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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

Read by Lesley Manville and featuring an exclusive Q&A between Richard Osman and Marian Keyes.

The first book in the gripping Thursday Murder Club series by TV presenter Richard Osman.

In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet up once a week to investigate unsolved killings.

But when a local property developer shows up dead, 'The Thursday Murder Club' finds themselves in the middle of their first live case.

The four friends, Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron, might be pushing 80, but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves. Can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer before it's too late?

©2019 Richard Osman (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"A little beacon of pleasure...such fun!" (Kate Atkinson)

"What a great [listen] this book is. Brimming with fascinating characters, humour, intrigue and warmth. And of course a brilliant whodunnit." (Lesley Manville)

"Compelling. Mystery fans are going to be enthralled." (Harlan Coben)

"It is great to listen to a feelgood story that wittily reflects society as it is rather than beating the drum of a fashionable cause. Lesley Manville, shortly to be Princess Margaret in The Crown, has so far been sparing in recording audiobooks, but she skilfully immerses herself in Richard Osman's characters, making the most of his comic flair." (The Sunday Times)

What listeners say about The Thursday Murder Club

Average customer ratings
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Oh WHAT a disappointment!

I have listened for 2 hours of the 12 hours of this book! I am really losing the will to live! I am a fan of Richard Osman, but really this leaves me cold, where is his clever wit and sense of humour? This book is totally boring, not one of the characters is likeable, and even the narration is irritating, I've had to speed it up to get it bearable to listen to!

I cannot say how disappointing this is, I have had this on my preorder list for ages and I am absolutely hating it.


244 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Just not very good...

Like a lot of people, this book has been on my Wish List for some time now. However, after just 4 1/2 hours of listening I had to give up. The characters are puddle deep, the plot is muddled and the witty asides few and far between. It reads like it needs a damn good edit. Whose story is it? Why isn’t the murder club properly established before we hare off into the crime they’re solving? Why is the characterisation of the care home owner so cartoonish? Why isn’t there more subtext and subtlety? I think the author is aiming for Kate Atkinson via Sue Townsend but he falls short on both fronts. Why on earth has another been commissioned?

156 people found this helpful

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So wanted to like this

Like a previous review , so sad to say how disappointing this was - sorry Richard. I was expecting something better written from such a clever and engaging man.
Copied from previous reviewer as felt exactly the same

''I have listened for 2 hours of the 12 hours of this book! I am really losing the will to live! I am a fan of Richard Osman, but really this leaves me cold, where is his clever wit and sense of humour? This book is totally boring, not one of the characters is likeable, and even the narration is irritating, I've had to speed it up to get it bearable to listen to!

I cannot say how disappointing this is, I have had this on my preorder list for ages and I am absolutely hating it.''

95 people found this helpful

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Utterly Dreadful

Written for the poor souls in old people’s homes

Why didn’t Lesley Manville refuse to read this tripe!

78 people found this helpful

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Slow and quite boring ..

I was expecting something far more exciting from Richard .. very slow and boring ..
Disappointing as I did anticipate being wowed by this witty clever man . It was laboured ...

63 people found this helpful

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Very sorry to say I gave up...

I loved the first few chapters, really enjoyed them, really seemed like my type of book, very well written, seemed so promising.....
.....
Then it seemed to change and it got very long winded (with very little happening) .
I finally gave up at 5 hours 40 left to go, I just couldn't listen anymore, I wasn't enjoying it and couldn't see it getting any better.
I think I gave it a fair go.

60 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A warm, witty, clever murder mystery - I LOVE it!

I loved this book so much, that I went ahead and pre-ordered the audio book and added a hardcover copy to my Christmas list. This is a keeper!

The book introduces us to Joyce, Elizabeth, Ron and Ibrahim, a small group of pensioners living in luxury sheltered accommodation and solving old, cold murder cases in the Jigsaw Room on a Thursday, just for a bit of fun. Well, fun, companionship, keeping their minds sharp, and a burning desire to see justice done, depending on who you ask. And Ron just like to have people to argue with on a regular basis. On the other side we have Donna and Chris, representing the official police presence, and trying desperately to keep up with the Murder Club crew, who seem to easily run rings around everyone they meet, despite the occasional use of a walking stick!

Joyce – the newest member of the TMC – tells her side of the story through her journal, but we get some omniscient views into the other characters as the story unfolds. And what a story! Richard Osman has created an intricate web of entwined mysteries, secrets and murders – old and new – that kept me guessing right up to the end. But he writes in such an accessible style – warm and witty – that makes it very easy to follow the plot and characters, despite the complexity of the case.

I’m not usually keen to read fiction books written by celebrities, as I worry that no matter how well they write, their public personality may overwhelm their narrative. This is not the case here. Yes, the public persona of Richard Osman is clever and witty, and so is his book, but he has created a cast of characters that are individual, memorable and live entirely on their own merits in the reader’s mind.

If I could ask the author just one question, it would be: when is Book 2 due out, please? And I have everything crossed that this will be a long-lived series… along with it’s octogenarian characters!


Review by Steph Warren of Bookshine and Readbows blog

49 people found this helpful

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Disappointed

Like others I looked forward to this book. Reading some of the earlier book reviews the sound of a witty, lighthearted detective novel sounded great but .... I am so sorry to say it doesn't live up to expectations. I haven't written a novel so hats off to anyone who has or in the process, unlikely this book would have been published without the famous author name - perhaps it was a ghost writer. The plot is slow, tedious, tries too hard ( brought back memories of Janet & John /Peter & Jane), no surprise to me lots of older people have personalities and interesting pasts - but I just don't care about any of them. I am up to chapter 18 of 116 and will plough on for now, loads of chapters 5 minutes or less, perhaps it will get better but it is incredibly hard work as I am struggling to engage. If you want a great book read We Begin at The End, Chris Whitaker.

42 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Delightful

Great fun. This has had me smiling all morning. The characters are believable and not the stereotypical “plucky old things” that I was worried they may be. The plot keeps you interested and the balance of humour isn’t overplayed. It’s an easy read but intriguing and is beautifully read by the wonderful Lesley Manville.

40 people found this helpful

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Absolutely brilliant!

This book had me laughing one minute and crying the next I thoroughly enjoyed the relationships between the excellently drawn characters and can’t wait until the next book in the series comes out so I can join them on another adventure.
I greatly appreciated the lack of unnecessary swear words and hope it continues, it proves that it is still possible to write a fantastic modern crime story without every other word beginning with F.
Whilst reading this book was a great deal of fun, some of the more serious moments made me stop and think. For an author to combine such disparate elements into one narrative shows them to have true talent.
Add to all of this the perfect choice of narrator and I could do no no less than five full marks!

37 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-02-21

Listen to this now

Cannot recommend this book enough. Particularly the characterisation is fantastic, and the setting is equally original. Funny sad and exciting all at the same
Time

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Muhammad Kashif
  • 21-02-21

Exquisite

Loved it, of course. It was different from most criminal fictions and made a fantastic listening. The characters were interesting and the storyline was captivating.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kate C.
  • 03-02-21

Every bit as good as I hoped

I love witty well-observed humour. Love unusual and unexpected heroes. Love a crime novel. So not surprisingly I loved this book so much. Narrator brought it to life in a wonderful way. Made me miss my Mum and grandparents for that gentle humour and politeness. Very jealous. If I could write a book I’d want it to be like this.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Josef
  • 29-01-21

A page turner

I wish I had read the book first. You just want to keep listening. I can’t wait for the second book!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Clearthoughts
  • 03-09-20

VERY DULL

THE THURSDAY MURDER CLUB.

No characters pull you in. You don't get interested or invested in them.
Descriptive. Places, what they do what they think, description of what people feel. Small people comments to each other. Really dull. You don't feel any tension. As dull as a retirement village meeting.
3 stars
One situation after another, no link or progression of story or
Not interesting.
I tried going forward to see if the plodding Descriptive style continued. I decided not to waste another 10 hours of my life trying to get into a story, a plot, an investment in the characters. Very dull style.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Norma Miles
  • 07-04-21

"Talks collapsed late last night."

The inhabitants of Cooper's Chase Retirement Village might be elderly but they have !let none of their personality traitts and only some of their faculties. And acting forgetful and helplessly innocent can conceal a multitude of sins. When a murder takes place locally, the four members of the Thurday Murder Club replace the cold case files for the current crime, generously allowing the local police detectives to occasionally assist.
This is a delightful, and convoluted story of misdeeds, friendship, love and death, and very much character led. Written partially in the first person through a quirky diary written by one of the Club as well as being viewed from the perspective of several other protagonists, the reader is gently led through the twists and turns of the lives of all of the characters, good humour oozing generously throughout, to reveal some surprising conclusions. Excellent personality development makes these very varied protagonists real life, living people still very much alive despite, or perhaps because of, their advanced years.
Narration was by Lesley Manville and, had she been restricted to reading the text alone, she would have been magnificent. With obvious interest in, and understanding of, all she read, her delivery was varied, interesting and emphatic in all the right places. Her female voices were also varied. But her abilities, sadly, did not include male conversations and, though this did not prevent enjoyment of the book as a whole, this reader rather wishes it had been the printed, rather than the audible book which has been read.

But print or audible, this is one murder mystery not to be missed. Beautifully written, imaginatively plotted and surprisingly uplifting, I am now really looking forward to the next in Richard Osman's series. which is briefly mentioned in the interesting interview with the author at the end of the book. Great fun, deliciously visual, meet some new friends in Cooper's Close Retirement Village.

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  • Berit
  • 28-01-21

Bravo!

I may be 37, but at times feel like a boomer...The characters are absolutely delightful, even the “bad guys” are admirable, well at least one of them. I cannot wait for the next book to come out, well done Richard.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Libby
  • 25-01-21

In the style of Agatha Christie

Ok overall but storyline is at times repetitive and has a reliance on detailed conversations Bit tedious

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Noorlinah Sandosham
  • 04-01-21

Oh my what a book!

Excellent - if there were more stars, 6 or 7 or no, 10 - it’d deserve them too!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-12-20

Loved it

Beautifully crafted and totally relatable characters, with plots and twists that keep you riveted and entertained all the way through. Thank you Richard, can't wait for the next one!