BOOK REVIEW: ‘The Thursday Murder Club’ by Richard Osman


Every Thursday, four senior citizens who live in an upscale retirement community meet to discuss cold case files and try to solve the murders the police could not.

Each member has his or her own skill set. Joyce Meadowcroft is the last to join the group. She becomes its scribe. She keeps a journal of the club’s activities, which she shares with the reader. Elizabeth has a secret past. She has connections with the government’s dark side, which aids in solving murders. Another member is “Red” Ron Ritchie. He was an activist in his youth and he is not shy about offering his opinions. He provides an energy to the group. Ibrahim Arif is a retired therapist. He tries to analyze the people involved in the cases to figure out their motives.

Richard Osman has done a great job of bringing the characters to life. Together they make a great team.

They are a quiet group whiling away the hours studying cold cases.  Until Tony Curran, a partner in the property development company of their retirement community, is murdered. Now, they a have “real” murder to solve.  

The Murder Club developed a relationship with PD Donna De Freitas after she gave a lecture on cybersecurity for the elderly. The members try to enlist her help, but she is a police officer in a male-dominated police force. She is struggling to fit in and is hesitant to help the club as it might hurt her chances of advancement.  So, the club works alone and tries to stay a step ahead of the police and De Freitas.

The novel is fast paced and sometimes hysterical. There are many twists and turns in Osman’s debut novel that keep the reader mesmerized.

Richard Osman is an author and television presenter. His novels, “The Thursday Murder Club,” “The Man Who Died Twice,” “The Bullet That Missed” and “The Last Devil to Die,” were No. 1, million-copy international bestsellers as well as New York Times bestsellers. He lives in London with his wife, Ingrid, and Liesl the cat. (Penguin Random House)

Cathy Lay Mayor grew up in Cullman and graduated from Cullman High School in 1976. She says when she writes book reviews, she tries to remember what Mrs. Gilbert taught her in 11th-grade English. She lived in Dothan for more than 30 years and is married with three adult children and six grandchildren. She retired to Panama City, but still calls Alabama home.