Oh this was so fun! Set in Coopers Chase, a posh retirement home in rural England, four retirees with formidable skills from their former professions (a civil servant/spy, a psychiatrist, a union boss, a police officer) gather every Thursday to try to solve cold case mysteries or files that still nag at them. When one of their members becomes to ill to participate, they introduce a new member, Joyce, whose diary entries form a good chunk of the novel. Returning to a full complement of members comes not a minute too soon, as the home’s shady developer, who had his sights set on building on top of the neighbouring nunnery’s cemetery, is mysteriously murdered.
The Thursday Murder Club, as the retirees call themselves (they always meet on Thursdays), dives into this very warm case with barely contained excitement. They use their ability to appear under the radar (no one pays attention to little old ladies/men) and canny manipulation skills to weasel information out of the local constabulary. Before long a second body appears, the plot thickens and our detectives must be careful to not get in over their heads (except the ringleader Elizabeth. She is most likely a former spy and a very adept swimmer).
I thoroughly enjoyed this- it is charming, funny and cozy, with an interesting and tightly plotted mystery at its centre; a perfect weekend read. The negative goodreads reviews focused on the pacing, which it is true was initially a little slow but it is set in a retirement village, so I assume everyone had reset their pacing expectations like mine (it also picks up, like any good mystery). I loved the characters- Elizabeth is a brilliant, polished, bold and very particular ringleader, and I would be trying to hitch my post-retirement years to whatever adventure she got up to. Ron and Ibrahim (the union boss and psychologist) are particular and idiosyncratic in their own way, and I appreciate that they bring their quirks to the club. Joyce is our everywoman, who is trying to figure out these other characters without offending anyone (and she bakes a mean cake).
Recommending this one to my mom and other mystery lovers.
Counting this one as the ‘Questions’ square for cbr14bingo- a bunch of Septuagenarians digging into questions and hunting down answers.