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‘The Thursday Murder Club’ book review: Thoroughly enjoyed it

‘The Thursday Murder Club’ book review: Thoroughly enjoyed it

My Dashain read was ‘The Thursday Murder Club’ by Richard Osman. The book had been sitting on my shelf for over two years now. I wanted something light and fun to read during the festive season to get my mind off things and I had heard great things about it, with many people calling it a ‘cozy murder mystery’. Osman’s debut book, the film rights of which was snapped by Steven Spielberg, reminded me of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five and made me very happy.

Coopers Chase is a luxury retirement village with 300 residents in the Kent countryside in England. Every week, four senior citizens meet to investigate unsolved murder cases. The cases come from the files of a former police officer, Penny Gray, who is also the club’s founding member. But she is now lying comatose at a nursing home. So, it’s Elizabeth, probably a former spy for the MI5, Ibrahim Arif, a psychiatrist, Ron Ritchie, a former trade union hero, and former nurse Joyce Meadowcroft who meet to discuss and solve cold cases.

In The Thursday Murder Club, Ian Ventham, the owner of Coopers Chase, plans to expand the village. But that means having to dig up and relocate the bodies of nuns buried in the cemetery. The residents, especially the religious ones, aren’t happy about this. Then Ventham’s right-hand man Tony Curran is found bludgeoned to death and that soon opens a box of secrets that somebody would like to bury at any cost. Enter the police—DCI Chris Hudson and PC Donna De Freitas—who, along with the murder club members, try to figure out just what is going on.

The book isn’t your regular, pacy thriller. In fact, it’s slow and the scenes don’t flow. There are a lot of personal stories of the characters interspersed within the main narrative. But humor, and prickly British humor at that, is everywhere. The dialogue and scenes are funny. They will make you laugh out loud, even when they deal with serious situations. Osman has created relatable characters who feel like people you know. They make the story come to life. The characters are the driving force of what could otherwise have been a run-of-the-mill story.

The Thursday Murder Club is, at its core, a mystery. But it’s also a novel about friendship, love, loss, and coming to terms with who we are and what we value. Osman also challenges the notion of old age. The four unlikely but immensely lovable amateur detectives or ‘harmless pensioners’ are testimony to the fact that age doesn’t and shouldn’t stop you from doing what you love.


The Thursday Murder Club

Richard Osman



Pages: Paperback