- Book: The Thursday Murder Club
- Location: Kent
- Author: Richard Osman
Now, when older folk are in their dotage, they don’t necessarily lose their faculties. Joyce, Elizabeth, Ibrahim and Ron are in their 80s and Richard Osman has plucked them from anonymity in the luxury retirement enclave of Coopers Chase, to be put to work on solving the riddle of a murder which happens right under their noses.
Each character brings a wealth of experience and lives fully lived to the Thursday Murder Club, an informal group that meets (obviously) on a Thursday, to investigate cold cases. They use their wiles to obtain police files for investigation. Naughty! Elizabeth is clearly the leader and she has a very shadowy background – intelligence work and such like! As a group, they use their expertise and brains to try and work out what really happened in any given case, ably abetted by their pet police officer, Donna de Freitas who has been transferred from London, and is, quite frankly, bored in this bucolic haven. She is easily led astray. Are the seniors manipulative? Well, of course, they are old dears and use their status with ruthless determination!
Ian Ventham is clearly a rogue and villain, a developer who, after building the swanky residences at Coopers Chase, is looking for more land to turn into a lucrative deal. His business partner, Tony Curran, owns 25% of the business but Ventham has decided the time has come to move him on. Eagle eyes spot the two of them having a set-to in public and then Curran is found murdered, in his kitchen with the spanner (hello Cluedo…). Elizabeth just knows that Tony Curran was absolutely the type to have enemies, with his sleeveless vest, big house…. Now they have a real murder to investigate, right on their doorstep and boy, is their interest piqued!
The author is a TV personality in the UK, who always comes across as witty, thoughtful and well educated… and kind. And all these qualities shine through the prose, a story told with wit and wisdom. He delights in the mundane but doesn’t shy away from the inevitable difficulties and trauma (death and disability) that are part of this stage of older life. This debut is a great addition to the cozy murder mystery genre.
Sit down with a Twix or a lush piece of Lemon Drizzle Cake and let the characters entertain you. I am sure there must be another book on the horizon featuring these charming and determined characters, mark my words.