The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman


Book blurb

In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet up once a week to investigate unsolved murders.

But when a brutal killing takes place on their very doorstep, the Thursday Murder Club find themselves in the middle of their first live case.

Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron might be pushing eighty but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves.

Can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer before it’s too late?

My thoughts

A group of older folk who live in a retirement village, Coopers Cross, get together every week to ‘investigate’ old cases. They are Joyce – who is the first person narrator via her diary – Elizabeth, Ibrahim, Ron and Penny.

Penny, a retired police officer, would bring old papers of actual real life cases and the group would hope to work out what happened, whodunnit. As they met on a Thursday they became the Thursday Murder Club. Recently, Penny has moved into residential care but the others still meet continuing to look at cases. Then an actual murder takes place!

This group, all in their late seventies, are quite capable. They are bright, reasonably fit, have led interesting lives and want to keep active not only in body but in mind. Exercising their ‘little grey cells’ – as the infamous Poirot would say – each brings something to the table when solving crimes.

There is a police presence, well there has been a murder! P.C. Donna Freitas and Clive, her D.C.I., they are somewhat peripheral to the story as, of course, this is about The Thursday Murder Club team investigation. Will Joyce, Elizabeth, Ibrahim and Ron work out what happened and, as the murder count rises, will they find the murderer?

The book is as cosy as can be, there is wit and it is a well written and enjoyable read. Although, in my case, I enjoyed ‘reading’ by listening to Haydn Gwynne read an abridged account of the book via BBC Sounds.

It is very character driven book and there are some really terrific characters. Interestingly the four main characters, whom I liked, I wanted more of their backstories. This may, of course, come in future books in the series as there will be at least one more – the second book will be out later this year.

This book is populated with terrific characters loveable or not! One of them is an associate of Ian Ventham (developer and owner of Coopers Chase) and Tony Curran (builder). Bogdan is a Polish worker who is a bit shady and yet quite lovable especially in the way he interacts with Stephen, Elizabeth’s husband.

Osman’s book has apparently already been taken on with regard to rights: “The movie is being developed by Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment company and Osman is on board as an executive producer.” (Radio Times) It will be interesting to see how this develops.

What I really liked was the fact that the main characters were all in their seventies but not portrayed as too old or past it. Even though they were retired they still had plenty of life in them and lot’s to give to their community and society as a whole. Older people can seem to be written off in todays society when, in fact, they often contribute in many ways from taking on the day to day care of grandchildren, many people still work into their seventies (and this is likely to grow over coming years) to contributing by sharing their wealth of experience, knowledge and expertise. People live much longer and it is important to acknowledge that by being much more inclusive of the older generations.

I can’t say I was very keen to read this book but that’s the beauty of Book Clubs isn’t it? I suppose that’s also why I opted to listen rather than read. It’s not my preferred crime fiction genre but I enjoyed it and for those who like cosy murder mystery’s with some humour thrown in this would certainly be for you. I can see why it was a hit.

Book: listened to via BBC Sounds | The Thursday Murder Club | Told in ten parts, each part approximately 15mins long.

Abridged by: Sara Davies | Read by: Haydn Gwynne | Producer (BBC): Mary Ward-Lowery | Music: Tom Constantine

A Virtual Crime Book Club

Click image for information

The Thursday Murder Club was our latest book club read. For all information about the Virtual Crime Book Club visit The Virtual Crime Book Club where you will find links to our zoom meetings, how to sign up and much more.

Here’s the discussion The Thursday Murder Club but beware spoilers! The book club met on Monday 22nd February 2021 at 8 pm GMT (UK time zone).

Our next meeting will be Monday, 22nd March at 8pm (UK time zone). The March book is Bluebird, Bluebird (Highway 59, Book 1) by Attica Locke.

The voting for March is now open so why not join check it out and join us? You will need to be a member of the book club to get your zoom invite so please do join HERE. We’d love to see you!


Published: Viking (Penguin) | 03/09/2020 | ISBN: 9780241425442

Buy: Hive | UK |AmazonSmileUK |Your local bookshop |

Author: Richard Osman is a popular presenter and comedian who has appeared on some of the UK’s best shows, perhaps best known for his role on quiz show Pointless. Graduating from Trinity College, Cambridge with a degree in politics and sociology, his first experience of broadcasting came as a radio host with BBC Radio Sussex.

Still, Richard’s career is not confined to one or even two areas, and he has also had success as a writer of nonfiction and fiction, with the release of The 100 Most Pointless Things in the World book, penned with Pointless co-host, Alexander Armstrong. His debut novel, The Thursday Murder Club, published in 2020 had prompted a bidding war from interested publishers. The second book of the series is expected later in 2021.

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