Richard Osman is a popular TV personality in the UK, and has now released the second book in what is becoming a best-selling series. The Thursday Murder Club was established by four fascinating characters, all seniors, but determined to use their career skills and experience to help solve murder cases. They all live in the Cooper’s Chase retirement community and have formed this special friendship where they value each other as close friends and part of their crime club.
Elizabeth is a former secret agent with MI5, with crucial know-how, instinct, and access to police and British intelligence resources. Joyce is a retired nurse, and she adds a very different perspective on situations and is the perfect person to deal with people and empathy that puts people at ease. Ron is a former union man and a real go-getter with a solid and determined personality. Ibrahim is a former psychiatrist with a unique and treasured ability to read people and their body language. Ibrahim is mugged, and it leaves him frightened to leave his home, and he uses excuses why he can’t participate in outside activities. The personal story of Ibrahim is quite touching and, unfortunately, a horrific reminder that assaults like this do happen to our seniors. The support and care from his group of friends add that sensitive dimension to the story. It also provides the reason local detectives Chris Hudson and Donna De Freitas return, and their friendship and relationships extend the exciting characters surrounding the Thursday Murder Club. Another special friend of the club, is the calm and mysterious Bogdan, someone who always has the means to get something unusual done.
In The Man Who Died Twice , the case isn’t so cold, as they become embroiled in a real live one. Elizabeth is contacted by a former colleague, ex-husband, and ladies’ man, Douglas, after stealing twenty million pounds worth of diamonds from the Mafia. Douglas is being held in a safe house under the supervision of MI5 operatives Sue Reardon and Lance James. The Mafia, a hitman, Lomax, and others also have their sights on getting hold of the diamonds. The twists and surprises that await in this caper are hugely entertaining and intriguing.
The standout characteristic of these books is the clever wit and humour that rolls off every page. The dialogue feels authentic from our elder characters, and the plot is developed to play perfectly between them and their reactions to events and other people. Joyce and Elizabeth steal the show in this one and interact to give a mix of empathy and resourcefulness in their investigation while unquestionably loyal to each other.
The characters, humour, dialogue and compelling plots are going to ensure this series will be eagerly followed. I highly recommend this book, and I want to thank Penguin UK, Viking and NetGalley for providing me with a free ARC in return for an honest review.