Book Review: The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

“In life you have to learn to count the good days. You have to tuck them in your pocket and carry them around with you. So I’m putting today in my pocket and I’m off to bed.”

Written by the well-known TV presenter Richard Osman, The Thursday Murder Club follows four unlikely friends – Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron – who meet once a week in their retirement village to discuss unsolved crimes. Together, they call themselves The Thursday Murder Club. But while they may be pushing eighty, they’ve still got 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 this unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer before it’s too late?

Rating:

There’s adult fiction and there’s young adult fiction, but why isn’t there a subgenre of “older adult” fiction? We all know that the older generation are the most entertaining. They don’t have the time or patience for the trivial issues that young adults face, and they’ve worked their way through their days of being middle-aged. Now, they can enjoy life’s simple pleasures, say what they want to, and get involved in whoever’s business they feel necessary. Because who has the time to worry about consequences any more?

That’s why The Thursday Murder Club is so much fun. Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron are a charming set of characters. They may be old, but they’re full of energy. And what better way to put your brain to use than to attempt to solve a murder mystery? Sure, they may overstep a few boundaries, but their intentions are in the right place.

It’s a wonderfully written book. Richard Osman’s intelligence and wit shine through his narrative. You know he’s a man with a lot of knowledge as he pays so much attention to detail. He’s constantly respectful of his diverse characters and of the changing attitudes of many of today’s more relevant issues. There are so many brief mentions of things including relevant political issues, currently trending shops, popular daytime TV programs, and general popular culture references that reflect on our modern world. This really helped to create a complete picture as I could perfectly imagine every street these characters walked down and every person they met.

Most of all, I loved how we get a look into the mindset of these older characters, about how they know they may not be around to renew their passport in three month’s time and how they’re all dealing with an emptiness of losing loved ones. It’s so easy to warm to them, and the messages of loneliness, grief, and loss towards the end, especially, tugged on my heartstrings.

The only aspect that stopped me from loving this book is that I don’t like crimes revolving around gangsters/gangs. That’s very much a personal annoyance, though, as the people at the centre of the crime and murders really didn’t interest me. But I loved The Thursday Murder Club gang and their attitudes towards life, and I look forward to seeing them come back together to solve another case.

About Charlie Morris

Proofreader and film blogger living in Cornwall.

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