Friday, January 8, 2021

Review: The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

by Richard Osman
Release Date: September 3rd 2020
2020 Penguin
Kindle Edition; 336 Pages
ISBN: 978-0241425442
ASIN: B0755D5TH7
Genre: Fiction / Murder / Mystery
Source: Review copy from publisher

4 / 5 Stars

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?
My Thoughts
The Thursday Murder Club was a delightful murder mystery set in a retirement village that was about to undergo some major new developments. With a plethora of local committees to keep the residents active, Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim, and Ron form their own club, The Thursday Murder Club, a club that delves into old murder cases and tries to solve them.  Each of them is equipped with a unique skill set that enables them to look at the crimes with fresh eyes to see if the police missed any clue.  Naturally, their club is interrupted when a modern day murder occurs before their very eyes.
I adored the characters in this book.  They are each delightful in their own way, but the author was pretty clever as he didn't really reveal as much about them, and their pasts, as I would have liked.  I loved how each of them used their age to their advantage, pretending to forget or to be feeble when necessary in order to get what they needed or wanted.  It was actually quite funny to watch all of them manoeuver their way around the police detectives as well as other people, especially when you, as the reader, were getting a pretty good idea as to how smart these four people actually were, and were also getting more and more glimpses as to what their professions were before they retired.  It made me think about my own parents and grand-parents, and if they ever used that trick on us.  
The enterprising Elizabeth was my favourite character, and she was definitely the leader of the group, organizing the activities, including who to interview.  She apparently has this huge network of sources on whom to call, a network that even the police seem to envy, and I am really curious to learn more about her in future books.  There are tantalizing glimpses, but they are only teases; I just loved how she switched from strong, independent woman to manipulative older lady. It was pretty hilarious how she worked the police and I laughed out loud a couple of times.
Joyce is the newest of the compatriots to join the club, and it is through her journal that we learn more about the club's activities and their thoughts.  An ex-nurse, she seems to be the quietest, but you can never underestimate the quiet ones, as she also has connections in the world, just in a different way than Elizabeth. 
Ibrahim, a retired psychiatrist, is one in whom I am most interested simply because less information about his past was given and I am simply curious.  Apparently he's famous, but how and why, I don't know.  Ron is also famous as he's known as Red Ron in the media; again, not as much information is given about him so I am hopeful more will be forthcoming in future books.  The two of the together play off each other and they are pretty funny.  I love how Ron, for example, drinks beer just to appear the strong man in front of his son, but actually prefers wine.  Something my husband would do.
This book is far more character-driven than plot-driven, but it was fun nevertheless.  I think the only negative thing that happens when a plot is more character-driven is the real suspense of what happens takes a back seat, so I wasn't really flipping pages anxiously trying to find out what happens.  I did figure out who the culprit was of the main crime fairly early on, although the author did work quite admirably at throwing some pretty good red herrings and I did second-guess myself as couple of times. I did really like how the author included other things in this story other than just focus on the mystery as when you write about the elderly I really feel you should include the other issues that go along with that, and the author meshed those into the story seamlessly.  

The Thursday Murder Club was a thoughtful and intelligent murder mystery and I enjoyed it quite a bit.  I thought the author developed his characters quite a bit, but left the reader also wanting to learn more about them, teasing them a bit too.  The mystery is definitely different and offbeat, but that is why I liked it so much.  Happy to learn there is a second book coming in this series.  I think this book will appeal to anyone who enjoys reading murder mysteries. 



  1. I really enjoyed this too, and there is a second one coming out this year

    1. I was so happy to hear about this too. And even though this was a mystery, I laughed quite a bit reading this. I am so curious to learn more about these characters.