This debut novel from the television producer and presenter puts a unique twist on the murder mystery genre.

When you tend to think of clubs or activities, you tend to think of chess clubs or book clubs – but with Richard Osman’s delightfully entertaining debut novel, what you are presented with is a group of retirees with a fascination with unsolved crimes. While it seems like an unlikely premise for a gripping murder mystery, Osman approaches the genre with great humour with plenty of unexpected twists.

Set in the charmingly twee but upscale retirement village of Coopers Chase, four retirees are fascinated with unsolved murders so every Thursday spend their time discussing them. Until one day a murder happens on their very doorstep and suddenly find themselves in the midst of solving it – but can they do so before another violent death occurs?

Unlike other novels of this genre, The Thursday Murder Club is a surprisingly gentle and easy going story to read, with all the characters playing a central part in the solving at the crime. Osman writes with great flair and humour that you find yourself very easily wrapped up in the world of Coopers Chase.

Each character has a very distinctive personality – no more so than Elizabeth who sharp mindedness really leads the investigation, ensuring the talents of Joyce,Ron and Ibrahim are put to good use. Ultimately it is a team effort – but perhaps in the follow up (which is set to be released this year) it would be great to see the others be involved even more.

Ultimately, it is a story that is filled with secrets to be uncovered and does so effectively. Every element of the story has plenty of twists that come just at the right time when you think you have figured it out that it is impossible to see the ending emerge.

Also rather unusually, The Thursday Murder Club is a book that really leaves you wanting more and following the escapades of these unlikely detectives for more adventures. It comes across as a Midsummer Murders but with a twist that you can never get bored of uncovering.

It is an immensely enjoyable read that really gets to the heart of the crime with characters who are brilliantly brought to life. It would be fair to say that I can’t wait to read the second one…

By Emma Clarendon

The Thursday Murder Club is available to buy now.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐