The Thursday murder club / Richard Osman.

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    • Abstract:
      Summary: "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. There's Red Ron, the infamous former socialist firebrand, still causing trouble; gentle Joyce, widowed, pining for another resident, but surely not as innocent as she seems; Ibrahim, a former therapist who understands the darker side of human nature; and Elizabeth? Well, no one is quite sure who she really is, but she's definitely not a woman to underestimate. When a local developer is found dead, the Thursday Murder Club suddenly find themselves in the middle of their first live case. The friends might be septuagenarians, but they are cleverer than most. Can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer before its too late?
    • Notes:
      First published in hardcover in Great Britain by Viking, an imprint of Penguin Books, a division of Penguin Random House Ltd., London.
      Series information from Goodreads.
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Booklist Reviews 2020 August #1

A sidekick is the understated star of Osman's debut novel, which is set in the upscale English retirement village of Coopers Chase. Retired nurse Joyce takes a back seat to her friend Elizabeth, who revels in leading the Thursday Murder Club, which is devoted to dissecting old cases. They are handed new mysteries when the shady developer of Cooper Chase is found dead, and an extra body is found in the graveyard ordered destroyed by the developer, who planned to expand, hoping to attract more residents. A thicket of characters demands some concentration, but it's worth it to soak up Osman's wry character building and dialogue, which perfectly encapsulate everyone from the flashy developer, who quickly meets his end, to a young police officer who can't believe she's on a murder case. Numerous suspects prove to have done misguided things from love, with the solution resembling Churchill's "riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma." Readers will want to hear more from Osman and his engaging cast, especially the bumbling, kind Joyce; in the meantime, recommend Christopher Fowler's Bryant & May series. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

LJ Reviews 2020 August

Trivia maven and British quiz show host Osman's first mystery features crime-solving residents of a luxury retirement center in Kent, England. Located on the site of a former convent, Cooper's Chase Retirement Village offers clubs for every interest. The Thursday Murder Club members—Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim, and Ron—meet weekly to examine the cold case files of a former detective. When the contractor who built Cooper's Chase is murdered immediately after being fired by center owner Ian Ventham, Joyce and the others inform the police that they saw the two men arguing. The entire group, including the police, are present when Ventham is murdered. There were 70 seniors who could have killed him. Then the new contractor unearths an extra body in the convent cemetery. The Thursday Murder Club enjoys two active murder investigations and several cold cases while Elizabeth manipulates the police to keep the group in the loop. The character-driven mystery, featuring a group of sleuths all too aware of their own mortality, and a likable pair of cops, is suspenseful, funny, and poignant. VERDICT The delightful, spirited characters from this witty, sometimes bittersweet story deserve a return engagement.—Lesa Holstine, Evansville Vanderburgh P.L., IN

Copyright 2020 Library Journal.

PW Reviews 2020 July #1

British TV celebrity Osman mixes mirth and murder in his exceptional debut, a series launch featuring the four members of the Thursday Murder Club, residents of the Coopers Chase Retirement Village in Kent. Despite their different backgrounds, Elizabeth , Ibrahim, Joyce, and Ron share an interest in solving mysteries. When 26-year-old Donna De Freitas, a police constable who dreams of pursuing serial killers, visits the home to talk to the pensioners about "Practical Tips for Home Security," the club members arrange for Donna to be assigned to a homicide case they have a connection to by manipulating her boss, so that they can get access to the investigation through a grateful Donna. That way they can take a crack at solving the bludgeoning murder of drug dealer Tony Curran, who operated a building business as a front, and whose killer left a photo of three men, one of whom is Ron's son, near Curran's corpse. They use their individual talents, including Joyce's gift for gathering information unobtrusively, and Ibrahim's medical knowledge, which enables him to narrow the timing of a second, related killing. Osman's witty prose (labor activist Ron's "picture was rarely in the papers without the caption ‘Talks between the two sides collapsed late last night'") is a highlight. Fans of Lynne Truss's Constable Twitten mysteries will be tickled. Agent: Juliet Mushens, Mushens Entertainment (U.K.). (Sept.)

Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly.