I have to admit it: I totally picked this book up because I have watched Richard Osman quite a bit on quiz shows on British TV and liked his personality on TV. While I have read quite a number of crime novels (Patrick Cornwall, John Grisham, etc), it has been a long time since I picked one out to read, so it was sort of his celebrity status that made me buy this book.
I was not disappointed. I absolutely LOVED it! It’s a great story; well-written with a good balance of mystery and clues, a good dash of British humour, and many heartwarming moments with an insight into the retired mindset as well as a fabulous cast of characters.
Elizabeth is the leader of the pack, Ron, the one with a famous son, is the loud outspoken trouble-maker, Ibrahim, the psychiatrist, is the quiet voice of calm, and Joyce, the new addition, is the enthusiastic follower. They all have their stories and their past which we get to know bits and pieces of throughout the book.
They all live in a retirement village, quite a posh place, and pass their time solving cold cases which they have access to because Penny, Elizabeth’s best friend, was a detective in her previous life. But Penny is no longer able to be a part of The Thursday Murder Club but the others carry on.
Excitement enters their lives in the form of the murder of the man who is the builder of their beautiful retirement village. A real-life case – The Thursday Murder Club is on the case, much to the dismay of the local police.
Elizabeth, Ron, Ibrahim and Joyce might be retired and have about 30 decades between them but drawing on their great life experiences and previous work expertise, they definitely make quite the formidable team.
As the story goes on, more than one murder is revealed but is the same person responsible for all these murders? I love the layers Osman has worked into the plot and how wonderfully connected almost everything and everyone is. And skillfully interwoven into all of these are the personal stories of the characters. It’s really quite clever.
I also really like the writing style and how there’s a first-person narrative in the form of Joyce’s diary which breaks up the third-person accounts very nicely. It’s lovely to read Joyce’s observations of the various characters and situations with a nice little surprise at the end which I had not expected her to speak about.
There is a sneak peek chapter into the next book at the end of this first one. I am so getting the second and third books. I hope this review has done this superb novel and the delightful cast of characters justice.
Oh, and I have read that Steve Spielberg has bought the film rights to The Thursday Murder Club so I am looking forward to watching that when it comes out.