Several books to catch up with today, all to do with murder mysteries, so my addiction to them obviously continues unabated.
I've finished Martin Edwards' The Golden Age of Murder at last. So informative and it's making my vintage crime reading a lot more interesting in that I now know who some of these authors are and what they were like. I didn't for instance know how shy Agatha Christie was and how much she hated public speaking. I didn't previously have a sense of what a huge, domineering sort of character Dorothy L. Sayers was... or G.K. Chesterton. It also made me try 'new to me' authors like Margery Allingham (although I had heard of her of course), Anthony Berkeley and E.R. Punshon and it was nice not to be disappointed when I did. It made me go back to P.D. James too and her books will go with me into 2021 for a reread. This is a book to keep and refer back to. I loved it.
So this is the book a lot of murder mystery fans have been reading and talking about. Richard Osman is a household name in the UK, famous for hosting the quiz shows, Pointless and The House of Games. He's smart, quick-witted and 'witty' and I've often wondered what he would come up with if he ever wrote a fictional book. And here's my answer, The Thursday Murder Club. It's based in a retirement village for the well off, attracting what you might call retired 'professionals'. Thus, there are many activities and clubs and four of the residents have formed a club looking into cold murder cases. Joyce is an ex-nurse, Ibrahim a psychiatrist, 'Red' Ron was a left-wing trade union leader and their leader, Elizabeth... well that becomes pretty obvious as the book goes along. The village was built by some pretty shady characters and as controvercial negotiations are going on about new builds in said village one of the them is killed. The Thursday Murder Club begins to investigate, dragging in a couple of reluctant police officers. I found this hugely enjoyable. Osman's very sharp sense of humour and of the ridiculous is really to the fore and I laughed at his gentle poking fun of our Britishness all the way through. There is sadness, this is an old people's village after all with the obvious results of extreme old age and Osman does not shy away from this. It means that this is not a straightforward whodunnit but I liked that - I found I really cared about everyone in it. If I have a tiny complaint it's that I got a bit confused towards the end about who was doing what to whom and why. You'll need your wits about you if read this so don't leave them snoring by the fire. Book two is out next year I gather and I look forward to it very much.