Book review: The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

One of the most talked-about books over the past year and a bit, The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman (that sitting down fella from Pointless) has received a lot of praise for being something just a bit different to everything else on the market.

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

The Thursday Murder Club is a light-hearted murder mystery with a lot of substance. Featuring some of the most enjoyable characters I’ve read for a long time and a feeling that the author is genuinely very intelligent without making yourself feel dumb, I highly enjoyed this book – and here’s why:

Plot – 4/5

There’s been a murder (try not saying that in a Bristolian accent!) in a peaceful retirement village filled with middle-class elderly people. A group of OAPs take it upon themselves to solve the murder having already previously solved unsolved crimes. The group calls itself the Thursday Murder Club.

The plot features your typical crime mystery – a murder happens and the team must narrow down the suspects and apprehend them. Except, in this case, the team aren’t the police, they’re a group of wonderfully spirited over 70s who take it into their own hands to retrieve all the clues, interview all of the witnesses and suspects and solve the case. The plot is great but isn’t the absolute highlight of the book – there are no major twists or shocking moments and never was I compelled to flip the pages quickly to see what was coming next. Oh no, I was doing that because of the characters in this book…

Characters – 5/5

There are four members of the Thursday Murder Club – Ibrahim, Ron, Joyce and, the one who stands out, Elizabeth. All of these characters have hit the age where they’re looking for more excitement in their lives – hence deciding to try and solve historical crimes that went unsolved. These four characters are great – they’re cheeky, they’re intelligent and they’re the reason you keep reading. Joyce and Elizabeth are the two “main” characters as it were, along with DC De Freitas who works alongside the club to help them solve the case and provide police aid.

You experience most of Joyce through her diary entries in the book that help move along the plot but also give you a great insight not only into Joyce’s past but also into her views of the world and thought processes. Elizabeth is the standout character in the book. She’s clearly gotten to an age where she’s become fearless, she no longer cares for people’s opinions, she no longer worries about what others may think of her and as a result, she is an incredibly stubborn and driven woman. She’s brilliant. There were multiple times that her dry humour had me laughing out loud and her wit and intelligence had me rooting for her to win. Read this book for Osman’s incredible characters who you can tell he has real fun writing.

The Thursday Murder Club summary – 5/5

I feared The Thursday Murder Club had been overhyped – it has very favourable reviews wherever you look, everyone who’s read it said they enjoyed it and this can create an inflated view of the book in your head before going into it. I didn’t come out of this review thinking this was one of my favourite books of all time. However, I would recommend it to absolutely anyone with a sense of humour and looking for something a bit different to everything else out on the bookshelves at the moment.

Richard Osman’s humour, wit and intelligence shine through in the characters and plot of this book and I very much look forward to reading the sequel coming out later this year. Read my Mystery book reviews.

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