Book: Pensioners look into cold case

The Thursday Murder Club

By Richard Osman

(Mystery, 2020)


Four very different retirees live in Coopers Chase, a “luxury retirement village” in England. They meet in the Jigsaw Room to discuss cold cases. There’s “Red Ron,” the former trade union leader; retired psychiatrist Ibrahim; Joyce, a former nurse; and Elizabeth – once a spy, perhaps? No one knows exactly what Elizabeth was, and she isn’t telling. Elizabeth used to work on the cold cases with Penny, a retired police officer, but Penny is now in the nursing home part of the village. The Murder Club is looking into a cold case of a young woman who was stabbed. But the residents are soon distracted by two new murders, and a plot to expand the retirement village, which includes moving the graveyard and the graves of the Catholic nuns in it! The residents and the local priest stage a sit-in. And the Thursday Murder club swings into action with humor, style and wit. They plan to “help” the local police, whether they want help or not.

This is an often hilarious, sometimes poignant, tale about a motley gang of individuals and how they work together to solve murders in their own unique ways. I especially liked getting to know the characters. And I was sad to see the book end. I hope that the author writes another Thursday Murder Club mystery soon. If you are a reader of Kate Atkinson or Louise Penny you should give it a try. And if you enjoyed the movie Red and TV series New Tricks you may like it. A final note – if this mystery gets made into a movie, the character of Elizabeth would be perfect for Helen Mirren!

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Robbin Bailey

Author: Insider Staff

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