My lovely wife was reading The Thursday Murder Club and was chuckling away to herself, so when she finished it she gave it to me to read.
My wife had also bought the hardback version of the sequel, The Man Who Died Twice, but has been distracted by a true crime book, so I jumped straight in when I’d finished the first one.
What are they about? A group of four pensioners living in a retirement complex look at old case files, and try to solve them. However, one of the builders of the complex is bludgeoned to death, so the Thursday Murder Club set about trying to find out who did it. As the bodies begin to pile up, can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer, before it’s too late? (The last sentence was taken directly from the back of the book, if you’re wondering why it is written so well).
The Man Who Died Twice follows a similar pattern, involving diamond thieves, the mafia, the local drug boss and one of our gang’s ex-husband. This time they are up against an enemy who wouldn’t bat an eyelid at knocking off four septuagenarians. Can The Thursday Murder Club find the killer (and the diamonds) before the killer finds them? (The last sentence was also taken directly from the back of the book).
Book reviews for a series of books can become complicated, as I don’t want to give away anything from the second book which might spoil the first if you’ve not read it, which is why the above is quite concise.
What did I think of the books? The first book has sold more than a million, although it isn’t really that good a book. It’s OK, but not a million best seller. The book has been marketed very well, and it has appealed to those people who might bot read books very often, which is no bad thing, and people recognise Richard Osman as that man off the telly. There are a lot of characters in the first book and it can become confusing, but there are some very good laugh out loud moments.
The second book is much better. It flows faster and grips you more. Also, the author doesn’t need to spend pages and pages describing our main characters, as we all know them by now. The second book is also better written, almost as if Richard Osman has become a better writer.
I heard on the radio that the first book is going to be made into a film or a TV series, and I couldn’t help but immediately think that Helen Mirren would be perfect as Elizabeth,.
Anyway, both books are highly inoffensive and mostly highly enjoyable. I gave the first book 4 out of 5, which was a little generous, and the second book the same, which was probably a little harsh. Goodreads gives them 3.95 and 4.47, which is just about right I think.
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