The Thursday Murder Club

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Orsman

One of the most interesting things about this author is how well he brings you into not one, not two, but multiple murder mysteries. Spoilers would be next to impossible as some are just thrown almost as random pieces of information that happens when trying to solve the first murder. The world this story takes place in, is comical, lovable, and enjoyable at how a group of senior citizens create a club and then try and figure out who and what could have happened to cold cases. Then a murder happens in their midst, and then some more, and this rag-tag group is solving crimes and traveling around Europe to get information.

The group that the author assembled is so amazing to read about the reader almost forgets this is not a true story. The characters are so well fleshed out, while still allowing the reader to create their own versions, and the team would not work without the others. This cast of characters is a riot and make the book hard to put down once started. The multiple murders and how a group of senior citizens gets the local police to see them as valued assets in and of itself is worthy of a smile. The promise of a second book, and hope that this team will be a series will make the ending of the book worthwhile.

Character List/ Book Summary:

Elizabeth = vague hints at what she previously did, gets the team together for the Thursday Murder Club, asks Ibrahim to lie to the police, gets Joyce to visit places with her when investigating, thinks Boden is the type of son she would have liked to had. Smart enough to realize who the killers are, but doesn’t indicate if she knows who Tony’s killer really was.

Ron Ritchie = tends not to believe people, plays feeble old man when police first meet him, had been “Red Ron” when he was a trade union leader, proud of his son but worried about him

Joyce Meadowcroft = former nurse, helps Elizabeth answer a question about a cold case involving a stabbing and then starts joining the Thursday Murder Club, discovered she like beer during the investigation, proud of her daughter. Gerry is her former husband and doesn’t talk about him. Helps arrange a sit-in to protest the cemetery being dug up.

Ibrahim Arif = former psychiatrist, still sees a few patients, claims Ellidge was once a school teacher visits Penny regularly. Travels to Europe with Ron to try and get information on a possible suspect and run into the local police there.

Stephen = Elizabeth’s husband, starting to lose his memory, 1st wife Emily died twenty-five years ago, expert on Middle Eastern Art, thinks Bogden killed Tony, likes to play chess with Bogden

Bernard Cottle = former professor, world traveler, wife died from a stroke and he kept her ashes instead of letting his daughter spread them as she wanted to. One daughter, Sufi. Spends his days on a bench near the cemetary.

PC Donna De Freitas = 26 year old, not sure what she thinks about the club being involved in the investigation, but comes to see them as friends and resources. Thinks her boss has potential and regrets her quick haste to leave London after heartbreak.

Ian Ventham = owner of Coopers Chase (luxury retirement home), cheap, shots Bogden and thinks Tony might kill him, 50 years old, cheats on his wife. Murdered while Cooper Chase members staged a sit in blocking the digging up of the cemetery.

Penny Gray = had been part of the Thursday Murder Club, but now is not able to be, was a former inspector in the Kent Police

Boden Jankowski = retitled a pool for Ian, agrees to work for Ian after Tony is fired. Goes to Elizabeth and tells her that he did not kill Tony, but did install the alarm system, and finds bones in the cemetery (above a coffin) and asks Elizabeth for guidance. Confesses to killing Gianni

Tony Curran = had a drug business, but went legit because he made more money that way. Killed after Ian fired him, at home in his kitchen with a photo of Tony, Bobby, Tanner, and Jason behind

Father Matthew Mackie = asks Ian to leave the graveyard alone instead of digging it up, Ian pushed him before Ian died. He is a doctor who had an affair with a nun in the 70s and why he wants the cemetery protected

Jason Ritchie = Ron’s don, former boxer and drug dealer, wants his father to do a family history show with him, thinks Karen killed Ian. Goes on a date with Karen to confront her.

Karen Playfair = Gordon’s daughter, going to teach a class on computers to Cooper Chase when the sit in occurs, shows Ron someone who was in Cooper Chase during the 70s

Gordon Playfair = owns the land adjoining Coopers Chase, refuses to sell to Ian and ends up selling it to Bramley holdings after Ian dies.

Detective Chief Inspector Chris Hudson = Donna’s boss, overweight, flies to Cyprus and runs into Ron and Ibrahim, after interviewing Gianni’s dad, Costa Gunduz. Is not sure how the club can help the investigation but ends up being thankful for their assistance.

John Grey = Penny’s husband, there when Elizabeth tells Penny about Tony, former vet, used the drug that killed Ian all the time at work, was there briefly at the sit in. Tells the club about what Penny did.

Bobby Tanner = living as Peter Ward, florist in Pearson Street, got out of the drug trade after the ring got caught and he had to hid in a field for several hours.

Joanna = Joyce’s daughter, bought her mom a flat at Coopers Chase, helps Elizabeth and Joyce understand Ian’s financial situation

Sue Banbury = set up Ian’s grave moving company

Cornelis = works for Joanna and helped her look over Ian’s files

Edwin Ellidge = every morning at 6 he walks slowly to the bottom of the drive at Coopers Chase then not seen for the rest of the day

Gianni Gunduz “Turkish Gianni” = took the photo of Jason, Tony, and Bobby, his dad is in prison and does not tell Chris where his son is instead asks him for help finding his son as disappeared years ago.

Steve Georgiou = owns a gym, does not tell Chris and Donna about Gianni, but does give them a lost wallet, helped Bogden kill Gianni


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