Review: The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman

 

Title: The Man Who Died Twice {The Thursday Murder Club #2}

Author: Richard Osman

Published: 16th September 2021, Viking UK

Status: Read September 2021 courtesy Penguin UK/Netgalley

+++++++

 

My Thoughts:

 

Richard Osman’s debut, The Thursday Murder Club, was an absolute delight, as is this sequel, The Man Who Died Twice.

Set in a luxury retirement village in the south-east region of England, the septuagenarian members of 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; find themselves in the midst of another caper when Elizabeth is contacted by an ex-colleague, pleading for her help.

Osman gives us a more complex mystery in The Man Who Died Twice which includes £20 million pounds worth of stolen diamonds, a double cross, a drug dealer, an international money launderer, and a teenage thug. Unfolding at a lively pace, I really enjoyed how the main mystery plot developed, finding it exciting and entertaining. I also appreciated the skillful way in which the various threads of the story are drawn together to create a very satisfying conclusion.

I was again charmed by the personalities of the Thursday Murder Club foursome as they inveigled, manipulated, coerced, and traded favours in their race to find the missing diamonds, solve two murders, and avenge Ibrahim. I particularly enjoyed the role Joyce played in this novel, Elizabeth may be the brains of the group, but underestimating Joyce is a mistake, even if she can’t knit. I was also happy to see local police officers, PC Donna de Freitas, and DCI Chris Hudson (who is now dating Donna’s Mum) as well as the enigmatic Bogdan, return.

Witty, clever and lively, The Man Who Died Twice is an entertaining read. I’m cheered to know a third instalment is in the works.

+++++++

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Review: The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

Title: The Thursday Murder Club

Author: Richard Osman

Published: 3rd September 2020, Viking UK

Status: Read September 2020 courtesy PenguinUK/Netgalley}

++++++

My Thoughts:

“A few glasses of wine and a mystery. Very social, but also gory. It is good fun.”

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman is a delightful mystery debut from UK TV host, Richard Osman.

Set in a luxury retirement village in the south-east region of England, new resident Joyce is quietly thrilled when Elizabeth asks for her professional opinion about a knife wound, and then extends an invitation to join The Thursday Murder Club. The club, so named because it meets on Thursday’s, studies cold cases from the files of a retired Detective Inspector (who is now too ill to participate), and includes Elizabeth, a former intelligence operative; Ibrahim, a mostly retired psychiatrist; and Ron, once a union boss, who enjoys playing devil’s advocate. The group enjoy the intellectual challenge of their investigations, but when the part owner/builder of The Coopers Chase Retirement Village, is found bludgeoned to death, the foursome are determined to have a hand in solving the case.

The Thursday Murder Club is a cosy mystery, rather than a thriller, but if one death isn’t enough to satisfy your lust for murder, you are in luck, because Curran is only the first to die. The builder is barely in his grave, when his pompous partner, Ian, keels over dead, and then the bones of another murder victim are found in a graveyard. Osman offers an engaging plot that provides plenty of red herrings as the Club members, and police, try to determine what, if any, connection exists between the three deaths, searching for motive, piecing together clues and chasing leads, even all the way to Greece. I thought the story was well paced, and just unpredictable enough to keep me guessing.

Honestly though it’s the quirky, shrewd and lively protagonists of this novel, who despite their advanced age, or perhaps because of it, aren’t shy about insinuating themselves into the case, much to the exasperation and eventual grudging respect of local police officers, PC Donna de Freitas, and DCI Chris Hudson, that are the winning ingredient. I was absolutely charmed by the personalities of the foursome as they inveigled, manipulated, coerced, and traded favours in their race to solve the murders. Joyce, Elizabeth and Donna in particular are spirited characters who tend to steal the limelight.

Though there is plenty of humour to be found in The Thursday Murder Club, much of it dry in the way that only British humour can be, there are some poignant moments too, which gives the story some depth. Osman touches on some of the disadvantages of ageing, such as failing physical and cognitive abilities, the illness and loss of a spouse, and loneliness, but also reminds us that old age doesn’t have to mean giving up on passion or excitement.

Charming, witty and entertaining, I sincerely hope that we’ll be enjoying the antics of the The Thursday Murder Club again soon.

++++++

Available from Penguin UK

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