The Bullet That Missed: A Thursday Murder Club Mystery

by Richard Osman

Hardcover, 2022

Call number





Pamela Dorman Books (2022), 352 pages


Fiction. Mystery. HTML:A new mystery is afoot in the third book in the Thursday Murder Club series from million-copy bestselling author Richard Osman.  It is an ordinary Thursday, and things should finally be returning to normal. Except trouble is never far away where the Thursday Murder Club are concerned. A decade-old cold case�??their favorite kind�??leads them to a local news legend and a murder with no body and no answers. Then a new foe pays Elizabeth a visit. Her mission? Kill or be killed. Suddenly the cold case has become red hot. While Elizabeth wrestles with her conscience (and a gun), Joyce, Ron, and Ibrahim chase down the clues with help from old friends and new. But can the gang solve the mystery and save Elizabeth before the murderer strikes again? From an upmarket spa to a prison cell complete with espresso machine to a luxury penthouse high in the sky, this third adventure of the Thursday Murder Club is full of the cleverness, intrigue, and irresistible charm that readers have come to expect from Richard Osman�??s bestsellin… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member lauralkeet
In The Bullet that Missed, our crime-solving octogenarians turn their talents to a cold case: the unsolved murder of journalist Bethany Waites. Ironically, the Thursday Murder Club formed to discuss unsolved cases, but the first two books found them untangling current crimes. In this installment
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they return to their roots, strengthened by real-life experience and a partnership with the local police force.

The mysteries are generally preposterous, as they invariably involve people from club member Elizabeth’s shady past, and this book was no exception. But the guest stars fit right in with the four principals, and even KGB agents and practiced criminals endear themselves to the reader. The crime itself took an interesting twist that I did not expect, and the lives of the main characters also progressed in satisfying ways.

Having read the first three Thursday Murder Club books in rapid succession, I can now quickly spot the formula at work, but I don’t really care. I just enjoy spending time with these people.
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LibraryThing member Lisa2013
I enjoyed this book from the start but it wasn’t until I was about the 40% mark that it started being a page-turner for me.

I simultaneously read the Kindle e-book and the Overdrive audio book, and I also had the hardcover edition available. The audio book includes an interesting interview with
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the author at the end. I am glad that I listened to it. The author is lovely and I enjoyed hearing the information he gave about his writing process, his plans for future books, the movie!, and other related topics.

I love this group of friends and their relationships. I enjoy reading about people mostly older than I am. As I get older I find myself reading about people mostly younger than I am. I would also have loved these characters just as much when I was a younger adult.

This series is one of only three mystery series written for adults that I find it incredibly hard to wait for the next book. The other two are the Maisie Dobbs series by Winspear and the Ruth Galloway series by Griffiths. I find all three entertaining and all of them have humor but this series amuses me the most. I love the humor in these books. With all of them I love being back with the characters. It feels like being home.

I love that London made memorable appearances in this book.

I appreciate that the villains (and would be villains) are just as fascinating and three dimensional as the main “good guys” characters. I particularly got a kick out of the villains and wannabes in this book. I think and hope that they will make appearances in future books.

I am grateful that these books are very low on the violence scale.

My favorite aspects of the book are, once again, the characters and their relationships, but I also thought that the mystery/mysteries were particularly good in this one. There is more than one twist and they were all fun.

“Life is about understanding opportunities. Understanding how rarely they come along, and then rising to meet them when they do.”

The only bad thing about this book for me is having to wait about a year for the 4th book. I’m not sure what novel I will read next. I am in book hangover territory at the moment.


How could I leave out that this book and its characters and their relationships are full of heart?! These books are not comedy books full of jokes even though they're amusing. They're also heartwarming and with one character in this book and those who care about them come close to heartbreaking. That is Stephen. I generally love books about physical and mental illnesses but usually avoid books about Alzheimer’s Disease. Here I like how it’s done, maybe because of the support around him by those who care about him and definitely because it shows how “with it” he is in so many ways, catching things that only someone sharp would notice.

There is nothing depressing about this story though. I don't always see movies of books that I love but I'm interested in seeing the Thursday Murder Club movie/s.
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LibraryThing member kaulsu
What fun to read a third book in a series and KNOW you will read another! I say this because the second book [The Man Who Died Twice] was pretty awful, and had this one been that bad, too, I would not pick up another Osman.

This one was engaging, though I admit that I struggled to remember some of
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the characters. I soon sorted them all out. (Except for Ron. I had to go back to the first book to figure out who he had been in his younger days.) The ending, of course, set the stage for the next book (no spoiler alerts from me), but there was also a thread in the book which was not resolved; just left to dangle. Hopefully, Osman will also snip it off...or resolve it with Ibrahim. A few new characters were introduced in this volume. Good additions.
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LibraryThing member shelleyraec
I’m delighted by the return of the Thursday Murder Club in Richard Osman’s third book featuring four elderly residents of a luxury retirement village, The Bullet That Missed.

The Thursday Murder Club -Elizabeth, a former MI5 intelligence operative; Ibrahim, a mostly retired psychiatrist; Ron,
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once a union boss who enjoys playing devil’s advocate; and Joyce, a former nurse; are drawn into a cold case involving the disappearance of an investigative reporter a decade earlier, primarily because Joyce has a small crush on the victims former South East Tonight colleague, Mike Waghorn. Bethany Waites was working on uncovering the mastermind of a mobile phone scam, and the whereabouts of the scheme’s billion dollar profits, when her car went over a cliff. Though Bethany’s body was never found, it was assumed she got too close, and was murdered.

As the Thursday Murder Club try to unravel Bethany’s fate, Elizabeth is receiving anonymous vaguely threatening text messages which she declines to share with the others, until Elizabeth and her husband Stephen, are kidnapped by a mystery man they call ‘The Viking’ who then demands Elizabeth kill an old frenemy, a ex-KGB spy turned money launderer, or forfeit Joyce’s life.

The stakes seem a little higher in this story than the last, given the plethora of seriously bad dudes, and the direct threats to Joyce’s life, but The Thursday Murder Club bluff, charm, and outwit their enemies with ease. Sure events stretch the limits of credibility somewhat, but Osman’s plotting really is on point as the two mysteries unfold, and eventually intersect in an unexpected way. There’s a good mix of action and tension which helps to sustain the pace, though at 400+ pages it probably could have been a little shorter.

There are plenty of laughs in The Bullet That Missed, I really enjoy the author’s sense of humour, but Osman also touches on some poignant issues such as the accelerating cognitive decline of Elizabeth’s husband, loneliness, and past regrets.

My affection for the Thursday Murder Club members hasn’t waned at all, they are such an endearing group. Series regulars DCI Chris and PC Donna are back to lend a hand on occasion, though Donna is distracted by her new romantic relationship with the enigmatic Bogdon. The Club also barter for some assistance from Claudia Johnson, the imprisoned crime gang boss whom the group caught out in the Man Who Died Twice, and expands to include television makeup artist Pauline, who seduces a willing Ron, among others.

Charming, funny, and smart, The Bullet That Missed is another addition to a thoroughly entertaining cosy mystery series which I look forward to continuing.
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LibraryThing member Figgles
Another romp of a chapter in the Thursday Murder Club series - wonderfully funny and observant of human foibles, the elderly members of the TMC are back on the case, to solve the murder of a young investigative journalist who's car went over cliff several years earlier, and who's body was never
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found. Along the way there are more bodies, guns, ex KGB agents, TV hosts and the developing romances of the both the older and younger generation. Osman writes his older characters with love and with insight and though there is plenty of continuity from the earlier books you don't need to have read them to enjoy this one. My ninety year old mother could not put this one down and stayed up late to finish it!
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LibraryThing member Neale
A good addition to the series. Not quite as funny as the first two. A few new characters and a few murders as always. Worth a read.
LibraryThing member majkia
This was a surprise. I suggested the Library purchase this book and when they did they set me as first in line for the copy.

I do love this series. I particularly love Joyce's wild unfiltered train of thought mutterings. Great characters, the mysteries are almost reduntant. Almost. ;)
LibraryThing member Maydacat
The Thursday Murder Club is off on a new adventure! A cold case has suddenly become hot, and complicating matters is an ultimate that Elizabeth received: either kill the man this kidnapper wants dead, or someone she loves will be killed. This case will lead the club into the past and the present,
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into jails and spas, with old friends and with new. In this series, it seems like each book is better than the previous one, and the first one was excellent. The plots are intriguing and engrossing, the characters are real and delightful, even some of the bad guys. The author has achieved a great balance between the mystery and the characters’ interactions - both are vital to the story. All the little details are connected and come together for a cohesive tale and a satisfying conclusion to each mystery. May the Thursday Murder Club continue for a long, long time!
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LibraryThing member Eyejaybee
Yet another hugely entertaining novel from Richard Osman, featuring the popular Thursday Murder Club. The Club is formed of four residents in a sheltered housing development who meet each week to review, and hopefully solve, recent murders. They are a mixed bunch: Ron was formerly a union
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firebrand, Ibrahim was a very laid-back psychiatrist, Joyce had been a homemaker, while Elizabeth had worked in a senior role in an unspecified branch of the intelligence services, and still seems to have some valuable contacts.

This time they are looking into the disappearance (and presumed death) of television journalist Bethany Waites, who had gone missing some ten years before while engaged on an investigation. Meanwhile, Elizabeth and her husband are kidnapped, and Elizabeth is given a challenging dilemma.

Osman deploys the same lightness of touch that was evident in his first two books, and the plot is fairly watertight. The characters are all well drawn, and they complement each other excellently. I don’t know how much longer Richard Osman can maintain this approach, but the attraction has certainly not yet palled for me.
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LibraryThing member DrApple
I love this series! A group of octogenarians solve murders from their retirement community and gather friends as they go. In this one, Elizabeth is threatened so that she will kill an old Russian friend.
LibraryThing member psalva
I‘ve seen some criticisms of this series that say it is not realistic and deals with very serious issues in a flippant way. However, despite there being some truth to that, I find this series to explore some deeper questions about life, love, and good vs. evil. The fact that it manages to do that
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in a charming and funny way is a plus. I suspect the next in the series will bring more heartbreak, but I‘ll be there for it.
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LibraryThing member Krisbee
I love this series and these characters. The way Osman deals with ageism, loneliness, Alzheimer’s, and the nature of life as we age is remarkable. He shows the continued vitality of people as they age and the value of life experience even while being overlooked and dismissed because they are old.
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This third in the series was a little slow to start but made up for it in the end. The entire series is well worth reading and I can’t wait for the next installment.
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LibraryThing member quondame
A fun romp with the gang, with diversions and distractions that all get to the point.
LibraryThing member gpangel
The Bullet that Missed by Richard Osman is a 2022 Viking publication.

The Thursday Murder Club is back and better than ever!

A cold case involving a missing journalist, garners the attention of the Murder Club this time around, while Elizabeth gets tangled up in her own side drama.

As always, each
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member of the group gets their own little piece of the spotlight, and the dialogue is snappy and often laugh out loud funny.

But the best part is how layered these mysteries are. It’s obvious a lot of thought goes into these plots, and the intrigue is always absorbing.

The one small gripe I have it that this one might have run a little too long, and occasionally the pacing lagged, just a tiny bit- but of course, there is always something going on and my attention was never divided- it just felt like it took me a while to finish the book, this time around. But that’s a very small quibble.

Other than that, this series shows no signs of slowing down. The characters are still sharp, the poignancy is still a big undercurrent that offsets the zaniness, and the plots get better and stronger as the series progresses.

Once again, I feel it should be stressed that while this series often lands in the cozy category, anyone who loves mysteries or crime fiction will like this series. It’s smart, clever and oh so entertaining!
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LibraryThing member hcnewton
This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader.

"It's the people, in the end, isn't it?...It's always the people, You can move halfway around the world to find your perfect life, move to Australia if you like, but it always comes down to the people you meet."

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Consequences, largely.

But that doesn't tell you much. So let me expand a bit. The end of the book seemed to tie up everything with two nice and tidy bows. But you know what they say about appearances...

In The Man Who Died Twice, the Thursday Murder Club basically ripped off a International Criminal and got away with it. Well, almost. It turns out that a competitor (we'll call him the Viking) of that criminal has evidence of their theft. The Viking tries to use that evidence to blackmail Elizabeth into killing the other criminal. She resists until the Viking turns it into an offer she can't refuse.

Meanwhile, Joyce has picked the next case for the Club to look into. Years before, a local news anchor had gone missing and is presumed dead. Over her protests, everyone is sure she wants to look into the case because she wants to meet some people on TV, but the case is interesting enough that they'll go along with it. Whatever her motives, it is an interesting case and gives the Club a lot to do (and, yes, they get to meet a local celebrity or two along the way).

The case brings Ibrahim into contact with Connie Johnson, the crime boss the Club had helped put away. She hasn't forgotten him or Ron—and has grim plans for both of them upon her release (which she's sure isn't long off). But in the meantime, for her own amusement, she plays along with Ibrahim and helps out.

Murdering a criminal, solving an old missing persons case (that may be a murder), and tangling with an imprisoned drug lord. That's a lot to squeeze into 337 pages, but there's more: add in some romance/potential romance, some new friends and old, and Joyce's continued experiments with Instagram, and you've got yourself a novel.

Elizabeth's husband, Stephen, has been a rock for her throughout this series. He's had a few good moments when it comes to both story and comedy—and heart, most importantly, the heart—but he's largely been a supporting character. An important one, but supporting, nonetheless.

But he gets to shine in The Bullet That Missed. He's thrust into the middle of one of the stories from the beginning, and plays a significant role throughout this storyline. In retrospect, I think I should've anticipated this happening at some point, but I hadn't. It was so good to see this.

There's a dark side to anything involving Stephen, too. We know from the beginning that he's struggling with dementia. We all know too well that there's only one direction for people dealing with that. So every time we see the character—or see Elizabeth thinking about him—the reader is confronted with this reality. As hard as some of the situations the Club faces in this book are—nothing is as hard (for characters or readers) than to see this progression.

Elizabeth seems so strong, so capable—frequently inscrutable and almost omniscient—but when it comes to Stephen, she is so vulnerable, so human (and now Joyce, too but always Stephen first). I have a blast reading über-competent Elizabeth, but I love vulnerable Elizabeth, and Stephen's where she comes from.

I have to be vague here, but I think I can get across what I want without ruining anything.

That quote I opened with is, ultimately, what this series is about—it's what gets people hooked on it. The four members of The Thursday Murder Club—and their particular brand of friendship—is so appealing. There's a chemistry and a warmth to them that inevitably attracts others, they want to be part of it. In the first book, they draw in such disparate people as a middle-aged Detective Chief Inspector, a Police Constable not quite used to the quieter locale, and a pretty shady Polish immigrant. You see something similar in the next book, too. The Bullet that Missed trumps them all—and the band of "Thursday Murder Club Irregulars" that they can now call on is pretty remarkable. It's even drawn in Joyce's daughter—not that they've ever been at odds, but you can tell their relationship could be better at first (and likely still could), and it's getting stronger now.

That's the more impressive part—not only are people drawn in by these characters because they want to spend time with them and help them (even if they're being pressured, bullied, or blackmailed into it)—their lives are enriched by it. As are the lives of the Murder Club—everyone benefits.

This crosses generations, interests, professions, criminal records, ethnicities, national origins, classes, education levels—you name it. Sure, this is a cozy kind of "blue sky" outlook. But who doesn't want to live in a world like that? Who doesn't want to at the very least want to spend some time reading about a world like that? Even if it's marred by murder, the occasional betrayal, and grief—it's an optimistic antidote to loneliness and...I don't know, the ineffable "everything else" that defines contemporary life.

The downside to everything I just said is that I wonder if we don't have too many players in this book—we've got the core four, the extended circle of friends, Stephen, kids, a grandchild, old contacts, new friends, romantic interests, foes old and new. I felt like we didn't get quite enough time with our protagonists. But I don't want to lose a moment with the others...maybe Osman should take a page from Galbraith and start putting out a thousand pages at a time. (NOTE: That is absolutely a joke. I would eagerly read it, should he publish it, but I don't want it.) That hurt the book a little for me, but there wasn't a moment of this novel I didn't find wholly charming and delightful.

In sum: the biggest problem with this book was all the new good stuff crowded out the old good stuff. Not the worst problem to run into.

The mystery was great—I got suckered by a red herring or two (and even when I suspected something was a red herring, I ignored that likelihood). The character work was typically fantastic. The conclusion was a knock-out and everything that happened after the killer's reveal is even better. I'm firmly in raving fanboy mode now, so let me wrap-up.

Basically, this is a the literary equivalent of a cozy blanket and a nice up of tea—if you don't feel better while reading it, I'll be shocked. Yes, in this series (as in real life) grief and sorrow are around the corner—potentially great tragedy, too. for now, the Thursday Murder Club has nothing but a great time to offer you in The Bullet That Missed. Highly recommended.
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LibraryThing member bookwren
As wonderful, humorous and endearing as the last two. I want to meet these characters! Thank you, Richard Osman!
LibraryThing member sleahey
In this latest addition to the Thursday Club mysteries, the elderly friends set out to solve a cold case, and encounter new dangers along the way. Former spy Elizabeth must make impossible choices, but of course she might always outwit he bad guys. Having not read the earlier mysteries in the
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series, I found the references to earlier situations a minor irritation, but this book can stand on its own, and may encourage readers to read the earlier novels to catch up.
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LibraryThing member delphimo
A return to Richard Osman and his delightful Thursday Murder Club characters. Joyce, my favorite character, seems to control center stage in this installment. Joyce possesses courage, strength, and grit. In this sage, a local reporter, Bethany Waites, gets ready to disclose a huge story about graft
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and money laundering. But Bethany disappears as her car falls down a steep cliff, but no body is found. Enter the four friends and senior citizens: Joyce, Elizabeth, Ron, and Ibrahim. Each individual, all over 70 years of age, have special skills that compliment one another. The humor interlaced with the murders lightens the mood. Each story centers on friendship and love. No one betrays the friendship. Looking forward to the next book.
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LibraryThing member TomDonaghey
The Bullet That Missed (2022) (TMC #3) by Richard Osman. This book is as charming as the first two Murder Club stories and it is slightly better. Mr. Osman has a facile manner when it comes to talking about his main characters and the added people dotting the landscape to give traction for the
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sleuths. Plus he manages to slide in new characters in every story so far that, it turns our, have to be there and continue to have an influence in subsequent tales.
Elizabeth, Ibrahim, Ron and Joyce are still following their destiny to pry into unsolved murder cases, but this time a couple of things go wrong. The case in question is the 10 year old death of a local television journalist. Her car was found crashed at the bottom of a cliff on the English Channel. No body was found but, after falling from such a height, that is not uncommon. Then a mysterious “Viking” kidnaps Elizabeth and her husband. He only wants to insure that Liz will do a simple task for him. She is to kill a rival of his in the money laundering business. Do that and everything will be fine. Fail and he will kill Joyce.
Thus ensues the Murder Club entanglement, our friends on the police and their romantic trials, and a few surprises. I’m not going to give you any more details. To find out what happens, start reading The Thursday Murder Club and follow it up with The Man Who Died Twice. Only then should you pick up this jolly good read.
You can thank me later.
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LibraryThing member ethel55
The Thursday Murder Club has picked a new cold case to investigate and this one gets them an intro into the world of tv news. A promising reporter named Bethany Waites disappears and is concluded dead after her car goes off a cliff. Finding out what she was working on begins to unravel the story,
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with Joyce, Elizabeth, Ibrahim and Ron getting to meet some real life tv people. Someone from Elizabeth's past turns up, and Stephen finds moments of memory that help with both events. Cooper's Chase remains a lively place to live for these four friends.
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LibraryThing member rmarcin
I think this might be my favorite one of the Thursday Murder Club novels. Now I know the characters, and the conversations and antics they go through are quite hilarious in this one!
The current case is the murder of a journalist who was investigating crypto currency and money laundering. Her body
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was never found, and the club are determined to solve the mystery.
Also, Elizabeth is given an ultimatum-to kill or be killed. The Viking wants her to kill a former KGB spy, or he will kill her friend. Elizabeth knows that she is in a precarious position.
I like how this novel explores the relationships more fully and the side comments are quite funny.
Very enjoyable.
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LibraryThing member Romonko
This is number 3 in the Thursday Murder Club series, and I must admit that I'm getting very fond of Joyce, Elizabeth, Ron, Bogden and Ibrahim, as well as the other characters like Donna and Chris (the police detectives), Stephen, Elizabeth's husband who has Alzheimer's and loads of others. In this
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one, the Club is trying to solve a ten year old murder case of an up and coming young TV news reporter. Bethany Waite's vehicle was found in the water after falling off a cliff. The body was never found, and the case has gone cold. It's a challenge for our "older" sleuths for sure, and on the way to discovery, they cross the paths of some pretty high-level crooks, money launderers, and ex-KGB spies. Things get dicey for the intrepid Elizabeth, who is a retired MI6 operative. Can her friends help her get out of a jam? I really enjoyed the book and the mystery was intriguing, but where it fell down a bit for me was the complex and confusing denouement and the way things were left up in the air at the end of the book. I guess when Book 4 comes out, I'll have to get a copy copy to see if the story of Bethany Waite is resolved.
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LibraryThing member ffortsa
Another entry in the Thursday Murder Club series, where we learn still more about Elizabeth, are shown the progress of each of the other characters, and have to find a way for them to NOT kill someone.
LibraryThing member bookappeal
A solid plot and good use of all of the beloved characters in the series.
LibraryThing member BoundTogetherForGood
This was a great 3rd effort by Osman. I love his cast of characters. This felt like a perfect candidate for film rights. I picture Elizabeth Best played by Penelope Wilton! I think she would be just perfect for this. Betty White would have made a great Joyce Meadowcroft. Corbin Bernson could work
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well for Ron Richie.
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Anthony Award (Nominee — Novel — 2023)
British Book Award (Shortlist — 2023)
LibraryReads (Monthly Pick — September 2022)




0593299396 / 9780593299395
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