Genre: Mystery Age Range: Adult Star Rating: 5 stars Series: yes - first book
In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet up once a week to investigate unsolved murders.
But when a brutal killing takes place on their very doorstep, the Thursday Murder Club find themselves in the middle of their first live case. Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron might be pushing eighty but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves.
Can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer before it’s too late?
Blurb taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.
THE THURSDAY MURDER CLUB is an utterly hysterical, quirky murder mystery. It’s also so gloriously British (M&S, Sainsbury’s “Taste the Difference”, G&T cans on trains, etc), and reminds me perfectly of conversations with my grandparents, capturing that generation so well.
A retirement village is a great setting for this sort of book as you have a lot of people with a lot of life experience (and assorted useful skills.) And the four at the heart of this book have a pretty laisse-faire approach to the law, knowing they can play the “old foggies” card if they get caught. I loved seeing them (particularly Elizabeth) steamroll her way through the police and anyone else who is not immediately being useful.
You also have the internal politics of a retirement community, which prompted a lot of my laughter too. Arguments within activity groups. Creating a roadblock for the sheer reason of wanting something to do. Over-enthusiastic parking wardens.
The book is told from a lot of perspectives, following lives and the many threads of the mystery. It’s mostly told in third person present, but there are also extracts from Joyce’s diary, which gives a great insight into the mind of one of the main characters. She’s a newbie to the retirement community and the group, and particularly in awe of Elizabeth.
It’s also a book about relationships – with colleagues and children and parents, and also with those who are dead. There are so many instances of each relationship portrayed, showing a breadth of relationship types you don’t often get in fiction as there’s usually one type looked at.
On the mystery front, it’s hard to talk about it without spoilers, but I thought the way it was all resolved was interesting. It wasn’t what I expected and there were some things left hanging, so it’ll be interesting to see if any of that is taken on into the next book.
Read my reviews of other books by Richard Osman:
The Thursday Murder Club (this series):