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Title: The Thursday Murder Club (#1 The Thursday Murder Club)
Author: Richard Osman
Published: 3rd of September 2020 – Viking
Format: Hardback – 377 pages
“In life you have to learn to count the good days. You have to tuck them in your pocket and carry them around with you. So I’m putting today in my pocket and I’m off to bed.” – The Thursday Murder Club
Hello Hello! How are you?
It has been a few months since I buddy read this book with Stephen from Stephen Writes, but it is high time I posted this review and since I’ve not really had time to sit down and blog properly yet, I finally decided to use one of my back-up reviews.
I had wanted to read this book for ages, so when Stephen and I finally decided on it, I was so happy and it was such a great reading experience, I laughed so much and can’t wait for the second book to be released! Keep on reading for my full thoughts!
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?
Trigger warnings: death, illness, murder, suicide, dementia, child death, drug ring.
The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman is the first book in the Thursday Murder Club series and a book that I buddy read with Stephen quite a few months ago. It has taken me such a long time to write this review (and it has been sitting in my drafts folder for even longer), but I still remember this book vividly and had such a great time reading it with Stephen!
This book is mainly set in a little retirement village not far from a small town called Fairhaven (I think it is a made-up name but not sure). I usually don’t like contemporary settings, but I actually quite liked the retirement village because of how new a setting it was to me. I especially liked seeing the characters getting up to a lot of mischief.
Elizabeth: I think Elizabeth is one of the characters I liked the most and she is definitely one of the most intriguing and funny of the bunch. I loved Elizabeth for her “let’s get on with it” attitude. She is also very straightforward and always says what she wants with hardly any tact which was actually hilarious at times. I recall chapter 16 making me laugh so much I was crying and that really endeared her to me.
Joyce: Joyce is the second character that I enjoyed reading about the most but she is so different to Elizabeth! Joyce is a lot more prim and proper and even a bit naïve I suppose you could say. Where Elizabeth goes in all guns blazing, Joyce is kind of the mediator between things and people. She is so kind and sweet and I also found her funny, but not as much as Elizabeth. I also really liked Joyce’s diary entries which let us learn more about her and get an insight into other events.
Ron and Ibrahim: These are the two other characters that make up the Thursday Murder Club and while I didn’t enjoy reading about them as much as I did about Joyce and Elizabeth, they all definitely came together and complimented one another. Ron is probably the most out-going character with the biggest personality and Ibrahim is a lot quieter and matter-of-fact. I found them all to be funny both alone and together and I thought they made a great sleuthing team.
Bogdan: Bodgan was an interesting character and one I did not trust at all to begin with, but eventually he kind of grew on me a little. I don’t want to say too much about him, but there were definitely some things that happened that I wasn’t expecting.
Donna and Chris: Donna and Chris are the two police people that come to the retirement village to deal with the murder that takes place. I found these to literally be chalk and cheese but it was really funny reading about how they came to work together. I loved their relationship with the Thursday Murder Club and I hope to see all 6 of them again soon!
Tony and Ian: Finally, I just wanted to talk about these two characters that I really did not like. I have to say though, Richard Osman has a great way of describing his characters to make them all so unique and real. It was actually really funny in a mocking way to read about some of the characters.
Death, murder, suicide: This is a murder mystery, so obviously there will be these themes, but there are not just murders. This book is set in a retirement village and the majority of the cast are older people, so death is always at the forefront of their minds. There is also an instance of suicide that is not depicted but mentioned.
Being old and in a retirement village: This is actually something that I never thought I would read about but I liked how the author made this topic to be quite intriguing. I wasn’t bored reading this book, I had a great time in fact and I think that is down to the humour. It was an interesting insight into old age and living in a retirement village and I liked reading about the characters’ thoughts concerning this topic.
Illness and end-of-life situations: As I just mentioned above, there is death and it is a retirement village with a hospice on the grounds. There is illness depicted as well as all the characters have conditions for which they take medication or that they talk about. It’s not just about getting old, slowing down, not being able to do things they did when they were younger. It’s also wondering all the time about death and leaving behind your loved ones. There is also an end-of-life instance where a character is in a hospice and in a coma so if that is a sensitive subject to you, just be aware that it is seen a few times.
Secrets: It wouldn’t be a murder mystery without some secrets now would it? I have a bit of a weird relationship with secrets in books and I can either really hate how they are revealed or love it, and in this case, I did enjoy it. I really wasn’t expecting what happened and I do think the author did a good job of keeping me guessing throughout.
A very unique but amazing sleuthing team: I never thought that I would one day read a murder mystery with a sleuthing team the age of my grandparents, but let me tell you something: it was an absolute blast. This is definitely the most unique and funny team that I’ve had the chance to read about and I think it was a great choice to make by the author, and the whole team was just amazing.
A witty take on murder mysteries and Humour: These are the last two topics I want to mention in this review and they were actually my favourite. If you know me, you know I’m not one to often laugh when reading, but this book had me in stiches multiple times and I still can’t get over how witty and funny this book was. It takes a lot to make me laugh, but chapter 16 was definitely my favourite, I was laughing like mad! I also really liked that the Thursday Murder Club had their own unique and funny way of looking at cold cases and trying to discover the culprits.
“After a certain age, you can pretty much do whatever takes your fancy. No one tells you off, except for your doctors and your children.” – The Thursday Murder Club
MY THOUGHTS AND RATING
Overall, this was a book that made me laugh, smile, surprised me and just generally gave me a great reading experience. I’m so glad I decided to read it with Stephen, because although I would have read it by myself, I don’t think I would have enjoyed it as much. The discussions and all the theories we had really made it into a fun read!
The writing style was really nice because it had a really conversational tone that helped me enjoy the more contemporary and realistic setting and events that I usually struggle with. I found that the pace was also really good and I think I could have read it in one single sitting had I not been buddy reading it.
I gave this book 4 stars (full ASPECTS rating below) and it was just a really solid and funny first instalment in a new mystery series that I will definitely be following. I actually didn’t realise who the author was until I saw his picture and I was surprised he was an author, but it was a really good book that I thoroughly enjoyed and it gets a bonus from me for the amount of time I spent laughing over chapter 16.
If you like funny, unique and engaging murder mysteries with a great sleuthing team, a lot of humour and wit and an easy and quick plot, then this is the book for you! I highly recommend it.
That’s all for now, I hope you enjoyed this review and will pick up this book if you haven’t already! See you soon, stay safe,
“You can have too much choice in this world. And when everyone has too much choice, it is also much harder to get chosen. And we all want to be chosen.” – The Thursday Murder Club
Atmosphere – 6
Start – 6.5
Pacing – 7
Ending – 7.5
Characters – 8.5
Theme – 7
Style – 8
Total = 50.5
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