Staff Review – The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

One of my reading goals for this year was to expand my horizons and read some different genres than what I normally gravitate towards (romance, literary fiction, fantasy). My specific goal was to open myself up to the mystery genre by starting with some cozy mysteries. So, when Richard Osman’s “The Thursday Murder Club” fell into my lap, I knew it was a sign. The story takes place at a peaceful retirement village, where the residents take part in a variety of activities. A few of the residents have created “The Thursday Murder Club”, wherein they discuss and try to solve old, unsolved murders. The club currently consists of Elizabeth, Joyce (the newest member), Ron and Ibrahim. As they meet weekly to solve these cold cases, something far more exciting happens! A brand-new murder right on their doorsteps! And then another! How thrilling!

While Osman’s novel isn’t technically considered a cozy mystery, I still felt it was a great starting point for me to branch into the mystery genre. I didn’t want something too “scary” or far into the “thriller” category – I scare easily. So when I heard about a novel centered around four seniors trying to solve a murder, I figured I would be in good hands. This story is laced with humour and light-hearted characters that really brighten up the storyline of multiple murders, as well as the more depressing aspects of getting older, such as declining health, family dynamics and more. Each chapter comes from a different characters perspective, from residents such as Bernard to Ian Ventham, the selfish owner of the retirement village, to the detectives on the case, Chris and Donna. We also see portions of Joyce’s diary as she updates about her relationship with her daughter as well as the progress on solving the murders.

One thing I learned from reading this novel is that I am terrible at trying to figure out who committed the crimes. I fell for most of the “red herring” clues that are meant to throw the reader off the path, but that’s fine. I wasn’t intending to solve the crime – I was sure I wouldn’t from the beginning – but I did really enjoy learning whodunnit and how. Everyone’s stories connecting and truths coming to light were some of my favourite aspects of this novel. I also really enjoyed the banter and dialogue between the characters – serious conversations about murder laced with the casual thoughts of the elderly, such as this quote of Elizabeth discussing her texting knowledge:

“I’m afraid I don’t know WTF. I only discovered LOL from Joyce last week. I’m going to assume that it doesn’t refer to the Warsaw Transit Facility, as that was shut down in 1981 when the Russians came sniffing.”

The characters are so likeable, the plot is compelling and the murders are most foul. If you’re looking for something fun with a touch of mystery, this book is for you! There are now four books in the series as well, so be sure to get started and pick up Richard Osman’s The Thursday Murder Club today!