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BOOK REVIEW: Mayhem, murder, and mirth in ‘The Thursday Murder Club’

Heather L. Bailey

Heather L. Bailey, a librarian at the Herman Brown Free Library in Burnet, suggests adding 'The Thursday Murder Club' by Richard Osman to your summer reading list. Staff photo

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Picayune Book Nook is published monthly either online at or in The Picayune Magazine. Book lovers of all ages are invited to send their reviews of no more than 250 words to Please include contact information. Reviewers must be Highland Lakes residents. 


Written by Richard Osman; published by ‎Pamela Dorman Books, 2020

BOOK SUMMARY: In his debut novel, author Richard Osman tells the story of four friends living in Coopers Chase, a fictional retirement village in England, as they work together to solve cold cases during weekly meetings of the Thursday Murder Club.  

Reviewed by Heather L. Bailey, a librarian at the Herman Brown Free Library in Burnet

Since its publication in fall 2020, I have not been able to stop recommending “The Thursday Murder Club” by Richard Osman. 

This is Osman’s debut, and it is the most fun I have had reading a book in a long time. Both hilarious and poignant, this murder mystery story combines a few of my favorite things: mystery, humor, and friendship set in an English village. 

While the mystery will keep you on your toes, the real fun in this story lies with the group of sleuths as they pursue their cases. Joyce, who narrates the story, Elizabeth, Red Ron, and Ibrahim are all retirees of various backgrounds. The four of them form the Thursday Murder Club to solve cold cases, but it is their hijinks that captured my imagination and made me repeatedly laugh out loud. In fact, I reread the story three times before the second title in the series, “The Man Who Died Twice,” was published in 2021. 

Osman does a magnificent job of developing each character and immersing readers in their world. Red Ron’s wild stories from his life in unions, Joyce’s nursing knowledge and wandering eye for men, Elizabeth and her state secret past, and Ibrihim’s background as a psychologist give way to delightful conversations, revelations, and intrigue.  

Bright spots abound in this story, and I dream of a day I might visit a Murder Club meeting and bask in an equally intelligent and delightful group of friends.