cover image The Bullet That Missed: A Thursday Murder Club Mystery

The Bullet That Missed: A Thursday Murder Club Mystery

Richard Osman. Viking/Dorman, $27 (368p) ISBN 978-0-593-29939-5

Bestseller Osman’s diverting third Thursday Murder Club mystery (after 2021’s The Man Who Lived Twice) delivers laughs along with a nicely woven plot involving fraud, murder, and life in the Kent retirement village of Coopers Chase. At the club’s regular meeting in the Jigsaw Room, the four members—Elizabeth, a retired but still well-connected British spy; Ibrahim, a well-meaning psychiatrist; Ron, a still-feisty activist for workers’ rights; and the unexpectedly shrewd Joyce, whose diary entries enliven the narrative—decide to tackle the cold case of Bethany Waites, a journalist for the local TV station whose wrecked car was found at the bottom of a cliff 10 years earlier. The police declared it a murder, surmising that Bethany’s body had been washed out to sea. The group’s investigation stirs up a hornet’s nest and leads to another death, a kidnapping, and blackmail. The pace is breezy, the characters are intelligent and varied in their interests and backgrounds, and the humor is often pitched to readers who understand the vagaries of getting older. Osman reliably entertains. Agent: Jenny Bent, Bent Agency. (Sept.)