We have something a little bit different for you this week. As a start to our series of posts about our favorite books of the year, we want to talk about The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman. This delightful book should work as a present for almost anyone on your list. Why do I feel I can say that? Because almost everyone on staff has read it, and we all loved it! From the fantasy and romance readers to the literary fiction and nonfiction readers, we've all found ourselves recommending The Thursday Murder Club time and time again.
Lil gave me her elevator pitch for the book earlier this week: "What happens when a former spy moves into your fancy retirement community? Murder, that's what. But who did it and why? More importantly, which community room is available to reserve so you and your friends can meet to solve the crime? If this doesn't sound like a great set up for a book, you should probably still give it a try. Based on the wide variety of readers here who loved it, you're probably going to love it too. There's humor, friendship, love, suspense, and a satisfying conclusion. There's not much more I look for in a cozy read." And cozy it is. This is the type of book you pick up when you want something warm and comforting and kind that has substance.
Lori is "...one of those people who likes mysteries despite the dead bodies — for [her] it is all about the relationships of the recurring cast of characters. The Thursday Murder Club has a delightfully quirky cast of amateur sleuths, all retirees in assisted living, who jump at the chance to get involved in a real murder when someone turns up dead. Perfect for fans of Louise Penny!"
Like Lori said, it's the characters that populate this book (and the rest of the series) that make it such a favorite here at the store. Nancy agrees. "This series has such rich characters - not cute and cozy seniors but adults who have lived full lives (with some serious faults and rough edges!) It explores serious issues with charm and warmth and the capers move at a quick pace. Just a great entertaining read!"
Cindy was the first person at Island Books to pick it up and give it a go. "I read The Thursday Murder Club very early on and chose it like I always do—by the cover art, by title, and by plot: A group of super-smart seniors happily solving old crimes and cold cases in a retirement home turn their attentions to a murder most local. That sounded like it might be interesting and inspiring (edging toward retirement myself) and, when I noted that Kate Atkinson called it "a little beacon of pleasure", I turned to the first page and just kept on reading. I liked the many characters and I like stories told from different points of view. It made me laugh and smile and it was a complex mystery with well-constructed characters. I don't typically read feel-good mysteries and I never went further with the series but I suspect I will one day."
Her recommendation—as well as the enthusiastic follow-up reviews from my other coworkers—was what put it onto my TBR (to-be-read) list in the first place. I eagerly grabbed the excuse of "it's for book club" to vault it up to spot number one, and then proceeded to devour the rest of the series in blatant disregard of the other poor books that have been on my list for...some unspecified amount of time...
Brad summed it up well: "This book is very funny. It's very kind. The characters are great, and the actual murder plot is really good." So if you have someone that you don't quite know what to get, The Thursday Murder Club comes highly recommended by the booksellers (and extended family) of Island Books. And if they've already read it and loved it, there are three other books for them to play catch up with.