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By Richard Osman The Thursday Murder Club Hardcover - 3 Sept. 2020 Hardcover – 1 January 2020
- ASIN : B08H29RZGS
- Publisher : Generic (1 January 2020)
- Language : English
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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If you enjoy novels which have a gentle humour amidst a absorbing mystery you will be delighted. I recommend this book unreservedly.
The characters were, well characters, some would say past their prime, but game for anything, fiercely loyal and you felt as though you got to know them, warts and all.
I look forward to the next book.
Ian Ventham is the owner of the development and he wants to expand it by building additional apartments and also to move the graveyard from when there was a convent on the site to build even more apartments. He is howled down at a consultation meeting at the village but his decision is made. That afternoon his builder, Tony Curran, who has a 25% stake in the business is murdered. No worries, Ventham already has a replacement lined up and brings in the diggers early the next morning. Only to find the graveyard picketed by retirees. There is a bit of a scuffle and Ventham drops down dead. Also murdered! This sends a ripple of excitement through the Thursday Murder Club membership who are ably lead by the formidable Elizabeth. Other members include Ron Ritchie, Ibrahim Arif and Joyce Meadowcroft. They all have their areas of expertise.
Not too much later another body is discovered although this one is much older and it takes a while before its relevance to the plot becomes apparent. The amateur detectives go straight to work on these murders. Elizabeth has her varied and very secret sources that cough up much useful information. They also need some pliable police officers they can pump for information so Elizabeth sets out to organise that with much zeal. She ropes in PC Donna De Freitas and DCI Chris Hudson. These two are utterly helpless to resist the wiles and the lemon drizzle cake of the retirees. Still they soon realise that the oldies mean business and can provide many a clue to solving the cases.
This was a joy to read. Osman brings his characters to life in a way that is humorous and respectful and very lively. The story was smart, funny, heartwarming and, in parts a little heartbreaking but full of warmth and empathy. I hope that doesn’t come across as too mushy 😬. I do enjoy stories about older people still having a go. I don’t like the way they are often portrayed as being invisible. Anyway, I have the ARC of the second book and thought I’d better read this first. I guess you would call it a cosy and, strange as it may seem, I find myself enjoying the odd cosy these days. Looking forward to book 2!
Some wonderful turns of phrase and a good deal of colour. Changes in narrator were a little confusing at times, Osman puts the narration in the hands of some of the participants, but not all of them, and it was easy to overlook who was talking, periodically. Nicely understated undercurrent of muted lust which is a little frustrating at times, but we are talking about seniors in an aged care facility!
I have been inspired to buy The Man who Died Twice, the sequel, and it is proving to be as alluring as the first dose of the Thursday Murder Club. Looking forward to the next!!
Top reviews from other countries
This is a typical 'very English' whodunnit, featuring eccentric characters who come alive on the page. The principle players are: Elizabeth (ex-spy chief), Joyce (former nurse), Ibrahim (retired psychiatrist) and Ron (ex-trade union boss) who reside in a gated retirement village situated on the south coast. These are folk who I soon came to care about, despite their individual flaws. They may be fictitious, but Richard effortlessly brings them to life, and gives each a unique personality of their own. Old age can sometimes be a burden to them, and they may have to endure certain physical and mental issues, but combined they are still a force to be reckoned with. These amateur sleuths are also somewhat unorthodox when it comes to the methods they employ to investigate and potentially trap a killer. Despite murder being the theme running through this excellent novel, this is very much a cosy read. It's clever, it's sad, it's moving in places, and it's wickedly funny throughout.
You know, these are difficult, worrying times we find ourselves in, and so we all occasionally need a break, a diversion, some form of escapism - and if that's what you're looking for, then reading this book is one way of achieving that. I'm not easily amused, but I have to say that at times The Thursday Murder Club had me in fits of laughter. This novel is the perfect antidote to the sometimes depressing stuff that has been going on around us of late. My advice is to get your hands on a copy of this book ASAP - then sit back in your favourite armchair, with a mug of tea and a plate of biscuits at hand, and just lose yourself in this compassionate, witty mystery created by the inimitable Richard Osman. All that's left for me to add is that I really cannot wait for the next book in the series.....
Kate Atkinson and Ian Rankin are on the book cover making flattering statements. Why? That seriously undermines their judgement and credibility in my eyes. On the back cover someone says: 'Laugh out loud'. Really? The humour is tired, cliched and resorts to stereotypes; in effect little asides from the author which are not amusing. Richard you can do so much better than this surely? It needed editing. In fact, I am wondering if the first draft was published by mistake and now no one can admit the error. The Joyce diary entries are tedious and nothing more than padding.
I came to this novel with enthusiasm and expectation but it is the worst text I have read in years. Who actually writes fiction in the present tense and thinks it is cool? I despair that another one of these novels is already planned and I can see a film version of this on the television in the future as a Christmas special. Perhaps when 'Death in Paradise' has had its day? Is that actually possible? If you are thinking of buying this for someone's Christmas stocking, I urge caution. I like 'cosy'; it is not cosy like Agatha Christie might be. Someone who agrees with my assessment, said it reminded them of Enid Blyton. They are right. Instead of lashings of ginger beer however, we are given lemon drizzle cake instead.
I admire the way Richard has transformed himself from a producer to a successful presenter. But I ask myself would this have been published if he was not a celebrity? I feel the pain of all the talented writers out there who fail to obtain a publishing deal and remain frustrated throughout their writing career. What a disappointment and an anti-climax. Coming to this having finished a David Nicholls novel the difference in characterisation, language and overall quality is immense. Not your finest moment Richard.
21/3/21. Revisited. Tried to give it another go. Didn't work, truly awful, do not understand on any level the 5 star reviews. Would really like to give zero stars but not possible.
I really like and enjoy Mr Os appearances and television personality and looked forward to reading his first crime writing effort. Usually I would not pay more than £5 for any Kindle book but decided in lockdown to indulge.
What a mistake. The first half needs some severe editing. Using the character Elizabeth as pivotal (ex M15 or whatever) was a sloppy device. By the end I rather wished to share Penny's state.
Sorry Richard I really felt it all a bit "Pointless"