Review: The Bullet That Missed by Richard Osman


Title: The Bullet That Missed {The Thursday Murder Club #3}

Author: Richard Osman

Published: 15th September 2022, Viking

Status: Read September 2022 courtesy PenguinRandomHouse Australia



My Thoughts:


I’m delighted by the return of the Thursday Murder Club in Richard Osman’s third book featuring four elderly residents of a luxury retirement village, The Bullet That Missed.

The Thursday Murder Club -Elizabeth, a former MI5 intelligence operative; Ibrahim, a mostly retired psychiatrist; Ron, once a union boss who enjoys playing devil’s advocate; and Joyce, a former nurse; are drawn into a cold case involving the disappearance of an investigative reporter a decade earlier, primarily because Joyce has a small crush on the victims former South East Tonight colleague, Mike Waghorn. Bethany Waites was working on uncovering the mastermind of a mobile phone scam, and the whereabouts of the scheme’s billion dollar profits, when her car went over a cliff. Though Bethany’s body was never found, it was assumed she got too close, and was murdered.

As the Thursday Murder Club try to unravel Bethany’s fate, Elizabeth is receiving anonymous vaguely threatening text messages which she declines to share with the others, until Elizabeth and her husband Stephen, are kidnapped by a mystery man they call ‘The Viking’ who then demands Elizabeth kill an old frenemy, a ex-KGB spy turned money launderer, or forfeit Joyce’s life.

The stakes seem a little higher in this story than the last, given the plethora of seriously bad dudes, and the direct threats to Joyce’s life, but The Thursday Murder Club bluff, charm, and outwit their enemies with ease. Sure events stretch the limits of credibility somewhat, but Osman’s plotting really is on point as the two mysteries unfold, and eventually intersect in an unexpected way. There’s a good mix of action and tension which helps to sustain the pace, though at 400+ pages it probably could have been a little shorter.

There are plenty of laughs in The Bullet That Missed, I really enjoy the author’s sense of humour, but Osman also touches on some poignant issues such as the accelerating cognitive decline of Elizabeth’s husband, loneliness, and past regrets.

My affection for the Thursday Murder Club members hasn’t waned at all, they are such an endearing group. Series regulars DCI Chris and PC Donna are back to lend a hand on occasion, though Donna is distracted by her new romantic relationship with the enigmatic Bogdon. The Club also barter for some assistance from Claudia Johnson, the imprisoned crime gang boss whom the group caught out in The Man Who Died Twice, and expands to include television makeup artist Pauline, who seduces a willing Ron, among others.

Charming, funny, and smart, The Bullet That Missed is another addition to a thoroughly entertaining cosy mystery series which I look forward to continuing.


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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. WendyW
    Sep 18, 2022 @ 13:01:39

    Wonderful review. I have this series on my TBR, now I really want to get to it soon.

    Liked by 1 person


  2. Liz Dexter
    Sep 19, 2022 @ 02:57:39

    Saving for when I get to this one – might be a while but I’ll be back!

    Liked by 1 person


  3. Anne - Books of My Heart
    Sep 19, 2022 @ 04:30:37

    I loved this as I have loved each one in the series.

    Liked by 1 person


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  5. BookerTalk
    Sep 19, 2022 @ 18:20:23

    I saw a scathing review of this in one of our leading newspapers yesterday. The critic thought it wasn’t as good as the new series from Richard Cole’s, another tv personality who has turned to writing crime.



  6. Helen Murdoch
    Sep 20, 2022 @ 04:03:25

    We just passed on the first book in this series to my daughter and it will be interesting to see if it goes down well with a reader in her early 20s.

    Liked by 1 person


  7. Carol Evans
    Sep 27, 2022 @ 04:22:33

    I’m looking forward to this one. And interested to see how Donna and Bogdon’s relationship works.

    Liked by 1 person


  8. Lory
    Sep 27, 2022 @ 17:35:56

    I have not started this series yet but I am looking forward to it. Cozy mysteries are the only kind I really like.

    Liked by 1 person


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