Old folk, retirement, old age, being nosy, friendship, companionship, lust, lies, love, romance (the two are different), time – and murder. Murders. Plus G+T in a can from M&S.
Just some of the themes occurring in Richard Osman’s debut novel, The Thursday Murder Club.
You may have heard of him: he’s the guy off the telly, on Pointless with Alexander Armstrong. Beforehand, he was a producer and screenwriter!
This novel is inspired by the residents of a retirement village with its very own ‘contemporary upscale restaurant’.
We are introduced to the Club: Elizabeth, Joyce, Ron and Ibrahim. Each individual is perfectly visualised by Osman, where I am sure you may have a friend or know of someone who is likely to resemble them.
Elizabeth is headstrong and likes to be in control (it’s no lie that I can deffo relate).
Joyce is wonderful, charming and is the one who loves a G+T in a can from M&S.
Ron. A little podgy and covered in football tattoos. He admits it; he’s old, he hasn’t got all day. Just cut to the chase.
Ibrahim, a well-educated fellow who still puts an effort in and likes to wear a suit.
The pensioners are linked to the retirement home based in Coopers Chase, in the idyllic Kent where no one would hurt a fly. Perfect, right?
That’s until the Club meet every Thursday to try and solve cold-case murders: it just so happens that they are unpicking the unexpected deaths of Tony Curran and Ian Ventham: neither of them were liked very much in the community, nor each other.
Throughout my read, I could picture everything – good job, as the news is that Steven Spielberg has bought the film rights! I liked the audiobook which mainly got me through – I would love to see her cast in it! But it would also be great to see some new talented actors on the screen. Let’s hope it comes to fruition!
Donna and Chris are real police officers, but in great style, want the pensioners out of the way. Unfortunately (or not!), they give in to the Club!
These folk have time on their hands and head off around Kent and even to Cyprus! I’ll give them that: they’re committed to solving these crimes!
They even get the vicar involved, Bogdan (an immigrant who seems to know everyone, be known by everyone, and knows how to complete a job or two).
I love the insights we get into Joyce’s diary entries, where you may also witness her loneliness and times of friendship, and maybe romance with the lovely Bernard, so much so Ron notices and asks if they’re banging. Great.
Accusations are thrown about all over the place, whilst Ron is a bit hot-headed, which makes you think if him or his boxer son may be responsible … or maybe looks can be deceiving?
I’ve vocalised I’m not one for crime novels, but I’m glad I jumped on the hype with this one as it wasn’t purely serious, full of wit and light-hearted humour.
A good read if you want to dip your toe in crime novels, but aren’t prepared for the brain power and drain of emotions to go with it!
A very British novel.
rating – 4/5
genre – fiction, comedy, mystery, fiction, crime