The outstanding success of The Thursday Murder Club
June 12th 2021
After visiting an acquaintance in a posh retirement village – think stunning views from atop the rolling hills down to the lakeside restaurant – Richard Osman realised that there could be no better setting for a cosy crime novel. The place would be packed with people who’d lived full and interesting lives – they’d know how to solve a murder, and probably how to commit one too…
The Thursday Murder Club – the first in a series bought by Penguin Random House in a seven-figure deal – went straight to the number one spot when it was published last year and went on to become number one. It’s certainly had its critics and seems very much to draw to it those who really hate it and those who really love it. Stephen Spielberg falls into the latter camp, having bought the screen rights and lined up Ol Parker (the man behind The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again) to write and direct it. Fans can also look forwards to the Autumn, when the next instalment will land.
Style guide: a very easy page-turner with gentle wit. Cosy enough not to offend a grandmother anywhere.
Well, let’s start with Elizabeth, shall we? And see where that gets us?
I knew who she was, of course; everybody here knows Elizabeth. She has one of the three-bed flats in Larkin Court. It’s the one on the corner, with the decking? Also, I was once on a quiz team with Stephen, who, for a number of reasons, is Elizabeth’s third husband.
I was at lunch, this is two or three months ago, and it must have been a Monday, because it was shepherd’s pie. Elizabeth said she could see that I was eating, but wanted to ask me a question about knife wounds, if it wasn’t inconvenient?
I said, ‘Not at all, of course, please,’ or words to that effect. I won’t always remember everything exactly, I might as well tell you that now. So she opened a manila folder, and I saw some typed sheets and the edges of what looked like old photographs. Then she was straight into it.
Elizabeth asked me to imagine that a girl had been stabbed with a knife. I asked what sort of knife she had been stabbed with, and Elizabeth said probably just a normal kitchen knife. John Lewis. She didn’t say that, but that was what I pictured. Then she asked me to imagine this girl had been stabbed, three or four times, just under the breastbone. In and out, in and out, very nasty, but without severing an artery. She was fairly quiet about the whole thing, because people were eating, and she does have some boundaries.
So there I was, imagining stab wounds, and Elizabeth asked me how long it would take the girl to bleed to death.
By the way, I realize I should have mentioned that I was a nurse for many years, otherwise none of this will make sense to you. Elizabeth would have known that from somewhere, because Elizabeth knows everything. Anyway, that’s why she was asking me. You must have wondered what I was on
about. I will get the hang of writing this, I promise.
Thrilling, moving, laugh-out-loud funny' MARK BILLINGHAM
'Smart, compassionate, warm, moving and so VERY funny' MARIAN KEYES '
Funny, clever and achingly British' ADAM KAY
'Such a beacon of pleasure' KATE ATKINSON
'So smart and funny. Deplorably good' IAN RANKIN
Intrigued? Grab your copy of the paperback today!
Vicki & The LoveMyRead Team x