EXCERPT: A question had been nagging at Donna throughout lunch. ‘So, if you don’t mind me asking, I know you all live at Coopers Chase, but how did the four of you become friends?’
‘Friends?’ Elizabeth seems amused. ‘Oh, we’re not friends, dear.’
Ron is chuckling. ‘Christ, love, no, we’re not friends. Do you need a top-up, Liz?’
Elizabeth nods and Ron pours. They are on a second bottle. It is 12:15.
Ibrahim agrees. ‘I don’t think friends is the word. We wouldn’t choose to socialize, we have very different interests. I like Ron, I suppose, but he can be very difficult.’
Ron nods, ‘I’m very difficult.’
‘And Elizabeth’s manner is off-putting.’
Elizabeth nods. ‘There it is, I’m afraid. I’ve always been an acquired taste. Since school.’
‘I like Joyce, I suppose. I think we all like Joyce,’ says Ibrahim.
Ron and Elizabeth nod their agreement again.
‘Thank you, I’m sure,’ says Joyce, chasing peas around her plate. ‘Don’t you think someone should invent flat peas?’
Donna tries to clear up her confusion.
‘So if you aren’t friends, then what are you?’
Donna looks up and sees Joyce shake her head at the others, this unlikely gang. ‘Well,’ says Joyce. ‘Firstly, we are friends, of course; this lot are just a little slow catching on. And secondly, if it didn’t say on your invitation, PC De Freitas, then it was my oversight. We’re the Thursday Murder Club.’
Elizabeth is going glassy-eyed with red wine, Ron is scratching at a ‘West Ham’ tattoo on his neck, and Ibrahim is polishing an already polished cufflink.
The restaurant is filling up around them, and Donna is not the first visitor to Coopers Chase to think this wouldn’t be the worst place to live. She would kill for a glass of wine and an afternoon off.
ABOUT ‘THE THURSDAY MURDER CLUB’: 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?
MY THOUGHTS: How do I describe The Thursday Murder Club? It is humorous, without being silly. It is charming. It is entertaining. No, more than entertaining. It’s fun. And the characters are fascinating.
Elizabeth has a mysterious past. She has travelled widely and has an extensive network of contacts in surprising places.
Ibrahim is a retired psychiatrist, and is quite meticulous and thorough.
Ron was an infamous union leader, with a renowned boxer for a son who also makes an appearance in this story.
Joyce is a retired nurse, quiet and easily overlooked, but also a quick thinker.
PC Donna De Freitas is lured to Coopers Chase retirement village under false pretences, and soon finds herself involved with the Thursday Murder Club, who have been trying to solve an old case of Penny’s, an ex-detective now in a coma in the hospital wing. But when a murder happens in the village, the Thursday Murder Club turn their attention to solving that, believing that they have resources that the police don’t.
Coopers Chase is a vibrant village. Forget any preconceived notions you may have about retirement villages and their occupants. This one is full of fun and gossip, a real community.
There are multiple deaths and murders to be solved spanning a number of years, from when the original premises was a convent through to the present day. I gave up trying to solve any of them, and just went along for the ride. There are multiple twists and surprises, along with many poignant moments. The Thursday Murder Club is both an entertaining and touching read.
I have thoroughly enjoyed this read and am so very pleased to hear that there is going to be another, The Man Who Died Twice, to be published September 2021.
#TheThursdayMurderClub #misterosman #vikingbooksuk
#fivestarread #crime #contemporaryfiction #humour #murdermystery
THE AUTHOR: Richard Osman is an English television presenter, producer, director and novelist.
DISCLOSURE: I read The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman, published by Viking Books UK, for a Goodreads.com ‘All About Books’ group read. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com
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