Hello Book Explorer! I hope you’ve had a lovely week and weekend so far. It’s officially October! So here in the northern hemisphere it is now colder, wetter and darker, the leaves are turning brown and crunchy, our garden squirrel is burying his nuts all over our lawn, there is much debate about ‘when to turn the heating on’, and everything you eat must now be pumpkin spiced; it is the law.
I love it, Autumn is honestly one of my favourite seasons. An excuse to get wrapped up in your favourite cosy clothes, grab a blanket and grab a book – but like we needed an excuse for that anyway! Living where we do now, I’m so excited to see the colours of the trees change and an abundance of Robins, holly and ivy.
I have a strong pull towards horror, gothic and crime novels as it gets colder and the nights get darker, paired perfectly with a cup of cocoa and a cookie. I’ve raided my shelves and pulled together a collection of ‘whodunnits’ that I haven’t yet read. The next one was the very top of my list to read, after previously ordering it for myself and then gifting it, I found another copy in The Works (an amazing discount book and stationary store in the UK) and promised myself I’d read it within weeks. So here we go!
THE THURSDAY MURDER CLUB, BY RICHARD OSMAN
I’ve only ever known Richard Osman as a Broadcaster and the guy who knows everything and has a good sense of humour on Pointless (a UK Quiz Show), so when I saw he had written a book I was quite intrigued as to what we would find. Reading the blurb, I got Midsomer Murder vibes (a book turned TV Show from the 90s/00s about a small village who’s life insurance premiums must be through the roof), entwined with light comedy. I couldn’t wait any longer to see what I was in for.
In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet up once a week to investigate unsolved murders. But when a brutal killing takes place on their very doorstep, the Thursday Murder Club find themselves in the middle of their first live case. Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron might be pushing eighty but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves. Can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer before it’s too late?
The book is laid out in chapters, and then diary entries from Joyce, who is the first character we meet. The best thing about this book in my opinion, are without doubt the characters. They are a mix of your cheeky grandmother, your bolshy and fierce Great Aunt and your un-PC Grandfather in one gang. I absolutely adored them all. The 4 reside in a fancy independent living community, who meet together on Thursdays to resolve unresolved murders. It’s never quite clarified, but you can bet your bottom dollar that Elizabeth was once hired to kill people. Her dearest friend in the community is Penny, an ex high ranking Police Officer – ironic as that is. That is how The Thursday Murder club came to be, a desire from Penny to continue her investigations beyond retirement. Never with the intention of actually doing anything with the answers of course – just the satisfaction that they know who did it.
The gang initially are trying to solve cold cases, until one happens that is very much close to them. The race for them is then on to solve it, with the help of some very cheekily (and hilariously) manipulated police detectives who cannot help but fall in love with the gang of hobby detectives. But with their life knowledge, experiences and willingness to feign dementia for a clue, they are the best gang of detectives and the Police Force’s best asset, whether they like it or not.
CAN’T PUT IT DOWN RATING: 4.5/5
I absolutely adored the way this book is written. You almost forget you’re reading a murder mystery as it is so warm, lighthearted and fun.
It is like listening to a naughty grandma through the voice of Joyce, scheming and nebbing into other people’s business and trying to find out the latest gossip. Hilariously naughty, stubborn and cheeky old people are just the best. They know they can get away with it and it’s just brilliant.
I loved the references to British culture such as a trip to Holland and Barrett’s (a health haven for the elderly) and Sainsbury’s taste the difference (‘it’s taste the difference you know..’). These describe the lives of my own Grandparents perfectly.
Also, the chapters are quite short so no worries if your only time to read is on the train. on your lunch or waiting to pick the kids up in the car – you don’t have to set out big chunks of time to read chapters here, and they’re all very fairly equal in length.
The way the clues come together is nicely done, my only slight criticism is that I wasn’t completely sold on who had done what, I did feel that the most important one was quite unlikely, but honestly? It really made no difference to my enjoyment. I was here for these amazing characters and their life stories, the answers to the murders were very much secondary.
I can’t wait to read the second novel, ‘The Man Who Died Twice’ which is out now!
Please keep writing, Richard Osman!
WASHED DOWN WITH:
Well if I’m super truthful, I haven’t actually bought any other teas or coffees since we last nattered. I’m 10000% hooked onto the coffee bags I was telling you about last time, and I’ll tell everyone and anyone about how good they are! However.. I did venture to my local cafe and I have to tell you how amazing their cakes are (they also do a decent range of local tea blends). I actually took the above picture as we were getting ready to go to see Bring Me the Horizon at Hull Bonus arena a few weeks ago – so whilst everyone else was no doubt sinking beers and shots, I was sipping Yorkshire Tea and eating scones.
These scones (thats ‘SCURRNS’ not ‘SCONS’) are not made with butter (yay) and are AMAZING. Honestly the best I’ve had for a very long time. They are so fruity and not too stodgy yet not overly crumbly. They are just a little over £2 each and I bought two just to make sure I was telling you the truth at how nice they are ;). I slapped some flora and some Betty’s raspberry preserve on them and OH BOY was I in heaven. This cafe is really really good at labelling their cakes and have great gluten free, dairy free and vegan options so if you’re ever wandering around the area, The Village Paint Pot needs to be a stop on your travels. You’re welcome!
The Village Paint Pot, Elloughton, HU15 1JP
So now I am going to sip my Taylors of Harrogate coffee (obvs) and dip back into my book for this week, which so far..so good. We’ll see! Then we’re going to our first open day at a Wedding Venue, I’m very excited!
Are you planning to read a certain genre for October?
Until the Next Chapter,