Thursday Murder Club is a perfectly suitable novel for someone looking for a fast read that’s funny enough. I picked it up from the new paperback release display at a local bookshop on a lark. It’s a title that’s been read by a few people I know or mentioned in some “currently reading” or “recently read” or maybe even a “recommended read” list or conversation a few times. I had already read the synopsis and thought, Hm. Should maybe try that sometime. and just never really found myself compelled to pick it up. Having finished reading it, I feel the same as when I picked it up: It’s exactly what I needed/ what I hoped it would be. It’s perfectly fine. It’s a 3-star book. And a 3-star book is a book I enjoyed, but probably won’t read again. I would recommend it to someone who mentioned liking similar books, and I’d even tell them it’s got sequels.
I think that, while I don’t think there’s much I can say about this book, there are a few things I can say… and they probably could be best served by a bullet list.
Things I like that I found in this novel:
- The characters are all in their seventies and eighties. I like books centered on older persons. I like books about people my age (40s) but I really like books about people much older than I am. Why? Because I’ll get there one day if I’m lucky.
- The setting is a retirement community in which they live. You know the episode of Poker Face that takes place in a retirement community? Five minutes in, I said, “It’s like they wrote this for me. Specifically.”
- “Murder” is in the title and solving a murder/murders is pretty much the whole plot. I like murder mysteries, but not gruesome ones or procedurals. I like cozy mysteries, but quirky ones with quirky characters atypical of cozy mysteries.
- It reads really fast. Lots of short chapters.
Things I didn’t like:
- The Thursday Murder Club is 4 people. There are 2 detectives that are kind of allied with them. There are a few other side characters – not including the dead ones – that play pretty integral roles in the book… but I felt like we only really got development or back story on some of them – and not even all the titular club members.
- The murder and then the other murder and then the other murder… I didn’t really buy them. As in, sure, they happened, but they felt really convenient in ways that didn’t really feel tied to one another in organic ways.
- The diary chapters by Joyce seem really disconnected from the other chapters… stylistically. Like, what’s the point? In the end… what’s the point?
Anyway, I liked it just fine. I recommended it to my mom who sarcastically replied, “Why?! Because I’m OLD?” and, like, yeah. Also my mom’s been talking about living in a retirement community since she was 45 years old. Also she reads murder books – though not cozy ones.
Come to think of it, I’ve been talking about solving murders as my #RetirementGoals since I was in my twenties. This book could have easily been a 5-star read for me. (At least a 4+ stars.) But it just didn’t capture that real excitement. I think, really, it’s the ending. It kind of fell apart for me. I’m not sure. Maybe I’ll check what other Cannonballers wrote about it…
ooooooorrrrr… I’ll just chalk it up to a few nights well spent and move on.