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The Bullet That Missed: A Thursday Murder Club Mystery

Review

The Bullet That Missed: A Thursday Murder Club Mystery

For most older people, once their careers are over, they settle into playing golf, doing volunteer work or traveling the world. You know, the usual things. But for the friends who have formed the Thursday Murder Club, the usual things don’t interest them in the least.

Elizabeth, Joyce, Ron and Ibrahim meet every Thursday --- thus the club name --- in the Jigsaw Room at their retirement village. There they choose an unsolved crime, preferably a juicy murder, to tackle. This time around, they’ve dug up a very cold case involving a missing, presumed dead, journalist named Bethany Waites. The story goes that someone pushed her car off of Shakespeare Cliff with her inside. The authorities figure the body washed out to sea, but Bethany’s blood was in the SUV, so it’s just a question of whether it was suicide or murder. Local hot shot news guy Mike Waghorn is convinced it’s the latter. He knew Bethany; she never would have killed herself. Mike is so certain, in fact, that he offers to help. The Thursday Murder Club figures they could use the extra hand.

"Elizabeth, Joyce, Ron and Ibrahim couldn’t be any more fun to watch while they solve a case. They have a lot of ways to look, paths to take and suspects to interview, but in the end, the killer here comes as a genuine shock."

But the investigation barely gets underway when there’s a wrench thrown into it. A big man whom Elizabeth calls the Viking has come along and threatened her with an ultimatum: she must off her friend, Viktor Illyich, or the Viking will kill Joyce. Well, this is quite a thorny problem and must be worked out before the Bethany Waites case can proceed. Two police constables, Donna DeFreitas and Chris Hudson, step in to assist and become great allies. In truth, Donna ends up being a bit more than just an ally, at least for Ibrahim. After all, a little romance tossed into the mix can’t hurt. The group may be old, but they’re still quite alive and interested in squeezing the most out of every day.
 
With the Viking problem finally solved, the sleuths once again turn their attention to Bethany Waites. Of course, chasing clues in order to root out the killer arguably can be dangerous. But they seem to take it all in stride. They’ve been around a good long time and enjoyed themselves quite well. Really, by now, they’ve learned not to take life too seriously. That’s not to say that they don’t arm themselves and remain vigilant. But the Thursday Murder Club is a group of bold, bright, clever oldsters with a nose for unraveling crime and charming humor to see them through. Oh, and they are a determined lot.

Seeking the solution is only part of the entertainment; actually solving the case is the ultimate, delightful satisfaction. However, this case proves to be quite the twisty one. It began with a fraud charge, which means it involves money --- lots of it. And as everyone knows, money is one of the top motives for murder. When a certain clue leads them to a witness, who ends up dead soon thereafter, they have to step back and take another look. They must consider: Are they getting too close? Or was this recent death unrelated?
 
Elizabeth, Joyce, Ron and Ibrahim couldn’t be any more fun to watch while they solve a case. They have a lot of ways to look, paths to take and suspects to interview, but in the end, the killer here comes as a genuine shock. The Thursday Murder Club series is truly a joy to read. As far as I’m concerned, Richard Osman can’t write fast enough.

Reviewed by Kate Ayers on September 28, 2022

The Bullet That Missed: A Thursday Murder Club Mystery
by Richard Osman

  • Publication Date: September 20, 2022
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
  • ISBN-10: 0593299396
  • ISBN-13: 9780593299395