Monday, May 17, 2021


Far from looking forward to their weekly bingo game for some entertainment, the four members of the Thursday Murder Club hold meetings in their retirement community (when they can squeeze in around other groups) to discuss unsolved murders.  There's Joyce, a retired nurse; Ron, who is famous as a labor activist; Ibrahim, a retired psychologist; and Elizabeth, who did all sorts of mysterious and dangerous work although we're never really given any clear information about what her job title might have been.

After one of their meetings the group sees Ian Ventham having a heated exchange with Tony Curran.  Ian is the owner and developer of the retirement village and is planning a huge expansion over some nearby farmland which will require, among other things, the relocation of a cemetery.  The current buildings are on the site of a former convent, so the cemetery is the final resting place of the many nuns who lived there.  Tony is Ian's right-hand man, doing everything from building work to some light "enforcement" duties when the situation requires it.  Just hours after that argument, Tony ends up murdered, and the members of the club can't believe their luck -- here is a murder they can investigate where they know all the players.

A female police officer, Donna De Freitas, comes out to give frequent talks on safety, so the members of the club hope she will be helpful to them in supplying information about how the investigation is coming along.  Donna isn't allowed on the "murder squad" at the police station, but that's quickly arranged with a few quick phone calls from Elizabeth.  Donna and her boss, the overweight and slightly depressed DCI Chris Hudson, try their best to investigate Tony's murder, but really, the Thursday Murder Club is miles ahead of them in terms of technique and resources.  Still, they do share any helpful information with the police, and occasionally a helpful piece of information comes their way from official sources.

Another murder occurs, in front of nearly 100 witnesses, and the body of a victim that has remained undiscovered for nearly 50 years also turns up.  The members of the club keep busy trying to sort out who the killer (killers?) might be and trying to untangle all the possible motivations.

The story is very entertaining, and because there are short chapters alternating with entries from Joyce's diary, the action moves along at a fast pace.  My only criticism is that there are an awful lot of characters to keep up with.  A list of characters would be helpful, especially since some of them have very similar names.  I also wasn't too thrilled with the ending, since several strange plot holes weren't addressed.  Still, it was a fun story and it was quite entertaining to see what information Elizabeth would unearth  next from her never-ending "sources" from her previous life.


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I'm a librarian who is interested in all things British. I try to visit London as often as possible, and am always planning my next trip. I lived in Sweden for a few years with my Swedish husband, so the occasional Swedish reference may occur . . .

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