The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
What do you do when you are stuck at home and boredom is about to declare victory over your, now, never ending efforts to keep yourself active ? If you are into books then you pick up a nice light hearted murder mystery. There are times for those very deep and dark psychological thrillers but this definitely is not the time to read one. There is enough darkness around as of now. So to lighten up my mood I had picked up this debut novel from Richard Osman (a TV presenter with BBC, supposedly, a specialist in game shows apparently).
The Thursday Murder Club does not have your stereotypical protagonists from the law enforcement agencies or a hotshot detective who typically chase the mystery murderer. Instead it is a group of four oldies who live in a retirement village called Coopers Chase who call the shots. They call themselves the Thursday Murder Club because every Thursday this group of four namely Elizabeth, Ron, Ibrahim and Joyce get together and try to solve old unresolved cases. Then one fine day they find themselves in mid of a real life murder with close links with the village where they stay.
A lovely mix of humor and suspense is what makes you love this book. The humor comes from the conversations of this group of four people, now in their twilight years, and their funny yet provocative thoughts as they try to make sense of all that is changing or has changed in the world around them. As the story unravels you also get to know more about each of the members of the club, enough to make your guesses about the kind of lives they had lived before coming together in their current home. Sprinkled in between are moments of nostalgia and melancholy with the realization that this indeed was a time when their own journeys were heading for a final destination. Amidst all this is their bond with two local police officers Donna and Chris who despite their mischief understand their true intentions and cooperate with them. These two officers have their own story which is also very well told and you do understand why eventually a good friendship develops between the two.
So all along this book there are these moments where you have a smile or a chuckle or even a deep thought as you dwell more into every character, simultaneously turning the pages to answer the questions which come up in your head. Ending here with one of the many thought provoking quotes you would come across in this book.
“Many years ago, everybody here would wake early because there was much to do and only so many hours in the day. Now they wake early because there is much to do and only so many days left”