Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

A modern-day cozy with procedural underpinnings, this is bound to bring reading joy. A carnival of characters, each with their own charm populate this most enjoyable foray into English country murder.

Thursday Murder Club – Richard Osman – Penguin HC $26.00 –9781984880963 – 9/22/20200

 

I have not had so much fun reading a book in years. This debut novel shows a promise that one hopes will become a long string of similarly joyful works. Those who love British cozies will love this, but any reader of mysteries should find it a wonderful experience. It has the feel of a cozy, but the bite of a procedural, sweetened with charm and wit.

 

The characters are the driver here, and they are varied and entertaining. An overweight overaged detective, a hungry and ambitious young one, and a coterie of retired folk with widely varied talents and abilities mesh to bring the culprit to task. Told in turns by each of the players, sometimes in first person, an alarming body count emerges as the tale unfolds. By my count, seven murders and several natural deaths contribute to the carnage, but in an amusing way, if that does not seem oxymoronic. Bad guys abound, innocent seeming but guilty plain folk are thick on the ground, and we are routinely made suspicious of some who turn out to be responsible for unnatural deaths but for the right reasons. It’s a homicidal funfest.

 

The charm of this book is abundant, the writing is witty, the cast is enchanting. A village dedicated to the retirement comfort of the elderly is challenged with an expansion that may diminish the pleasant ambience. A cemetery for an abandoned nunnery, now part of the facility is threatened and secrets are in peril of being revealed. Secrets that some wish to remain undiscovered. A plucky group of oldsters who meet each Thursday to ruminate on unsolved crimes plunges into the death of a local builder who has done much of the work on their homes. A snakes nest of fell deeds emerges piece by piece much to the consternation of the local police, who eventually resign themselves to the fact that the seniors are actually finding answers, providing clues and pointing to the solution of what become multiple felonies.

 

A pure pleasure for anyone looking for some relief from the real crimes and strife of our world, this will make an enjoyable leisure read. I recommend it to all fiction readers as well as mystery lovers.