Wednesday, January 20, 2021

The Thursday Murder Club

In this clever, cozy whodunnit, four residents of a British retirement community wield their crime-solving powers to catch a killer.

With The Thursday Murder Club, British TV personality Richard Osman (The World Cup of Everything) has crafted a very funny cozy mystery set in an upscale assisted living community in bucolic Kent, England.


In the luxury facility, four elderly residents--each retired, sharp and energetic--meet once a week in the Jigsaw Room, where they covertly gather to crack actual cold case murders. The group was founded by resident Elizabeth, a shrewd and devious former spy, and Penny, a retired police detective inspector who provided the cases to solve. With Penny now in a coma, however, Elizabeth keeps the club in session, continuing to work cold cases with other fellow residents and mystery aficionados. They include dapper Ibrahim, a psychiatrist; brassy, tattooed Ron, a former trade union official; and unassuming Joyce, a nurse whose interspersed diary commentaries enlighten readers to the often zany inner workings of the club.


When a real-life murder happens at the facility--the bludgeoning of the builder who constructed the retirement community--the club and its members employ their offbeat skills and talents to root out the killer. They skillfully manipulate the help of a 26-year-old female police constable--an ambitious transplant from London--and her Detective Chief Inspector boss, who follow a host of leads and red herrings.


Osman's suspenseful, complex and deeply entertaining storytelling--along with rich characterizations depicting the quirky absurdities and power of pensioners--transforms darker themes of murder and crime-solving into smart, clever fun.


The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

Pamela Dorman Books, $26.00 Hardcover, 9781984880963, 368 pages

Publication Date: September 22, 2020

To order this book on INDIEBOUND, link HERE


NOTE: This review is a reprint and is being posted with the permission of Shelf Awareness. To read this review on Shelf Awareness: Reader's Edition (October 2, 2020), link HERE

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

This Time Next Year

A lively rom-com about two Brits--born on the same day, in the same hospital--who meet after 30 years and are forced to reconsider their lives and shared history.

Sophie Cousens's first novel, This Time Next Year, is a clever, offbeat romantic comedy about two young Brits whose lives play out in vastly different ways.

Minnie Cooper--whose mother, Connie, had the audacity to name her daughter after the car--always had a challenging life. On the day of Minnie's birth, New Year's 1990, her mother had her heart set on naming her Quinn. However, when Connie's roommate in the maternity ward, Tara Hamilton, gave birth a minute before Connie, Tara stole the name, bestowing "Quinn" upon her own baby, a son. Connie is forced to go with her second choice--a watershed moment in the lives of the two newborns and their emotionally wounded mothers.

Minnie grows up taunted by peers and comes to believe nothing good ever happens on New Year's. This self-fulfilling prophecy, further propagated by her mother, plays out in extraordinary ways on New Year's 2020, which also happens to be Minnie's 30th birthday. When Minnie's beau drags her to a party thrown by one of his coworkers, Minnie loses her coat, gets vomited upon and then is locked in a bathroom overnight. Ugh! On New Year's Day, Minnie is finally freed from the loo by none other than Quinn Hamilton. The Quinn--born on the same day, a minute before Minnie, at the same hospital 30 years before. 

Cousens's colorful, quirky cast becomes embroiled in big, memorable scenes that capture and unravel the histories of both Minnie and Quinn. Rom-com readers will revel in Cousens's wry, lively story, which probes themes of self-discovery, acceptance and forgiveness, and the abiding nature of friendship.

This Time Next Year: A Novel by Sophie Cousens

Putnam, $16.00 Paperback, 9780593191200, 352 pages

Publication Date: December 1, 2020

To order this book on INDIEBOUND, link HERE


NOTE: This review is a reprint and is being posted with the permission of Shelf Awareness. To read this review on Shelf Awareness: Reader's Edition (December 8, 2020), link HERE