Summary and book reviews of The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

The Thursday Murder Club

by Richard Osman

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman X
The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2020, 368 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 3, 2021, 384 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Debbie Morrison
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About this Book

Book Summary

Four septuagenarians with a few tricks up their sleeves
A female cop with her first big case
A brutal murder
Welcome to...
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.

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?

1.

Joyce

Well, let's start with Elizabeth, shall we? And see where that gets us?

I knew who she was, of course; everybody here knows Elizabeth. She has one of the three-bedroom flats in Larkin Court. It's the one on the corner, with the decking? Also, I was once on a quiz team with Stephen, who, for a number of reasons, is Elizabeth's third husband.

I was at lunch, this is two or three months ago, and it must have been a Monday, because we were having shepherd's pie. Elizabeth said she could see that I was eating, but she wanted to ask me a question about knife wounds, if it wasn't inconvenient?

I said, "Not at all, of course, please," or words to that effect. I won't always remember everything exactly, I might as well tell you that now. So she opened a manila folder, and I saw some typed sheets and the edges of what looked like old photographs. Then she was straight into it.

Elizabeth asked me to imagine that a girl had been stabbed with a knife. I asked what sort of knife she had been ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
  1. Though the book follows the four friends—Joyce, Elizabeth, Ibrahim, and Ron—solving the murder, the only first-person POV is Joyce's via her diary. Why do you think the author chose to show her perspective in such a way?
  2. Joyce was a nurse, Elizabeth was in the secret service, Ibrahim was a psychiatrist, and Ron was a trade union leader. Who do you think was most helpful in solving the crime? What strengths did they each bring to the table? What were their weaknesses?
  3. Do you think that PC Donna De Freitas and DCI Chris Hudson make a good team? Do you think Donna was smart to stay in touch with Joyce, even though it was unprofessional at times? Why or why not? What do you make of the relationship between the detectives and the...
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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

The Thursday Murder Club is equal parts intrigue, humor and pathos. On the periphery of the murder mystery are the sorrows and challenges of old age. Each member of the club has lost a spouse, or a close friend, or a profession, or his/her health to a degree. But in many ways, it's those losses that make the connections between them all the more poignant. The novel is a well-written, lively whodunit in the vein of Carl Hiaasen and Elmore Leonard on this side of the pond or Kaye C. Hill's Lexy Lomax series on the other side...continued

Full Review Members Only (647 words).

(Reviewed by Debbie Morrison).

Media Reviews

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
[A] fascinating primer in detection...A top-class cozy infused with dry wit and charming characters who draw you in and leave you wanting more, please.

Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Osman mixes mirth and murder in his exceptional debut...Fans of Lynne Truss's Constable Twitten mysteries will be tickled.

Author Blurb A. J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window
Loved every word. Loved the fleet, nimble plotting, as ingenious as top-shelf Agatha Christie; loved the boisterous cast of characters—think Fredrik Backman; loved the crisp, witty, Carl Hiaasen-caliber dialogue...yet above all, I love The Thursday Murder Club for its psychological texture, emotional depth, and luminous, fireside warmth. What a generous novel. Readers of Louise Penny and Kate Atkinson, rejoice.

Author Blurb Fiona Barton, New York Times bestselling author of The Widow
Grinning like a monkey having just finished The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman. Loved its clever, clever plot, great gags, Ealing comedy set ups and Elizabeth. Can't say more but I want to be her one day…

Author Blurb Alan Bradley, New York Times bestselling author of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
A rich, textured, twisted, and fabulously funny tale of murder and mayhem.

Author Blurb Jeffery Deaver, #1 international bestselling author of The Goodbye Man
By turns hilarious and poignant, The Thursday Murder Club offers up a brilliant concept that's flawlessly executed and told in a unique, captivating voice. These are rare qualities in any novel, let alone a debut. I read the first page, then put all else on hold to devour this pitch-perfect book in one sitting. Bravo!

Reader Reviews

LINDA MARGARET FOULKES

Witty
I recommended this for my book club. I live in the US and I am worried that a lot of the 'language' will not be understood. I loved the book and thought it was a great read.
Becky H

A delightful cozy
A foursome of retired folk in a senior home get together to take a look at unsolved crimes. Much to their surprise they find themselves embroiled in a real present-day murder. A delightful cozy with fully realized characters -- and they are ...   Read More
Lois

A murder mystery but oh so much more!
Great characters with witty conversations , touching realities of old age, life’s choices and their consequences, and a murder mystery to wrap it all into a nice little package. Loved it! Will be looking forward to book 2.
Lois

So much more than a mystery.
I smiled. I chuckled a little. I cried. I thought this was just going to be a cozy little mystery. But it was so much more. The characters were so well done; I wanted to be in the room with them listening to their conversations, being a part of their...   Read More

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Beyond the Book

A Brief History of Trade Unions in the U.K.

Unite the Union logoIn Richard Osman's The Thursday Murder Club, the residents of the Coopers Chase retirement community are, in some ways, very much like any other group of retirees. They fawn over their grandchildren, they gather to discuss various aches and pains, and they frequently misunderstand technology. And like many other retirees, they also have decades of experience and expertise from their earlier lives and professions. One of the professions that stands out as particularly useful in the group's amateur pursuit of criminals is Red Ron's former life as a British Trade Union leader.

Although trade unions were not officially legal in the U.K. until the mid-19th century, the country had a prior history of movements for workers' rights, perhaps the ...

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