– The Thursday Murder Club

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman. [New York] : Pamela Dorman Books/Viking, [2020]. 355 pp.

I love mystery novels of all kinds, from the fluffiest cozies to the grittiest police novel. But my favorite mysteries are ones that challenge me in some way, have interesting characters, and bring me joy as I read them. The Thursday Murder Club more than meets those requirements!

The residents of Coopers Chase Retirement Community take pride in the variety of activities available for residents, their “upscale restaurant,” and their beautiful buildings and grounds that used to be a convent. Four residents (Elizabeth, Joyce, Ron and Ibrahim) meet on Thursdays in the Puzzle Room to look at old cold cases and try to solve them – The Thursday Murder Club. When one of the men involved in developing the next phase of their community is murdered, the Club feels that they are uniquely positioned to solve the crime. They offer their help to the police officers, and the police reluctantly accept their help; after all, who is going to arrest a sweet old lady or gentleman for interfering in an investigation?

Like all good mysteries, just when you think you’ve got the murders figured out, another piece of information totally changes the picture. The story is intricate, involving multiple story lines, suspects, and motives, as well as another murder that may or may not be related to the first.

This book is truly a delight, as one of the amateur detectives seems to have a background as a spy or an investigator, and runs circles around the police officers at times. The book also is a delight because the characters are so well-developed. I found myself wanting to go to Coopers Chase and visit them all!

Since my job at the library is working with older adults, I could see some of “my” patrons in these characters, and can’t wait for some of them to read this book and let me know what they think. People tend to assume all older adults are slowly losing their mental and physical abilities, and the residents of Coopers Chase show that underestimating them (and other older adults) should be done at your peril!

Osman has already committed to writing three more books with these captivating characters, so the story will continue later this year with book number two. If you love intricate mysteries that don’t take themselves too seriously, I highly recommend The Thursday Murder Club.

Mary Beth Adams is the Outreach Coordinator for Alamance County Public Libraries. You can reach her at madams@alamancelibraries.org.

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