, Ron, and Ibrahim – from different walks of life, make up 'The Thursday Murder Club'. One of their previous members, Penny, used to work in the police force, and upon retirement she took copies of unsolved cases with her to pour over now she had more time on her hands. Penny and Elizabeth were the original members of the club, but what started out as a distraction for them, turned into a whole gang of retirees, each with their own skills. Ibrahim is a psychologist, Joyce an ex-nurse, and Ron? Ron questions anything and anyone in life and so is the perfect addition to stir up some trouble. 

What starts off as a weekly meeting to try and solve cold cases, turns into something much bigger when someone connected to the retirement village is murdered. Suddenly the four reluctant friends turn from Thursday-sleuths to real-life detectives; using their connections and old age to their advantage as they ask the questions not even the police force can get away with. But will the pensioner's club solve the case before the killer strikes again? 

While I don't tend to read much contemporary crime, I have a lot of time for a well-plotted murder mystery and this is a very good one indeed. At times it certainly felt in the vain of an Agatha Christie novel but less morose due to the quirky cast of characters and Osman's humorous tone throughout. It reminded of Antony Horowitz' The Word is Murder in that way, except even more joyful as the retirees' no-nonsense approach made a very serious subject much less loaded. 

And getting to uncover everything through the diary entries of Joyce, the newest member of the club, was a very clever move. Not being tight friends with the other pensioners yet and new to the whole crime-solving gig, it created just the right amount of mystery and red herrings to keep the reader as much on their toes as the characters themselves. The way the plot unravels slowly but satisfyingly was very deftly put together, especially for a debut author. 

In all, The Thursday Murder Club is an absolutely delightful read; it's gripping, fun, and very English in its ways. And the enjoyable cast of quirky seniors are the icing on an already very delicious cake. Author Richard Osman has been signed to write two more books in the series and he promises that "everyone who survives the first book will return in book number two". I, for one, cannot wait to see what the club gets up to next. 


The Thursday Murder Club
 by Richard Osman is published by Viking (Penguin) Books and you can get your copy now from a whole host of retailers.

 

* * * * * BLOG TOUR * * * * *

This review for The Thursday Murder Club is a part of the official blog tour for the launch of the book. Make sure you check out the other stops for more reviews and content!



Disclaimer: This book was gifted to me by the publisher, but this has not impacted this honest review. 


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