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The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman


The premise of this book is kind of hilarious, and the way the premise plays out is even funnier. A bunch of retired folks are sitting around trying to solve cold cases; then there is an actual murder nearby, and they get involved, whether the police want them to or not. The twist is, they are actually capable as several of them have done something related to this in their pre-retirement lives, which makes the whole thing a lot funnier.

My issue with this book is hard to explain, and I felt it more at the front end; once the story was moving along, I had fewer concerns. At the beginning, the scene is set using some plot devices that I felt were made light of, that weren’t really appropriately posited. For example, one of the police officers is a WOC, and she is requested to deal with the case via making light of sexism and quotas. It felt like the kind of “jokes” that an old person would make: I have no issue with silliness around these concepts per se, but it’s not dealt with in an empathetic way, and it feels a bit like it isn't the author's joke to make. Then again, the main characters are older folks so it suits the characters' narrative, and the way that the sexism angle is brought back to bear at the end is well done.

At the end, I was surprised by the mix of complexity and simplicity around the actual murder mystery being solved. There is a sequel, and a third book coming out eventually as well, and though I won’t run out to buy them, I probably will read them eventually. The main characters are enjoyable, and I would like to revisit them.

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