The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

The basics

Title: The Thursday Murder Club


Series: Thursday Murder Club #1

- The Thursday Murder Club (2020)
- The Man Who Died Twice (2021)
- Book 3 (2022)

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Goodreads Summary:

In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet weekly in the Jigsaw Room to discuss unsolved crimes; together they call themselves The Thursday Murder Club. Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron might be pushing eighty but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves.

When a local developer is found dead with a mysterious photograph left next to the body, the Thursday Murder Club suddenly find themselves in the middle of their first live case. As the bodies begin to pile up, can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer, before it’s too late?

Here is a spoiler summary of what happened in The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman to help refresh your memory before you read the sequel. If you need a recap of The Thursday Murder Club, then you’re in the right place!

What happened in The Thursday Murder Club?

  • The elderly residents of Coopers Chase Retirement Village have formed the Thursday Murder Club.
    They’ve invited PC Donna De Freitas over to talk about home security, but really they want to ask about
    murder and stab wounds.
  • Ian Ventham, the owner of the retirement village, is a butt. You should know this.
  • Joyce has joined the club as a replacement to Penny, who can no longer attend as she’s now in a
    nursing home.
  • Ian Ventham tells the residents he is planning on destroying a graveyard and some woodland to create
    a new development on the property. The residents argue with him, and Father Mackie is concerned
    about the graveyard as a lot of nuns are buried there.
  • Ventham goes onto fire his builder, Tony Curran, and replaces him with a man called Bogdan.
  • Jason Ritchie, a famous boxer, visits his dad Ron at Coopers Chase.
  • Ventham heads to see Gordon Playfair, the owner of adjacent land. He wants Playfair to sell the land,
    and Ian tries to get Playfair’s daughter Karen to go along with it.
  • Tony Curran heads home. He’s angry with Ventham. He gets hit on the head and killed at his home.
    The killer leaves a photograph before leaving the scene.
  • The Murder Club start investigating Tony’s death. As do the local police, of course. They discover that the
    time of death was 3.32pm and talk about how the body was discovered by Curran’s wife.
  • The police have been aware of Curran for a while as he used to deal drugs and was a suspect in a
    shooting in the past.
  • The photograph from the crime scene shows Curran with Jason Ritchie and Bobby Tanner.
  • Joyce and Elizabeth head to Fairhaven Police Station. They talk to Donna and promise to help her get
    involved with the case, because she clearly wants to be a detective and the elderly women want
    information on the crime.
  • DCI Hudson heads to Coopers Chase. Ron and Ibrahim greet him and tell him they saw Ventham and
    Curran arguing. They mention Donna and say they’d rather she was involved. Hudson takes this on
  • Father Mackie shows up at Ventham’s house, wanting to talk about the state of the graveyard. Ventham
    assures Mackie that the bodies will be respected.
  • Elizabeth and Joyce team up again to go and see Joyce’s daughter, Joanna. Elizabeth has Ventham’s
    financial records and is hoping Joanna can help decipher them.
  • Elizabeth does some brain training as she’s worried about losing her memory. Her husband, Stephen,
    is having memory issues and thinks Elizabeth is his first wife, Emily.
  • Joyce goes to lunch with Bernard. The two form a bond.
  • Donna and Chris question Ventham. He says he’s not seen the photo before, and that he was arguing
    with Tony about the sprinklers.
  • Father Mackie goes to have a look at the graveyard. Someone is reading on the bench there.
  • Chris talks the TMC through the case and what they know. Elizabeth hands over Ventham’s finance
  • Donna looks into Jason and thinks he may have been making dodgy money after his retirement from
    boxing. Donna and Chris approach Jason about Tony, and Jason claims he doesn’t know Tony and
    doesn’t remember the photo being taken.
  • John tells Elizabeth that he saw Ventham leaving Coopers Chase at 3pm (he knows this because his
    show ended at that time), so the TMC investigates the timings and whether Tony could have been killed
    in 32 minutes. They think it could have happened in 29 minutes.
  • Donna has a bad date and scrolls through her ex’s girlfriend’s IG feed. She calls Elizabeth up and they discuss the case. Donna then heads to Chris’s house at 11pm.
  • The detectives find out that Tony’s phone had three missed calls from an unknown number the morning
    that he did.
  • Ventham tells Bogdan to start working on the graveyard.
  • The residents confront the diggers and block access to the graveyard. Ventham calls the police.
  • Elizabeth speaks to Bogdan about Tony. Bogdan says he installed the alarm on Tony’s house, but he
    wasn’t the murderer.
  • Bogdan starts digging and finds a skeleton outside a coffin in a grave with another skeleton.
  • The residents leave the graveyard when the police ask them to.
  • Ventham shoves Father Mackie over and Chris tells Ventham he has to leave. Ventham starts to head
    home but is killed on his way to his car.
  • The report says Ventham did from poisoning. The TMC look into the death. John says the killer probably
    got the poison from the dark web.
  • Donna finds that the unknown number that was calling Tony was Jason’s, and Jason’s vehicle was
    seen outside Tony’s property just before he did.
  • They ask Jason for a DNA sample but he refuses.
  • Bogdan shows Elizabeth what he found at the graveyard. Elizabeth suggests they hold off telling the
    police for now.
  • Jason heads to the Black Bridge, where the photo of him, Tony, and Bobby was taken. He recalls that it
    was taken by Gianni, and wonders who sent the photo to him. He recalls Tony shootng a boy who had
    been set up by a gang member called Steve. Tony also shot the taxi driver who helped dump the body. This
    incident is what encouraged Jason to clean up.
  • Turns out Father Mackie isn’t a priest but a former GP.
  • Jason tells Ron about the photo and the TMC help track down Bobby and Gianni. They also look into
    the grave. A guy called Austin takes some samples.
  • The TMC report the situation to the police. The skeleton is of a man who did about 50 years ago.
  • Elizabeth and Joyce go to visit a man who owns a flower shop. This man is Bobby, who has since
    changed his name to Peter. They show him the photo but he says he hasn’t seen it before. Peter proves
    he was in his shop when Tony did. He tells them about Gianni and how he left the country with a load of
    Tony’s money.
  • Ibrahim and Ron ask Bernard why he’s always sitting on the graveyard bench. Bernard says he misses
    his wife. Then he cries when the two of them leave.
  • Jason and Bobby go to meet Steve to ask about Gianni.
  • There’s a letter taped to Bernard’s door. It’s a suicide note. He says he missed his wife, and that he gave
    his daughter fake ashes to spread around while he buried his wife’s ashes in the graveyard.
  • Gemma Ventham sells Coopers Chase to Bramley Holdings, a company that is also buying Gordan
    Playfair’s land.
  • Gordan shows Elizabeth and Joyce some photos from Coopers Chase when it was still a nunnery.
    Mackie is in one of the photos.
  • Chris heads to Cyprus because he thinks Gianni is there. He finds and meets with Gianni’s father who
    is currently imprisoned for life. Ron and Ibrahim show up in Cyprus too.
  • Elizabeth goes to confessional with Mackie and makes up a story about a killing in the 70’s. Mackie sees
    through her lies and tells her his story. He fell in love with a nun when he was pretending to be a priest.
    The nun, Maggie, took her own life because she found out she was pregnant and was going to be sent away.
  • Jason calls the TMC to talk about Gianni. He was spotted nearby a couple of days before Tony was killed.
  • Jason says he knows who killed Ventham and that he is inviting Karen Playfair out on a date. He accuses
    Karen of killing Ventham, which is not great first date etiquette.
  • Karen thinks this whole thing is ridiculous and Jason trusts her.
  • Karen points out that John was around in the 70’s and he may have something to do with this whole
    thing as he was a vet and had to put Karen’s dog to sleep.
  • The police go to see Steve, who refuses to speak to them about Gianni. He gives the police €5000 that
    may have been from Gianni.
  • Elizabeth asks John about his antics in the 70’s and he feeds her a lie.
  • Elizabeth talks to John about a case from 1973, when someone called Annie was stabbed. Her boyfriend,
    Peter, was the suspected murder because then he disappeared. Elizabeth says that maybe Penny killed
    Peter, and John agrees that Penny once confessed this to him.
  • Elizabeth suggests that John killed Ventham because he didn’t want the new development plans to go
    forward in case Penny was implicated in anything. Elizabeth says she will turn John in to the police.
  • John injects Penny with something to lay her to rest.
  • Gianni’s father, Costas, writes to Chris and says he’s looking for his son. He offers Chris a reward for
    finding him.
  • Stephen suggests Bogdan killed Tony, while Bogdan was in the room. Bogdan admits to this and states
    it’s because Tony made Gianni kl his friend Kazimir, who was the taxi driver working for Gianni. Bogdan
    says he killed Gianni ages ago, stole his money, and gave it to Kaz’s family.
  • John and Penny are buried.
  • Joanna admits to buying Ventham’s company under her own company, Bramley Holdings. She’ll put a
    stop to the Woodlands development and she’ll also protect the graveyard.
  • Joyce mixes Bernard’s ashes with his wife Asima’s.
  • Elizabeth slips a note under Joyce’s door.

That’s what happened in The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman. Check out our recap list for more recaps. If you can’t find what you need, you can request a recap from us!

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