Blog Six: 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.”
The Book: The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
The Genre: Murder Mystery
Ghostly Rating: 👻👻👻👻
Four septuagenarians with a few tricks up their sleeves
A female cop with her first big case
A brutal murder
The Thursday Murder Club
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? 
When I initially picked up this book, I didn’t know who Richard Osman was. I mean, I did, but not in the context of having written a book. I recognised him as the tall-guy from Pointless and had no idea the book that had been on my shelf since Christmas was written by him. It was a happy surprise, I have to admit. He’s known for his quick wit and beyond insane intelligence. So I knew I was in for a treat.
The book, to begin with, was a bit of a slow burner for me. I was enjoying reading it, but it didn’t drag me in and hold me hostage. However, as I reached the halfway mark, I was sold. This is the reason for my 4 star rating, rather than 5. The characters were absolutely delightful to read. My favourite being Joyce, of course. The book is like nothing else out there that I’ve ever read (if you know of any similar books or authors, please send them my way!) and has the most unique premise. I bought the book after seeing it all over Instagram (@literary.booked if you want to check out my Instagram) and at first, thought it would be something about American teenagers trying to solve a murder. I bought it without reading the blurb, obviously. Instagram does that to me! So, when I came to pick up the book, I was surprised to see it was set in a retirement village and surrounded a group of four residents solving a murder, with a little help from their police friends.
The characters were believable, and I wanted to know as much about them as I could, which is always a win in my book. The story is complex and Osman ties together all of the strands with amazing care and attention to detail. Some readers seem to complain that the story is far-fetched and not entirely believable. What do I say to that? It’s a work of fiction, it’s not meant to reflect real-life in its entirety. How boring would it be if all fiction mirrored real-life?
Perhaps my favourite element of the book was the backstories of the retirement village’s residents. It helps to remind us that the older people we see out and about have lived full lives and we can learn a hell of a lot from them. Having spent a lot of time in a nursing home when my Nannan was in their care, you can see that people do often forget that the elderly people in their care had lives before this. That they were doctors, teachers, mothers, and even in some cases, spies! Some have led revolutions, while others were simply people trying to get through each day. It can’t hurt for us to be reminded that the elderly people in our society have lived lives we might never have imagined. For this, I commend Richard Osman. Every single character, even secondary and tertiary characters, had beautiful (and often tragic) backstories and this is what made the book a success for me.
I would recommend this book to any person out there looking for a cosy mystery book, reminiscent of Agatha Christie, but with a modern twist. Like Richard Osman himself says, on the slip cover, this book is his greatest book yet (even if it is his first).
The second book in the series, The Man Who Died Twice, is coming out in September. I might be placing a cheeky little pre-order on this beautiful Waterstones exclusive… Check it out here!
BONUS QUOTE: “After a certain age, you can pretty much do whatever takes your fancy. No one tells you off, except for your doctors and your children.”