The Bullet That Missed by Richard Osman
The Thursday Murder Club meets for a third time in their upscale retirement village to charm readers while the 70-somethings gather to discuss and solve another cold case. This time Elizabeth, Ron, Ibrahim, and Joyce are looking at the disappearance of TV journalist Bethany Waites, whose car was found at the bottom of a cliff 10 years earlier. Bethany was investigating a money-laundering scheme. One of their earlier cases has had unintended consequences, as Elizabeth and husband Stephen have been threatened by a mysterious Viking, who demands that Elizabeth kill Viktor, or else. Viktor is a retired Russian Colonel, who was in the KGB when Elizabeth was a British spy. How Elizabeth approaches this dilemma makes for delightful reading, especially as Joyce records the scenes in her diary. Joyce gets to meet a TV personality when they’re looking into Bethany Waite’s case, and gets to swim in a private rooftop swimming pool. Former union organizer Ron gets to play snooker and drink whiskey with Russian Viktor, and a (possibly former) gangster. While the three men seem to have little in common, they certainly enjoy their time together. Elizabeth’s husband Stephen, who has dementia, gets more scenes here, including an adventure connected to rare books. Other characters from the first two books return, some in new and unexpected relationships. This novel is humorous and witty, and full of strong, dangerous men and women. That many of the characters are well over 70 simply adds to their charm. While not a cozy British mystery, it’s entertaining and heartwarming. Start with The Thursday Murder Club for maximum enjoyment. More entries are planned.