It is hard to get enough of Richard Osman’s Thursday Murder Club series of novels. This is the third and the boy has really hit his stride. The writing gets better and better. I cannot wait for the next one!
For those who don’t know the back story - catch up NOW! - our former Pointless anchor taken the idea of the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and set it in a Retirement Village, Cooper’s Chase, in the south of England.
There, in a village much like the one his real life mum lives, Osman has brought to life four endearing characters Elizabeth and ex spy, Joyce an ex nurse, Ron an ex Union man and Ibrahim an ex psychiatrist.
Never under estimate retired folk with energy and a great deal of life and vocational experience. Instead of a Bridge Club or Book Club our gang of four start a Murder Club where they see if they can solve cold cases!
In this the third book they seek to uncover the mystery of the murder of local Television celebrity Bethany Waites. It gives them a chance to get into their favourite television shows and meet their own favourites celebrities as well as sending them off on a complex whodunnit with the cleverest twists and turns.
Osman’s most ginormous genius, maybe even as huge as himself, is the way he weaves underground crimes, kidnappings, guns and death threats into a foundation of comfort, humour and warmth. Nobody wrote does the weave of tense drama and laugh out loud better. It's a gentler form of killing and comedy than Tarantino for sure!
As someone who doesn’t laugh out loud when it comes to books, I laughed a lot during this one. Elizabeth and Joyce interviewing another TV celebrity Fiona Clemence is pure stand up.
There are so many great scenes but my favourite is when the Joyce comes back to her little apartment and finds herself face to face with a man with a gun. He has come to kill her as he promised Elizabeth that he would if she didn’t kill Victor, a former KGB agent.
Joyce takes it all in her seeming naivety, carrying on as if her potential killer is an old friend, eventually getting him to have a cup of tea by which he ends up on the floor. Drugged by the seeming gullible one! This isn’t even part of the main investigation in the novel.
As if this wasn’t enough to make Osman the best seller that he is there are other issues running through. In this third episode takes on dementia, again gently but beautifully, as Elizabeth’s beloved husband begins to realise that things are going a little strange. Poignant and helpful.
As I said book Number 4 NOW!