Thursday, 15 October 2020

Audiobook Review - The Thursday Murder Club

You thought that this month, I was only going to be reading and talking spooky things? Oh please, October is when the nights are drawing in so, of course, crime and thrillers are going to be high on my TBR radar throughout October and possible November. 

So, let’s start with this, shall we? 

  • Title And Author: The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
  • Publisher: Penguin
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook and eBook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: eProof given by UK publisher via NetGalley in exchange for honest review and Audiobook bought on Audible
  • Length: 400 Pages or 12 Hours 25 Minutes

In a small retirement village in Kent, four unlikely residents becomes friends and meet up once a week to investigate unsolved murders. But when a local property developer dies - bludgeon to death - Elizabeth, Ibrahim, Ron and Joyce find themselves in the middle of their first real case. 

All four might be in the late seventies, early eighties, but they have a few tricks up their sleeves and have seen life. Can they solve the crime and catch the killer before someone else ends up dead? And, if another person did turn up dead, are the Thursday Murder Club looking for one killer or two?
I want to say something before I go into the book and my thoughts of the story and the audiobook and that is I feel, as if, the publisher might be mis-selling this. Some of the language the publisher has been using in some of its advertising gives the impression that this book is a little harder, a little darker than it is, making it feel like it should belong in one subgenre of crime, when in fact this, to me, is a cosy crime. Yes, cosy crime can be gripping and thrilling - hell, I’ve read wonderful cosy crimes that do both - but some of the language used gives this book the wrong impression and, because of that, some readers might go into this expecting one thing, only to realise that it’s something completely different and have to change their reading and expectations very quickly, meaning this change of gear could effect the reader’s enjoyment. 

I also want to say something about the audiobook before I go full-steam ahead. The narrator. I have said multiply times on the Pewter Wolf and on most of my social media that, when you audiobook, a narrator can make or break a book. Some narrators just work and it’s wonderful. Others you have to warm to. And some just don’t work. And this… this is a warm-to narrator for me. I still don’t like some of the the choices she made on characters and how she read certain sections, and because of that, I wonder that if I had read this instead, would my rating be different?

I ask this at the same time as preordering the second audiobook in the series. So, go figure that one out. 
Yes, I have preordered book 2 in the series (via Audible) so, of course, I must have liked the story, I hear you say. And I did. It was a gentle cosy murder mystery with gentle humour and observations that worked for me, though I do have to admit that some of the characters did feel very caricature-like and not all the villains get their just-desserts (though, it depends on how you view it). And, on some aspects, you can tell this is Richard’s debut because some little pet peeves I have came out (the overuse of the word “says”, for example). 

It’s hard to explain why I liked this. It’s not going to work for everyone, I know this, but this worked for me as, while the mystery makes the plot move forward in a nice, almost casual pace (do you know how many times I put this audiobook down, left for several days to focus on podcasts and music, only to return and instantly pick up the thread without me going “What happened? What did I forget?”), but it’s the four characters - Elizabeth, Joyce, Ron and Ibrahim - that are why I stayed. I found them and their friendship so lovely to read - it’s rare we focus of friendships in the older generations in media so this was a nice change. 

I know book 2 picks up the day after The Thursday Murder Club ends so we are going to see the fallout of these events so I am intrigued to read on. 

I do have one worry as the series moves forward which is the issue of dementia. It is touched upon that a loved-one in the series has dementia (though the word “Dementia” was never used to my knowledge). I hope this is tackled with sensitivity and with love as the series goes on (I think it will, but as I know people who have been effected by dementia [myself included], I want this to be tackled and tackled with care and love). 

Like I said earlier, this is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea and, while there are things in here that I didn’t exactly warm to, I did like it and I have preordered the sequel on audiobook for late next year. So, yeah, I will continue on with book 2 (though I know this is a possible six/seven book series so book 2 will probably be the make/break in whether I continue and finish the series). 

I’m going to leave you with very wise words from a smart book blogger than mine, Serendipity Reviews, on her review of Thursday Murder Club: “Never ever underestimate the mature generation, because they have tricks up their sleeves that you wouldn’t believe.”

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