The Thursday Murder Club
As part of Gibraltar Literature Week, the Chronicle is publishing book reviews daily. The event organised by Gibraltar Cultural Services includes discussions with local authors live streamed on their Facebook page and talks in schools. Today Melissa Bosano, Head of English at Westside School, shares her book recommendation.
What words would you use to describe any septuagenarians you know? Wise? Elderly? Partial to a stroll followed by a cup of tea? The characters in Richard Osman’s ‘The Thursday Murder Club’ are all that, and yet so much more!
The book is set in Cooper’s Chase, a luxury retirement village with four main characters who consider themselves amateur sleuths: Joyce, a former nurse; Ibrahim, a retired psychiatrist; Ron, a former trade unionist and Elizabeth, a woman whose life has been full of mystery and intrigue. Avoiding stereotypical depictions of the elderly, Osman infuses these characters with personality and purpose.
Joyce narrates part of the plot, recounting how their time is passed playing a bit of bridge, attending Pilates and looking over long forgotten cold cases in the ‘Jigsaw Room’ on Thursday afternoons. This all changes when an actual murder takes place and the Thursday Murder Club using their combined skills to try and solve the case.
‘The Thursday Murder Club’ is engaging and funny, with quirky observations and many poignant moments. I’m a fan of murder mysteries and this book, with protagonists in their advancing years, offers a really fresh and original perspective for readers. Osman provides a strong plot with good twists.
He touches upon several contemporary issues in Britain whilst maintaining a dry witty tone throughout and, most importantly, gives senior citizens - with all the skills, knowledge and wisdom they still have to offer the world - centre stage. This is a novel that champions the elderly and showcases the victory of age and experience over youth and modernity.
I would highly recommend this book if you enjoy an entertaining mystery and want to be drawn into a world where a slower pace of life exists, and where the characters show resilience and confidence in their own abilities despite their advanced age. All with a sprinkling of tongue in cheek fun thrown in.