An enjoyable cosy mystery with great characters. 4/5 stars.
Thank you to Penguin UK for providing me with an e-copy of this book via NetGalley.
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’ find themselves in the middle of their first live case.
The four friends, Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron, might be pushing eighty but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves. Can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer before it’s too late?
I was delighted to get a review copy of this book and overall I really enjoyed it. However, I do think the blurb is a little misleading: the “before it’s too late” line gives the impression that everyone at the retirement community is somehow in mortal peril or this is some sort of thriller. And it most definitely is not!
This is a cosy mystery which is more about the retirement village residents than the whodunnit. I enjoyed the focus on the older protagonists as they have all had interesting lives and are still making the most of their time. Elizabeth in particular is fascinating, and it was great how we find out bits about what she’s done in the past and are left to come to our own conclusions about exactly what her fomer line of work was.
The characterisation of the most loathsome figure in the book was also brilliantly done. In only a few brief lines I had decided I hated him, but with each additional detail – from how he treated others to how he decorated his house – the author chipped away a little more at any reason why we might want him to survive the book.
My final rating is 4, rather than 5 stars for a couple of reasons…
The story is told in a combination of first person (extracts from Joyce’s diary) and third person. When it’s in third person there is, at points, a heck of a lot of “head hopping”. We’ve settled into one character’s thoughts and feelings, then suddenly we jump into another’s and then quickly into another’s! This left me confused as to what was going on a couple of times and I had to backtrack and re-read a page. And when you’re reading a book with lots of characters, suspects and a fairly complex plot to keep up with, I could have done with staying in one character’s POV per scene to help me stay on track.
My enjoyment of the mystery did start to wane towards the end. While I thought the red herrings and dead ends were good, I began to wonder just how many revelations about secret deaths and murders could possible come out! This meant I had little hope of being able to guess whodidit and I prefer mysteries when I have a fighting chance of keeping up with the amateur sleuths.
Overall: an enjoyable story with terrific characters. If you enjoy a cosy murder mystery and are looking for something a bit different, I’d definitely give this a try.