Title: The Thursday Murder Club
Author: Richard Osman
Release Date: 3/10/2020
E.S.C.A.P.E Score: 36
(see below for breakdown)
3 .5 stars
I received a free eARC copy from Penguin Books UK , via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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?
I have a little bit of mixed feelings with this one. When I first read the synopsis I instantly thought of 13 Problems by Agatha Christie, a series of Ms Marple Short stories where Ms Marple and her gang would meet up every Tuesday and discuss unsolved cases. I was pleased when this book diverged from that aspect and became more of about a plucky band of trouble makers (in there 80s) with a mystery to solve – think more ScoobyDoo gang than Ms Marple.
It was very apparent that this was a debut and I do feel it could have used a touch more editing. It was just missing a little bit of polish around the edges, particularly in the beginning and the jumping between the epistolary sections and the narrated sections. I just feel that the narrative voice got a little muddled particularly in the beginning. I will say the banter between characters was great, particularly when they ensemble cast was together and employing inane chatter as a tactic to bamboozle unsuspecting Police Officers. There was great back and forth in these scenes that really made me chuckle.
Despite that I really enjoyed this book, it is filled with light humour, red herrings and an awesome cast of Characters. I adored Elizabeth. She is a tour de force and really made the book for me. She is such an interesting character and I really love how we got just enough of her past to make all kinds of assumptions on what she did for a living and how she ended up with so many ‘contacts’. Joyce was a really good choice as the narrator and while occasionally the gang could fall into the stereotypes of the typical Octogenarian, which actually felt a little out of date, they were still a fun cast to read about. It had a real buddy caper feel to it which was enjoyable.
I did like the resolution of the mysteries. There was a good number of twists and red herrings, just as you think you had sussed it out it would switch direction and prove you wrong. Overall this is a fun read perfect for a cosy Sunday afternoon or whiling away a rainy day.