Am I actually the last person in the world to read this? Actually, Matthew would officially be, as we read this together but I finished before him (and made him sit quietly in the sitting room after work, listening to the end, so that I could present him with a list of questions). I had avoided the hype but then I clicked on the sequel in NetGalley and won it, so thought I’d better read this one first. I picked up a cheap copy in The Works (why? about 1,000 people I know had a spare copy!) and we read it with Matthew doing the Audible version.

I don’t read much crime fiction (I’ve read all of Agatha Christie in my teens and worked my way through a lot of Agatha Raisins plus a number of the No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency novels and a few cosy mysteries, but I wouldn’t say I was an expert) so I was probably not a very intelligent reader but I did enjoy it and it certainly wasn’t horribly explicitly gory, thank goodness!

Richard Osman – “The Thursday Murder Club”

(01 August 2021)

So what can I say that everyone else hasn’t said? It’s certainly warm-hearted, this tale of four residents of sheltered flats getting together to try to solve old murders … then finding one happening right now! I liked the cheeky pensioners with their sometimes dark skills and connections, and having regular chapters written my new member Joyce was a clever way to keep the interest up. It was well-plotted and seemed to make sense (except for those Euros – please can someone explain that bit to me, privately if need be??)

I really liked the inclusiveness and diversity woven into the story (although there are no LGBTQIA+ characters as far as I could make out: police officer Donna de Freitas corrects characters that there are no longer WPCs, just PCs and her ethnicity is not described in food colour terms but simply noted by another character a long way into the book. It’s a melancholic read, more so than I’d expected, mulling over the declines of age, but not in a savagely Anita Brookner style and all warmly done. And it is funny, as expected:

Three new emails, nothing that looked like it would detain him. One of his sergeants was doing a triathlon, a cry for help, for which he expected to be sponsored. (p. 361)

One odd thing: my print copy featured Turkish Johnny and Steve Ercan; Matthew’s and seemingly a lot of people’s had Turkish Gianni [sp?] and Steve Georgiou. Weird. I had a paperback, too. I am going to read the next instalment with interest – we both had different snippets in our print and audio versions hinting at what’s to come …

A good Book Serendipity moment (Bookish Beck collects hers regularly and encourages others to do the same): there’s a section in which Joyce repeatedly talks about Timbuktu in Mali, and on the same day I was reading about that, Timbuktu and Mali popped up in the other book I was reading, Alex Haley’s “Roots”. Not sure you could get two more different books!