The Thursday Murder Club, Richard Osman
Ended up listening to this as an audiobook after mildly panicking that the third in the series was about to lob, and I was still struggling to get to this debut on the teetering unread pile. Glad I did.
Fans of this style of novel will be well aware of the buzz around THE THURSDAY MURDER CLUB (the book name / and the group that it features). Four people from a retirement village (Cooper's Chase) who meet weekly to investigate unsolved mysteries, the old hands Elizabeth, Ibraham and Ronald are joined by recent arrival Joyce, just as two murders occur right on their doorstep.
Causing a bit of havoc for PC Donna De Freitas and DC Chris Hudson along the way, De Freitas twigs very early on that an offer to co-operate with this wily bunch is better than trying to stop them from getting involved. Not only does it turn out to be helpful, you get the distinct impression that spending time with this group is a highlight.
Along the way there's some intrigue about other members of the community, touches of romance, a bit of family tension and some background intrigue about the four main characters. It would appear that Elizabeth is possibly a former spy (she's cagey), Ibrahim is a retired psychologist and very adept at interpreting human foibles, Ronald is a retired union boss - known as Red Ron because of his fiery red hair and temperament to match. Joyce is an ex-nurse, and it's her diary notes that keep us updated on what's going on with everyone throughout the story.
A fun listen, the audio version was a hefty undertaking, coming in at around 12 and a half hours worth - although there was nothing at all hard about listening to the narrator's voice as it just flowed. The tone is very much Richard Osman's voice as well - for those that have been fans of many of his TV shows over the years. The chapters are short, switching backwards and forwards between Joyce's narration, and actual events, with Elizabeth the brains behind the operation, Ibrahim the trusty sidekick, Ronald a bit inclined to be the devil may care dive in guy, and Joyce, well Joyce bakes, fusses, and never misses a thing.
Definitely on the cozier side, despite the number of murders, but never veering off into too sweet, or too silly territory, I have to say I loved listening to this one. Very different from my usual fare and whilst I initially though it was just the thing to have burbling away in the background, all too often I found my attention drawn to it, and did a lot of concentrating on the activities (bordering on action at points) instead.
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?