Author: Richard Osmon
Genre: Cosy Mystery, Crime
Quote: “Elizabeth said she could see that I was eating, but wanted to ask me a question about knife wounds, if it wasn’t inconvenient?”
Setting: England – present
Premise: In the upmarket retirement village of Coopers Chase, Joyce was quietly enjoying her shepherds pie when Elizabeth dropped by her table to ask about murder. And so began Joyce’s initiation into the Thursday Murder Club, an exclusive society operating out of the Jigsaw Room, and led by the indomitable Elizabeth, where four septuagenarians discuss murders for fun.
I absolutely loved this book from Richard Osman (yeah, that Richard Osman! – the brain from Pointless!). The Thursday Murder Club was a gem of a find and the first book which could snap me out of my pandemic ‘too-busy-worrying-about-the-end-of-the-world-to-read’ blues. This wonderfully woven tale follows four pensioners on their mission to nab themselves a murderer and absolutely lives up to both its premise and the cosy mystery genre.
The main characters are beautifully rich and dynamic, with layers of secrets, flaws, and the raw humanity that is worthy of their numerous years. Even better was how well-honed each of their character voices were. Just from the shapes of the phrases alone, I could hear Joyce’s age gravelled voice and see her lined face without even the first word of description. The plot was a delightfully cryptic puzzle, each clue artfully hidden amongst the red herrings and intriguing sub-plots, in that ultimately satisfying way that makes you kick yourself for not quite figuring it all out before the big reveal.
Despite the murderously jolly premise, there are some hard-hitting themes through this book, especially in regard to getting old and the effects that has on relationships. The dynamic between Joyce and her high-flying daughter resonated particularly for me. But even though there is undeniably a shadow of morbidity to this story, it is tempered by that warm fuzzy feeling you get from witnessing lives well lived, and the joys of small pleasures.
This book has consistently held its own in the UK charts ever since its release. The wanna-be, under-resourced, writer in me would love to put that down to the fact that Osman is a celebrity (in the UK at least!) and just had the PR to back him up. But whilst I’m sure his name opened a door or two, there is absolutely no denying his talent for writing and this book deserves its place on the shelf.
You’ve heard enough about how much I like this book, but is this book you’re hunting for?
1. Do you enjoy an intriguing murder mystery puzzle?
2. Are you in the mood for some well written, colourful protagonists from all walks of life?
3. Do you want a cosy, British read, as comforting as a good cup of tea on a rainy day, to sink into?
If you answered yes, yES, YES! Then this might well be your next favourite read!