Tuesday, June 6, 2023

The Bullet That Missed: A Thursday Murder Club Mystery by Richard Osman

Title: The Bullet That Missed
Author: Richard Osman
Publication: Viking, hardcover, 2022
Genre: Mystery
Setting: Britain
Description: In the third installment of the Thursday Murder Club, Elizabeth, Joyce, Ron, and Ibrahim take on the unexplained death ten years earlier of a talented television reporter, Bethany Waites, while she was investigating a hot story. PC Donna De Freitas has fallen for the taciturn Bogdan and vice-versa; her boss, DCI Chris Hudson is still dating Donna’s mother; and Connie Johnson, villainess of the previous book, is in jail, framed by the group so now plotting her revenge. As the amateur sleuths pursue their cold case, they seek help from a television anchor primarily interested in himself and Ibrahim starts visiting Connie in jail. Elizabeth and Stephen are kidnapped and released only on the condition that Elizabeth assassinate an old Russian adversary, Viktor Illyich – or Joyce will be killed in his place. And that’s just the first 60 pages! Can Elizabeth mastermind her way out of this situation and, with her friends, solve not just one but two murders?

My Impression: This series gets better with each book; however, the characterization and humor are what set it apart, rather than the mystery per se. That being said, I thought this plot was the strongest – or at least, it made sense and didn't go John Verney on me. And now a movie is coming! Steven Spielberg's production company, Amblin Entertainment, bought the rights to The Thursday Murder Club and is set to start filming in late 2023, which should be entertaining. No details of the cast have been released but the author hinted the actors could be youngish and made to look older so that they can age naturally over the series. I guess he got tired of people begging for Helen Mirren as Elizabeth and Judy Dench as Joyce! But readers are equally fond of  the detectives, Chris and Donna, who get drawn into the Thursday Murder Club's antics:
Chris stops reading. He remembers both cases. Bethany Waites and Heather Garbutt. Will he take a look? Who is he kidding, of course, he will take a look. One day the Thursday Murder Club will get him sacked, or possibly killed, but it’s worth the risk. He feels as if someone must have conjured them up just for him, to save him. The Thursday Murder Club brought him Donna, Donna brought him Patrice, Patrice brought him stir-fried tofu. And all of that, it turns out, brought him happiness.
Even murders are pretty lighthearted in this series. Osman saves all his pathos for the deterioration of Elizabeth’s husband, Stephen, a kind and loving man whose dementia is becoming more severe. Elizabeth has tried to keep this from her friends but it is getting harder to hide and is very upsetting to read about.

I had already read the first two books but then my book group read the first book for May, and discussing it with them made me rush out to get this one, although I’d planned to wait. We’re reading Middlemarch for June, what a contrast!
Source: Library.  This is my sixteenth book for Carol’s Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge.

1 comment:

TracyK said...

That is a fantastic quote about Chris. I love that he is so happy with his life now. I love this series.

I had not heard about the movie. I hope they keep to the spirit of the book.

Very nice review.