Andrea’s Pick of the Week: The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

At the Coopers Chase Luxury Retirement Village, four intrepid retirees have formed the Thursday Murder Club – each week they gather to discuss and solve local cold cases. But trouble is brewing in their bucolic countryside village, and soon the pensioners have not one but two current murders to solve when the owner of the community and his right-hand man are killed. Elizabeth, de facto leader of the club and a former intelligence officer, cleverly finagles a way to work with the local police on the case. Ibrahim, a psychiatrist; Joyce, a former nurse; and Ron, a famous trade union leader, round out the group, and with their unique skills, they often get farther in their investigation than the police.

This story doesn’t marginalize or stereotype people of a certain age. Quite the opposite: these pensioners are sharp-minded, fit, and eager to be useful. They know they have a lot to offer and they pursue their leads with gusto, even when they know the police won’t approve. They are fascinating characters – especially Elizabeth, who is cagey about her past but has clearly done some dangerous stuff. Joyce, the former nurse and the most “ordinary” of the group, narrates her version of events in a wonderfully self-deprecating manner.

There’s a dry sense of humor infusing the story that had me laughing to myself while I read. You have to respect a writer who names a vegan café “Anything with a Pulse.” Osman, a British TV personality, balances humor with some very poignant moments, as the characters reflect upon growing old and losing those who are dear to them. The plot is also cleverly written, as the two murders come together and diverge, involving more quirky characters who are suspects.

I am genuinely hoping that this book is the first in a series, because I would love to read more of the Thursday Murder Club’s shenanigans. I highly recommend this funny, clever, bighearted book.

(Note: I received an advance reader’s copy from the publisher. This book will be released on September 22.)

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