Book Review – The Thursday Murder Club (Thursday Murder Club #1) by Richard Osman

First published, 2020

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

A clever murder-mystery, The Thursday Murder Club follows the investigative efforts of a small group of pensioners in a retirement community, who meet weekly to crack the cold cases of fellow resident, comatose patient and former detective, Penny.

When the owner of their retirement community decides to buy up land further up the hill and cut his builder out of the deal, tempers flare and quite quickly, there are two dead bodies and an unclaimed skeleton with which to contend (I know. Get the grammar on me). But some secrets can’t remain hidden and it’s down to Joyce, Elizabeth, Ibrahim, and Ron, as well as a couple of actual police officers, to unravel a murder from decades ago in order to get to the truth of the recent killings.

A very British story, with some laugh out loud moments, and one scene (which I’ll not spoil for you) when my mouth fell open. Like everybody else, I’ve known Richard Osman for ages, from TV shows like Pointless and Richard Osman’s House of Games, but I was pleasantly surprised by this, his debut novel. His writing is funny, fluent and approachable, and this book has clearly been written with a lot of heart. The author seems to like the more staccato sentences and the modern style of writing; full stop followed by a continuation of the thought. For example:

“Ian Ventham said he wanted us all out of the way and had the paperwork to back it up. Which seemed fair.”
p 160, Chapter 49, Joyce, The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

I loved the character of Bogdan, the Polish builder. He has some awesome lines, including this one when he’s been offered a much larger contract than he’d usually receive. I swear, this should be on a t-shirt:

“Big is the same as small. There’s just more of it.”
p 23, Chapter 5, The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman.

Plenty of red herrings, a clever plot and a clear author’s voice. Excellent.