The Thursday Murder Club: A Novel (A Thursday Murder Club Mystery)

by Richard Osman

Paperback, 2021

Call number





Penguin Publishing Group (2021), Edition: Reprint, 384 pages


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?… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member gpangel
The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman is a 2020 Penguin publication.

Cooper’s Chase retirement home is secretly harboring a group of four septuagenarians’ amateur sleuths who meet on Thursdays in the never used ‘jigsaw’ room to work on solving cold cases.

Meet Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim,
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and Ron- the crew working through the files of Elizeth's friend, Penny Gray, a former police officer.

When the development's owner's partner is murdered, right after they witnessed the two men arguing, the gang suddenly has a current and very hot case on their hands.

Enter Police Constable Donna De Freitas, who has weaved herself into the case, only to find that the Thursday Murder Club is already a few steps ahead of her…

Oh, my goodness! What a fun book!!

Yes, this is a cozy mystery, short on graphic violence, and long on humor- but the plot is solid, with several nice twists before the big one I didn’t see coming.

The characterizations are fabulous, the dialogue superb, and pacing is precision perfect.

In short, I absolutely adored this mystery and can’t wait to read the second installment!!

4.5 stars
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LibraryThing member Roarer
I was given the book to read in Greece by a friend who had failed to get into it. I was therefore a bit sceptical, but how wrong I was. I was completely engrossed as the story unfolded. To a degree this stemmed from my own experience of visiting an aunt in a retirement village in Surrey, and
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discovering the astonishing lives her neighbours had led, the fulness of their social diaries, not to mention that my beloved aunt now had the local wine shop on speed-dial. The retirement village and its occupants are beautifully and authentically observed, and not a word is wasted in the telling so it merits reading with care. The sad truth is that we tend to regard the old in terms of their mental and physical losses, so one of the pleasures of this book is that it treats them with sympathy and respect. Whilst I am not too sure the police would react quite as positively with the residents as the story suggests, this is a minor quibble, compared with the pleasure of spending time with such fascinating characters as they confront the challenges of old age from the deep reservoir of experience provided by their long lives and, because this is a who-done-it, in the process confront the disconnect between legality and morality.
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LibraryThing member shelleyraec
“A few glasses of wine and a mystery. Very social, but also gory. It is good fun.”

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman is a delightful mystery debut from Richard Osman.

Set in a luxury retirement village in the south-east region of England, new resident Joyce is quietly thrilled when
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Elizabeth asks for her professional opinion about a knife wound, and then extends an invitation to join The Thursday Murder Club. The club, so named because it meets on Thursday’s, studies cold cases from the files of a retired Detective Inspector (who is now too ill to participate), and includes Elizabeth, a former intelligence operative; Ibrahim, a mostly retired psychiatrist; and Ron, once a union boss, who enjoys playing devil’s advocate. The group enjoy the intellectual challenge of their investigations, but when the part owner/builder of The Coopers Chase Retirement Village, is found bludgeoned to death, the foursome are determined to have a hand in solving the case.

The Thursday Murder Club is a cosy mystery, rather than a thriller, but if one death isn’t enough to satisfy your lust for murder, you are in luck, because Curran is only the first to die. The builder is barely in his grave, when his pompous partner, Ian, keels over dead, and then the bones of another murder victim are found in a graveyard. Osman offers an engaging plot that provides plenty of red herrings as the Club members, and police, try to determine what, if any, connection exists between the three deaths, searching for motive, piecing together clues and chasing leads, even all the way to Greece. I thought the story was well paced, and just unpredictable enough to keep me guessing.

Honestly though it’s the quirky, shrewd and lively protagonists of this novel, who despite their advanced age, or perhaps because of it, aren’t shy about insinuating themselves into the case, much to the exasperation and eventual grudging respect of local police officers, PC Donna de Freitas, and DCI Chris Hudson, that are the winning ingredient. I was absolutely charmed by the personalities of the foursome as they inveigled, manipulated, coerced, and traded favours in their race to solve the murders. Joyce, Elizabeth and Donna in particular are spirited characters who tend to steal the limelight.

Though there is plenty of humour to be found in The Thursday Murder Club, much of it dry in the way that only British humour can be, there are some poignant moments too, which gives the story some depth. Osman touches on some of the disadvantages of ageing, such as failing physical and cognitive abilities, the illness and loss of a spouse, and loneliness, but also reminds us that old age doesn’t have to mean giving up on passion or excitement.

Charming, witty and entertaining, I sincerely hope that we’ll be enjoying the antics of the The Thursday Murder Club again soon.
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LibraryThing member charl08
ARC copy via Netgalley (out in the UK in September)

Brilliantly entertaining crime fiction set in a luxury retirement village, where you don't mess with the parking committee, and you underestimate the murder club at your own risk! This reminded me of Agatha Raisin, Mick Herron and Fredrik Backman,
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but the best thing about it is that it's unique to itself. Hoping the author finds time to write another amongst his many irons in the fire!
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LibraryThing member cathyskye
I read so many mentions of The Thursday Murder Club being brilliant and hilarious that I began to wonder. For one thing, humor is probably the most subjective form of writing there is. For another, I always get nervous when the hype about any book begins to pile up. I almost changed my mind about
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reading it but decided to go against my better judgment.

The premise is fantastic. Four old folks who have all their marbles and are able to get out and about with no problem, who meet once a week to solve cold cases. What's not to like? The four-- a nurse, a spy, a psychiatrist, and a professional protester-- all bring their special skills and considerable intellect to the table, and they also get to help educate a detective constable who's new to the area.

There are poignant moments concerning growing old, death, and grief scattered throughout the book; this book is about more than your typical mystery. I did find myself smiling from time to time as I read some witticism, but at a quarter of the way through the book, that sort of humor seemed to vanish. I also didn't feel comfortable with a detective chief inspector working with anyone outside law enforcement so closely. The Thursday Murder Club also suffered from one or two first-timer mistakes. First, the mystery solving seemed to vanish occasionally because the author was so enamored of his characters he forgot about the story and just wanted to spend time with them. Yes, they're interesting characters, but please don't forget why they're there in the first place. Second, I found the mystery confusing. Too many bodies piled up. Too many killers were hauled out of the shadows. Motives were flying around like bats pouring out of a cave at dusk. It takes a lot for me to become confused when reading a mystery, and I have to admit that I lost the plot a few times. I finally got to the point where I was reading just to get it over with, and that's not good.

As much as I wanted to enjoy The Thursday Murder Club, I did not, but since so much of the enjoyment hinges on humor (and as I said before, humor is so subjective), your mileage may definitely vary.
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LibraryThing member AnaraGuard
I can't wait for Osman's next book to come out after reading this delightful mystery. The language sparkles, the characters are intriguing and sympathetic, the humor is omnipresent.
LibraryThing member phoenixcomet
A fun novel featuring 4 senior citizens who have banded together as friends and who comprise the Thursday Murder Club at the posh retirement facility that they live in called Coopers Commons. A complicated and engaging mystery involving a current landlord, a former drug dealer and current
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construction company owner, and a former priest. Really wonderfully engaging and fun to read.
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LibraryThing member infjsarah
Richard Osman is famous in the UK as a TV presenter etc and I find him very entertaining. This book has been massively hyped in the UK. Sadly I have ended up DNFing this his first novel though. I got to page 101 and I just did not want to pick it back up again. So I have done something I rarely do
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and stopped. Glad I borrowed this & not bought it. Hard to describe why I didn't like it but I found the writing didn't flow at all. I was already lost as to who was who by page 70 - to me it was disjointed & although I recognise the humour he is trying to inject it just wasn't for me. Many people seem to have enjoyed it so just my opinion. Rumour is it might be filmed & it may work better there.
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LibraryThing member japaul22
This was exactly what I wanted it to be - an engaging novel full of diverse characters, a bit of humor, and a lot of good relationships being developed. Plus some room to grow since I see it’s a series.

It’s set in an upscale retirement home and discovering who everyone was before they came
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together is part of the charm. The mystery(s) are a bit weak, but the characters are the point. I’ll gladly try the next one.
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LibraryThing member DrApple
I loved this novel. The story centers on a group of senior citizens in a retirement village who come together once a week to solve cold cases. Things get exciting, however, when an actual murder occurs which is linked to their homes. The old people are sharp, funny, skilled, and they use their age
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to disappear into the woodwork when it is advantageous. A delightful book!
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LibraryThing member thenumeraltwo
Sunday night TV: the book. Enjoyable in the mildly engaging way expected after a big roast a couple of glasses. Diverting without being challenging and I think I'll tap out of the incipient series here.
LibraryThing member DeaconBernie
A most unusual and fascinating mystery. There seem to be 2 or 3 people telling the story plus the narrator. The mystery is done well. What is odd is that all the principle characters are all in their eighties living in senior home. The mystery involves 4 or 5 deaths over a span of 50 years and it
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all comes together at one point or at several points in the last few chapters of the book. And then, like unfinished business, it doesn't end but goes on. The characters are delightfully drawn.
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LibraryThing member Darcia
I want to move to Coopers Chase Retirement Village and join The Thursday Murder Club!

This book features the coolest group of seniors I’ve ever come across. I seriously loved these characters. They’re fun, intelligent, daring, irreverent, and often quite mysterious.

The plot is a whodunit mystery
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that kept me guessing and giggling.

The writing is engaging, quick-paced, and witty, while occasionally slipping in thought-provoking and bittersweet moments of reflection.

The Thursday Murder Club is the first in a series of the same title, and I can’t wait for book two!
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LibraryThing member SandyAMcPherson
This contemporary novel of crime and intrigue was a light read, not too complex, with a likeable plot. Although there were most assuredly implausible sequences, the romp with a murder-mystery-solving set of seniors in a retirement home was a nice change from the grim reading one encounters in many
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present-day books on crime.
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LibraryThing member ladycato
I'm a big fan of Richard Osman on British quiz shows and I was curious about how he would pull off a mystery novel--one that has earned considerable buzz. I don't usually like contemporary mysteries much because they tend towards darkness, graphic sex, and gratuitous gore. However, describes for
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this book described it as cozy, so I took the risk and went for it. I'm glad I did. The Thursday Murder Club is refreshing and bright, featuring a murder-solving crew of seniors in a retirement home. The book has many murders for them to tackle, too, which is part of the fun because it's very twisty-turny, and while you may figure out one, other identified murderers will come as a surprise. It does touch on dark subjects, but never is gratuitous.

Plus, the book has numerous laugh-out-loud bits of dialogue, just as I would hope for from Osman:

"He’s all the things that can go wrong with men if you leave them to their own devices."

"It’s great to be the fastest runner, but not when you’re running in the wrong direction."

"...So, we were all witnesses to a murder,” says Elizabeth. “Which, needless to say, is wonderful.”"

"“I’m ever so sorry.” “Would you like some sherry?” asks Joyce. “It’s only Sainsbury’s, but it’s Taste the Difference.”"

In all, a current bestseller well worth the hype, and I hope a mini series or movie comes out of it, because I would love to see this played out.
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LibraryThing member pgchuis
This was a quick and easy read, and I enjoyed the humorous tone. Elizabeth reminded me a little of Helen Mirren's character in the Red films, who keeps bodies in her freezer. The ending was a bit disappointing. The logic of the motivation for the second murder wasn't exactly overwhelming, and
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focussed on characters and crimes that had not really been at the forefront of the story.
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LibraryThing member BooksForDinner
Was a little surprised I liked this as much as I did? Really quite good, the characters were very likable, the plot was believable. Good.
LibraryThing member nicx27
When I first heard about The Thursday Murder Club I was a teeny bit sceptical. Another celebrity turning their hand to writing a novel? But then I thought, well this is Richard Osman, an extremely intelligent and witty man. What could go wrong? Nothing as it turns out. The Thursday Murder Club is a
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triumphant burst onto the crime fiction scene.

I want to live at Coopers Chase. Apart from the carpets to sink your feet into, the swimming pool, the fancy restaurant, and all the other wonderful features of the retirement village, I also want to solve crimes alongside Elizabeth, Joyce, Ron and Ibrahim, aka The Thursday Murder Club. A more feisty bunch of older people you couldn't hope to come across. When a local man, who was involved with Cooper Chase, is found murdered the four of them set to working out who did it and from there it's adventures galore.

If you’re currently thinking 'cosy crime' then think again. Think Miss Marple with a few pals, some dodgy-dealings, skeletons in the cupboard and a lot of cunning on the part of the unlikely crime-fighters. Add in a couple of police officers who are delightfully manipulated and tamed by them and this book is just an absolute delight.

By page 4 I had sniggered several times. There's a lot of dry humour and wry observations in this story. It's also thoughtful and sweet at times. It really has a bit of everything in there.

In short, read this book. You won't be disappointed. I'm excited to note there is more to come from The Thursday Murder Club. There's plenty of life left in our intrepid quartet yet. Count me in!
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LibraryThing member thiscatsabroad
Felt like a slightly better episode of Murder She Wrote.
LibraryThing member bah195
I really didn't like this book. Too many characters, too many opin ions. When I got half way through the book I realized I didn't care who the killer was.
LibraryThing member lewilliams
A character driven story about a group of seniors in a retirement village that get to together once a week to try to solve old mysteries. This changes when a villager is murdered and they take it upon themselves to "assist" the police in their investigation. This is a well written first cozy novel
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and well worth your time.
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LibraryThing member Eyejaybee
I have been a great admirer of Richard Osman for several years – he is clearly very clever, and exceptionally quick-witted, without the streak of cruelty that so often accompanies television humourists. I was, therefore, intrigued when I heard that he was about to publish a crime novel While I
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had no doubts about his ability, I did worry that he might have been tempted to trade on his name, rather than the substance of the book.

Any such fears were quickly allayed. This book is well worthy of the hype that has accompanied its publication. Set in an affluent retirement village, the story follows the members of the Thursday Murder Club, a group of residents who gather each week to follow some of the more notable cases of one of their number, a retired Detective Inspector. Sadly she succumbs to ill health, but the Club decides to continue, and promptly find a murder almost literally on their doorstep. The victim is one of the key shareholders in the development company that owns the retirement village, and consequently the prime suspect is his former business partner who stands to inherit the victim’s shares under the terms of their business agreement.

Of course, things are seldom quite so straightforward, and the Thursday Murder Club members soon uncover a range of alternative suspects. Under the determined and dynamic leadership of their new Chair, the Club soon find themselves with privileged access to the police investigation, and apply some unexpected resources to move the case forward.

Osman has a dexterous touch. He has created a cast of appealing and very plausible characters, all of whom interact in a completely plausible manner. The plot is very soundly constructed and the characters are delightful. This is a far greater success than I dared to hope for.
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LibraryThing member brangwinn
This was such a fun book, although it hit a little close to home. Not the Murder Club, but the age of the members who live in a retirement community and are widowers and widows. The four members of the club are interesting. There is a psychiatrist, a nurse, a union organizer, and a former espionage
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agent. There is plenty of humor and droll comments about the other residents and as they plot how to actively become involved in a current murder case and enlist the aid of a junior detective. I am hoping there will be more in this cozy mystery series, because it far more than just a story about old ladies solving mysteries. Its also about friendship and growing olde
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LibraryThing member zhoud2005
a very delightful book to read.
LibraryThing member davidroche
My crime sorbet this week is Richard Osman’s The Thursday Murder Club (Viking). This has been a massive triumph in the market and if you were going to wish authorial success on a celebrity then this charming guy would be high on your list. Smart and understated, witty and generous, he supported
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the Durham Book Festival by even making the journey to the North East during the loosening of the lockdown in the Summer in order to enhance a digital event for a festival that was already declared virtual. Talk about giving generously of your valuable time! The book itself appeared to be an affectionate mash up of the Bletchley Circle and Morse’s colleagues if you had time warped them all into eccentric pensioners in lockdown and exaggerated each character by force feeding them an overdose of chamomile tea. Very prettily done and cleverly positioned for both Film/TV and subsequent books but if you demand a real edge to your crime this may not be for you.
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Edgar Award (Nominee — Novel — 2021)
Anthony Award (Nominee — First Novel — 2021)
Macavity Award (Nominee — 2021)
Barry Award (Nominee — First Novel — 2021)




1984880985 / 9781984880987
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