MYSTERY

The Thursday Murder Club

Pamela Dorman: Viking. Sept. 2020. ISBN 9781984880963. $26. M.
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Trivia maven and British quiz show host Osman’s first mystery features crime-solving residents of a luxury retirement center in Kent, England. Located on the site of a former convent, Cooper’s Chase Retirement Village offers clubs for every interest. The Thursday Murder Club members—Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim, and Ron—meet weekly to examine the cold case files of a former detective. When the contractor who built Cooper’s Chase is murdered immediately after being fired by center owner Ian Ventham, Joyce and the others inform the police that they saw the two men arguing. The entire group, including the police, are present when Ventham is murdered. There were 70 seniors who could have killed him. Then the new contractor unearths an extra body in the convent cemetery. The Thursday Murder Club enjoys two active murder investigations and several cold cases while Elizabeth manipulates the police to keep the group in the loop. The character-driven mystery, featuring a group of sleuths all too aware of their own mortality, and a likable pair of cops, is suspenseful, funny, and poignant.
VERDICT The delightful, spirited characters from this witty, sometimes bittersweet story deserve a return engagement.

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