A truly delightful second outing for The Thursday Murder Club! Hot on the heels of their last outing, Elizabeth receives a letter from a former colleague who, having stolen some diamonds, is being pursued by a violent mobster and needs her help to protect his life. As bodies begin to stack up, Elizabeth involves Joyce, Ron and Ibrahim to help bring the guilty to justice and, who knows, perhaps recover the diamonds too? The downside, of course, is that they are up against a brutal killer who would have no qualms about bumping off four elderly sleuths! The first in this series was superb and I thoroughly enjoyed it but this one easily supersedes it; I suspect because I was familiar with the characters, I relaxed into the story. The story is well-plotted and laced with humour throughout – in fact, it’s worth paying attention to Joyce in particular as she is often unwittingly funny! The characters are skilfully crafted and I love that I now have a strong mental image of each of them which all adds to the enjoyment. Exciting, enigmatic and terrifically entertaining – not to forget a strong sense of justice having been done, this is a splendid read and one I highly recommend. I really hope this series continues as it covers so much and it is all cleverly sorted out by the final page. Worthy of my highest recommendation (it would make a fabulous Christmas gift!) and, as such, easily earns all five sparkling stars!
33 people found this review helpful
The Man Who Died Twice is the second book in the Thursday Murder Club series by British TV presenter, producer, director, and novelist, Richard Osman. After the excitement of all the recent murders, things have calmed down at Coopers Chase retirement village, but Joyce Meadowcroft notices that, at the most recent meeting of the Thursday Murder Club, her good friend Elizabeth is a bit distracted. Turns out, one of the units at Coopers Chase has temporarily become a safe house for an ageing, politically incorrect spy and Elizabeth is roped into baby-sitting a man she knows too well: her former life has come calling. This man makes an unwelcome declaration of love and a confession which concerns the reason for his concealment. While DCI Chris Hudson and PC Donna De Freitas (ineptly) practice their covert surveillance skills on Fairhaven’s newest drug baroness, Ibrahim Arif has cause to regret his decision to make a solo outing into town when he is mugged by a teenaged trio. His friends are certainly not going to let that go unanswered… Ostensibly a builder, Bogdan Jankovski is actually a man of many talents, be they playing chess with a demented husband, acquiring ten thousand pounds worth of cocaine (a disappointingly small parcel), or assisting Elizabeth “I’ll also need you to drive me to meet an international money launderer today, if you’re free?” International money launderer, Martin Lomax has a bit on his mind: competing are thoughts of the Ukrainian who has just agreed to buy some decommissioned Saudi anti-aircraft missiles for twelve million dollars for which he plans to kidnap a racehorse as down payment, the Open Garden Day Martin is hosting, and the missing twenty million pounds worth of diamonds that the New York mafia are going to want back soon. Ron Ritchie may be in his seventies, but he, too, is a versatile fellow, hosting his clever and inquisitive eight-year-old grandson as well as convincingly posing as both a plumber (overalls are so comfy!) and a London drug dealer. Joyce’s (badly-)knitted, sequinned friendship bracelets are gently foisted upon almost everyone she meets. These, along with a cheap locket, a crisp packet, a left luggage locker key and the employment of some old spy tricks, play a significant role in the location of Martin Lomax’s missing diamonds, and the discovery of the identity of the murderer. Whether describing outings like the Eurostar to Antwerp in her chatty journal entries, or signing up for Instagram with an innocently-chosen but unfortunate handle, or hiding diamonds, Joyce is an utter delight: she may often seem preoccupied by something mundane, but should never be underestimated, because she catches every detail. She is terribly pleased to learn she is on MI5’s radar, then thrilled to be blindfolded and interrogated by them, a session that is laugh-out-loud funny. Once again, a perfect mix of cosy crime fiction and British humour that should probably not be read in the Quiet Carriage of public transport as it is likely to have readers chuckling, snickering and even guffawing. Hugely entertaining. This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and Penguin UK
10 people found this review helpful
I sadly missed the first book but relished getting my hands in this 2nd book in the series. I don't think I missed out having not read the 1st book but I have added it to my verrrrrrry long TBR Sign me up for Coopers Chase when my retirement comes. That place is not where you go for a peaceful retirement lol. I really enjoyed meeting this eclectic crop of cooky characters; Elizabeth - retired spook, her bestie Joyce - retired nurse and wannabe crimefighter, Ibrahim - retired psychologist and voice of reason, and Ron, hardcore Union man and always willing to right a wrong. A case from the past comes back to haunt Elizabeth. Add in an adulterous ex, missing Mafia Diamonds, wannabe drug Czaerina and a nefarious middleman and the result is a brilliantly funny, well-written, and well-paced murder mystery. Poor Ibrahim gets put through the wringer and I felt his retreat from life was very well-written. I loved Joyce's diary entry and I just need to giver her a cuddle -she and her daughter have a fraught relationship. Ron - a man you always want on your side. With great secondary characters such as Fairhaven cops, DCI Chris Hudson and Donna De Freitas and a certain Polish enigma, Bogdan. I have to say I was not very keen on the MI5 intruders - except Poppy, she was so out of her depth. All around I was a very happy camper. My only peeve was Police Scotland being referred to as Strathclyde Police - we've not been that for years. MY DCI's would go into shock if you asked them to interview someone LOL. Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC.
9 people found this review helpful