I don’t know about you, but I really enjoy a good series. You can really get into the lives of the characters and watch them grow. You get to experience more of life’s events with these people you somehow feel like you know. Any great series makes you want to reconnect with the characters or the setting.

My problem with series? They don’t release them all at the same time. Do I want to wait A WHOLE YEAR to find out what happens with these characters I invited into my life? Of course not! I want to know now! Of course, that has not stopped me from starting new series and then dying a little inside because I can’t read the next book.

And, then there are the times I somehow miss a really great book series coming out and by the time I stumble across it, there are already three books out. For me, this was The Thursday Murder Club. I had not really noticed a pattern in my reading habits before starting this series, but it seems I really enjoy characters who are witty and/or cranky old people. This book has many witty and/or cranky old people. Set in a retirement community, these pensioners have plenty of time on their hands. Now, they could spend their days sitting around playing cards, maybe taking in a museum, or even partaking in some jazzercise. But not these pensioners. They’re going to solve murders and harass the local police. This is the kind of old person I aspire to be. If I could also become British, that would make it even more fun.

In the first book, The Thursday Murder Club (from which the series gets its name), we meet our crime fighting club: Elizabeth, a former M15 agent (but that’s classified so she can’t really talk about it); Joyce, a former nurse; Ibrahim, a former psychiatrist; and Ron, a union man with a reputation for getting things done. The club started by looking at cold cases and trying to solve them, but when a murder occurs right next to their retirement village, the club feels they are the most qualified to solve the crime, much to the consternation of the local police. One of the great things about being old, however, is being underestimated and unseen. Maybe the club does have the best chance of solving the crime.

Osman follows up the antics of these septuagenarians with The Man Who Died Twice. In this book, one of Elizabeth’s previous colleagues finds himself in a spot of trouble with some stolen diamonds and a mobster. As the club investigates, bodies start piling up. Can they find the criminal before they become victims themselves?

The latest book, The Bullet That Missed, just came out in September. Elizabeth’s life and that of one of her friends has been threatened. She is met with a dilemma: she can either kill a target identified by ‘the Viking’… or she can be killed. At the same time, the club is investigating both a recent murder and a murder 10 years past that are seemingly connected. Can they solve the crime, find and neutralize the Viking, and keep them all safe? Or have they finally found a criminal that can best them? I think we all know the answer, but you’ll enjoy reading what happens anyway.

And now, here I sit staring into the abyss. I’m three books in, and the next book doesn’t come out until September 2023. It doesn’t even have a name yet. Finish these three books, and join me in purgatory.

Richard Osman is an English television presenter, producer, novelist and comedian. The Thursday Murder Club was nominated for both an Edgar Award and an Anthony Award for best first novel.

If you enjoyed The Thursday Murder Club, you may also enjoy:

  • Death at Breakfast by Beth Richardson Gutcheon
  • An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good by Helene Tursten
  • The Novel Habits of Happiness by Alexander McCall Smith

Sarah Johnson is a collection librarian at Mid-Columbia Libraries. She reads more than 120 books a year. In her free time, she teaches fitness classes, gardens, and brews kombucha.