Look out Ms Marple, The Thursday Murder Club is giving you a run for your pension

“Well, let’s start with Elizabeth, shall we?”

When the time comes for me to retire — a far-off forty years, if I make it that long — my plan is to open a bookshop slash café. The store will carry a wide variety of indie novels, books overflowing every shelf, and will always be filled with the smell of baking bread. You will come to my bookshop not for the selection of books — definitely that will be a draw — but the real attraction will be the grumpy sales assistants that have express permission from yours truly to be surly with the worst of customers. Fuck the customer is always right. Will that be bad for business? Possibly. But that’s my dream retirement.

Your dream retirement might look different. And for The Thursday Murder Club, it definitely does. Set in an idyllic village, our motley crew: Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron meet every Thursday in their retirement village and discuss cold cases, with the hopes of solving them and bringing dormant serial killers to justice. But their mystery solving skills are put to the test when the retirement village is threatened with demolition, only for the local developer to turn up dead.

So what is there for the retired elderly to do but to put on their thinking caps and unravel this mystery?

Like I’ve mentioned in my previous newsletters, I am a sucker for mystery having grown up on a palette of Enid Blyton and Agatha Christie. The Thursday Murder Club was a lovely edition to my ongoing hunt for the perfect mystery book, with its adorable crew of elderly detectives and gung-ho attitude. Ms Marple might have been content sitting at home and thinking over the case in a comfy chair but The Thursday Murder Club are still alive and kicking.

Strangely enough, my main concern for The Thursday Murder Club was if they were going to end up in a high stakes shoot out that no 80 year old should be put through. And while it certainly nearly came to that, our detectives were more than clever enough to weasel their way out of it. In more than one situation, Elizabeth manages to evade serious punishment even with the police breathing down her neck with nothing more than a well placed smile and tasty biscuits.

So there should be no surprise that even with the intriguing mystery that Richard Osman was unravelling through the pages, the real shining star of the novel was the ensemble crew. Four main characters honestly felt like the perfect amount of people to focus on, and each character was so distinct in their voice and description that I would have honestly trusted them to solve my murder had I been some poor forgotten victim.

The twists and turns were well thought out — I found myself gasping on the train when the killer was revealed — and even with the amount of red herrings scattered through the novels, they were still helpfully explained away by The Thursday Murder Club when the truth eventually came to light.

We’re not quite halfway through the year but I’m quite sure The Thursday Murder Club will be one of my favourite books that I’ve read this year and I can’t wait til Richard Osman releases the sequel.

P.S. Richard Osman, if you’re seeing this I would love an ARC. I love Ibrahim so much.

Rating: 5/5

This review was first published on The Reader Who Came In from the Heat. Subscribe for more good reads in your inbox.

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Hui Ying is an undergraduate working on her debut poetry collection and novel. Find them on Twitter at @distanceofio.

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Hui Ying

Hui Ying

Hui Ying is an undergraduate working on her debut poetry collection and novel. Find them on Twitter at @distanceofio.

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