If there is anything my day job has taught me, it’s that you never underestimate the underestimated. Case in point: I have an 82 year old man on my caseload who ran over his brother. And no, not because he’s a bad driver or can’t see or has dementia. He meant to do it. And he backed up and ran over him again for good measure. And dragged him down the road a bit, too. This man might be elderly, but he’s sharp as a tack. Why did he want to run him over? An argument that happened 30 years ago. Long life = long memories.
Although the main characters in The Thursday Murder Club are nothing like the man I have to supervise for the next five years for felony charges, I thought of him as I read this jewel of a book by Richard Osman. Too often we are the ones that forget that those who have lived long lives also have a wealth of experience, a willingness to learn something new, and can even be diabolical or dangerous. Don’t get me wrong: This story about a gang of endearing murder mystery sleuths living in a quaint retirement village was laugh out loud funny and I couldn’t put it down. But the message that we don’t stop mattering -or having an impact on others- after we leave the workforce is loud and clear. And important.
The story in a nutshell: We meet four senior citizens who call themselves the Thursday Murder Club. In the club is a retired nurse, psychiatrist, secret service agent, and a former trade union leader. To the chagrin of local law enforcement, the four set out to solve the murder of the local developer after he is bludgeoned to death. And boy, are they persistent. This was quite the mystery because every time I thought I had it (I figured out Bruce Willis was dead in The Sixth Sense for goodness sake!), I was wrong. Like not even close. I was Pluto (still a planet), and the answer was the Sun. You won’t know where this is going, and even though we are taking about murder (god rest their souls), it’s FUN. I do investigations for a living and still didn’t figure it out. You got me, Osman.
Overall: Great dialogue and clever plot. You’ll love the characters. And the lesson? Yes, the past matters. Yes, you will lose those you love. But remember: happiness, starting a new adventure, meeting new friends, and knowing your worth is absolutely possible, even at 80.
5/5 stars ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Joyce: Julie Walters
Elizabeth: Helen Mirren
Ibrahim: Brian George
Ron: Michael Caine
Donna: Emilia Clarke
Chris: Martin Freeman