The Thursday Murder Club [Book Review]

November 13, 2020

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman (cover) Image: red and black lettering

Genre/Categories: Crime Fiction, Cozy Mystery

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.


Quirky Characters meets Cozy Mystery meets Retirement meets Waiting For God

In an upscale, peaceful retirement village, solving cold cases is favored over jigsaw puzzles… least for our four lively, interesting, energetic, and brilliant protagonists who meet every Thursday. Elizabeth (leader, organizer, and previous spy?), Joyce (retired nurse), Ibrahim (retired psychiatrist), and Ron (a retired union boss) call themselves The Thursday Murder Club and enjoy pouring over files and discussing unsolved crimes. One day, there is a real murder nearby which leads to another murder even closer to home. The club lends its expertise, opinions, and energy to two professional detectives, Donna and Chris. These six form an investigative team of sorts. Guess which group is the most innovative?

My Thoughts:

What worked:

  • Tone: in spite of the murders and a couple of suicides, the overall tone of The Thursday Murder Club is light and caper-ish
  • Humor: wry British humor
  • Pace: enjoyable quick pace
  • Plot: unique and interesting premise, multiple subplots, not predictable, interesting ending
  • Multilayed: which works for me until it doesn’t (see below)
  • POV: I liked the inclusion of first person journal entries (from Joyce) to break up the third person story narrative. At times, it feels like Joyce is speaking directly to the reader and as a result, she becomes the most round character for me.

What didn’t work as well (for me):

  • too many characters (confusing in the beginning)
  • too many subplots (I started to lose focus for the main crime…which one are we actually solving?)
  • too many plot twists at the end (I started to feel like the author was teasing the reader with “this is what happened….no this is what happened…actually, this is what happened)


I love quirky characters, an intriguing and engaging premise, unpredictability, and a bit of wry humor. I also like a good escapist read.  I certainly liked it, but I didn’t love it like many others (Amazon rating: 4.4 Stars). See two very positive reviews from my blogging friends, Book’d Out and The Secret Library Book Blog (Nicki especially likes the audio version).

The Thursday Murder Club is Recommended for fans of cozy mysteries, escapist reads, and stories with older characters; for readers who love British humor; and for book clubs. At book club, I would certainly want to discuss “murder” in all its variations! This is the first book in a series.

Trigger Warnings: suicide

My Rating:  3.5 Stars


The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman (cover) Image: black and red lettering

The Thursday Murder Club Information Here

Meet the Author, Richard Osman

Author Richard OsmanRichard Osman is an author, producer and television presenter. The Thursday Murder Club is his first novel. He is well known for TV shows including Pointless and Richard Osman’s House of Games. As the creative director of Endemol UK, Richard has worked as an executive producer on numerous shows including Deal Or No Deal and 8 Out of 10 Cats. He is also a regular on panel and game shows such as Have I Got News For You, Would I Lie To You and Taskmaster.


Is The Thursday Murder Club on your TBR or have you read it?

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  1. I just started this book on audio yesterday, and I’m really enjoying it. However, I do see how your confusion with all the characters at the beginning is a bit of a problem. I was listening yesterday while doing some light paperwork, which normally wouldn’t be a problem, and I lost some of the trail. Overall, though, a fun listen so far. Maybe audio makes a difference; I’m a sucker for a British accent.

  2. Ugh… It sucks when there is so much going on and an overabundance of POV’s. I do love cozy mysteries AND British humor though 🙌🏻

  3. I think that I would enjoy this, Carol. This is another title that was ‘wishlist’ for me. I hope my library gets this in. Great review. Your comment: this is what happened….no this is what happened…actually, this is what happened), amused me. It’s like talking to a 4 year old! 😂🤣❤📚

  4. I don’t think I’d read it but I freaking love your post format, i’ve tried to break down fantasy reads into like world build, characters, plot before, but end up incoherently ranting anyway ha ha yours is so concise!

  5. I love the title and the synopsis! This might make it onto my TBR. Love how you handled your review. Honest and kind. That works for me!

  6. I had the hardest way getting into this book. And although my audiobook expired, I’ll be requesting it again to finish the book, but at the moment I don’t feel what everyone loves about it.

    ~ Corina |

  7. I’m not much into crime stories but Richard Osman could rewrite the phone book and I’d read it, he is just such a brilliant guy.

    Needless to mention now, I guess, that I read his book (read my review here) and that I have his next one on my TBR pile and will read it ASAP.

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