Book Review: The Thursday Murder Club (Thursday Murder Club, #1) by Richard Osman

Book Review: The Thursday Murder Club (Thursday Murder Club, #1) by Richard Osman

Cover design by Richard Bravery

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

My rating: 1 .5 of 5 stars

Series: Thursday Murder Club (Book #1)

Genre: Murder Mystery

Pages: 355 pages (Hardback edition)

Published: 3rd September 2020 by Penguin (UK) and Pamela Dorman Books (US)

The Thursday Murder Club is a very light-hearted murder mystery novel with zero suspense.

“If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.”

Fantasy and sci-fi are my favorite genre of books to read. That’s no longer a surprise if you have been following my reading journey. But this is not an absolute rule. I love historical fiction books. And most importantly, when I am reading fantasy or sci-fi books, I frequently enjoy having a slice or dose of murder mystery in the plotline. And with that in mind, yes, I occasionally switch gears into reading different genres of books. Whether as a palate cleanser or to find a potential pleasant surprise. The murder mystery is a genre I enjoy a lot in manga, movies, television, anime, and video games. And as I said, in my fantasy and sci-fi books as well. Oddly, I haven’t read many murder mystery novels. That’s why I decided to try reading Thursday Murder Club quartet (for now) by Richard Osman. I have heard many wonderful things about this popular series, after all. Unfortunately, this first book of the series was a big miss for me.

“In life you have to learn to count the good days. You have to tuck them in your pocket and carry them around with you. So I’m putting today in my pocket and I’m off to bed.”

Named after the series, The Thursday Murder Club is the first volume, and this is the premise. In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet weekly in the Jigsaw Room to discuss unsolved crimes. Together, they call themselves The Thursday Murder Club. When a local developer is found dead with a mysterious photograph left next to the body, the Thursday Murder Club suddenly finds themselves in the middle of their first live case. As the bodies begin to pile up, the unorthodox but brilliant gang must catch the killer before it’s too late. And get this, despite the murder mystery premise and plotline, almost everything about this book failed to capture my interest. For characters that are supposed to be quirky and unique, other than Elizabeth, none of the characters were fascinating at all.

“You can have too much choice in this world. And when everyone has too much choice, it is also much harder to get chosen. And we all want to be chosen.”

For a murder mystery novel, The Thursday Murder Club has nihil tension. It felt like reading a slice-of-life novel with a murder mystery masquerading as a plot. The mystery was not gripping. The villain is incredibly forgettable. The characterizations weren’t in-depth enough. And nothing about this short book felt compelling enough to me. I saw reviews that said this book was hilarious. I did not even smile once reading through it. Also, the insanely short chapters made me lose my immersion quickly. Here is the thing. I am not a fan of super short chapters. I don’t mind them utilized during the big sequence where the author needs to demonstrate a sequence from multiple POVs. But the short chapters in this novel were overkill. It is a 300-page book, and it somehow contains more than 100 chapters. Most chapters in The Thursday Murder Club last about 1-3 pages. This means the POV is constantly changing throughout the book. And this caused me to feel disconnected with the flow of the narrative quickly because I am constantly jumping to reading someone else’s story before I even felt immersed in one. As you can tell, this book was not for me.

“We understand also, I think, that we are doing something illegal, but we are past the age of caring. Perhaps we are raging against the dying of the light, but that is poetry, not life.”

Did I predict who the killer was? No. More importantly, did I care? No. I heard from many readers this is the weakest of the series, so it bodes well for me if I decide to continue reading the series. And I do plan to do that. I mean, I bought the entire series already. I even have The Last Devil to Die signed and personalized to me, courtesy of my friend. But for now, as a series starter, The Thursday Murder Club was super boring and disappointing. I hope the next book, The Man Who Died Twice, will give me a significant improvement in storytelling and reading enjoyment. IF I end up disliking the second book, there is a good chance I will DNF the series.

“Whatever they say about time healing, some things in life just break and can never be fixed.”

You can order this book from: Amazon | Blackwells (Free International shipping)

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: The Thursday Murder Club (Thursday Murder Club, #1) by Richard Osman

  1. Interesting review because while I agree with a lot of your critiques, I actually enjoyed this a lot more, maybe these things didn’t bother me as much because I think the humourous aspect worked better for me and I also enjoyed the slice-of-life feel. That being said I’m not sure I want to continue either!

  2. I think it’s worth noting that TMC is a *cozy* mystery and NOT a thriller. It’s a subgenre that has more in common with small town romances and slice-of-life, so I don’t think it’s fair to judge it for not being something it was never trying to be. It’s not supposed to be tense; if anything the genre is mostly known for heavily featuring comfort foods and cute animal companions and character relationships.

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