Richard Osman is a pretty well known figure these days, primarily for his TV shows such as Pointless and House of Games. However, that’s clearly not enough to keep him fully occupied as he’s now produced his debut novel, and a damn good one it is too. This is a rather gentle murder mystery, which takes place in the somewhat unlikely setting of a peaceful retirement village in the countryside. It’s very cosy and very English, with its cast of four septuagenarian friends and would be detectives helping (or is it competing with) the police to solve the murders of a local property developer and his builder. This is certainly not a typical crime thriller – in fact it’s about as wholesome as you can get while still having a corpse or two on the scene. Aficionados of this genre may dislike the lack of grit, but that isn’t what this book is about or indeed who it’s aimed at. In a way, the killings are almost not the main point of this tale, even though they are of course an integral part of its plot. Rather, its themes are those of memory, loss, regret and grief, of not giving up on life and making the most of the years you still have left ahead of you. This is a very warm, moving story with a cast of quirky charming characters, and the whole thing is infused with the author’s trademark dry wit. All in all, a really enjoyable read and a first class debut effort. I understand this is the first in a planned series of novels, and I’m already looking forward to reading more of the adventures of this loyal, lovable and wise circle of unlikely friends.
Length of Read:Medium
Might appeal to people who enjoyed…
Crime/mystery fiction that’s not too gory.
One thing you’ve learned
The film rights have already been snapped up by Steven Spielberg’s production company.