The Man Who Died Twice (Thursday Murder Club #2) by Richard Osman

‘The Thursday Murder Club has concluded its latest meeting.’

Remember the Thursday Murder Club (TMC)? Four elderly sleuths from the Kent retirement community of Coopers Chase: Joyce, a former nurse and intrepid journal writer; Elizabeth, a former intelligence officer; Ibrahim, a psychiatrist; and Ron, a former union man.

And as Joyce seeks advice from the others about getting a dog, Elizabeth’s thoughts are elsewhere. She’s received a letter from an old colleague. He has made a big mistake, and he needs her help. The letter is signed by her old friend Marcus Carmichael, who is seeking a meeting with her tomorrow. Does Elizabeth remember him, the letter asks?

‘What a ridiculous question. She had found Marcus Carmichael’s dead body slumped against a Thames bridge at low tide.’

Buckle up. In addition to Elizabeth’s former colleague needing help over an opportunistic theft of £20 million pounds of diamonds, Ibrahim is mugged and injured. And then the murders start. Will the team be able to solve the crime? Can they get justice for Ibrahim? And what kind of dog will Joyce get?

‘Elizabeth taps her head. ‘My palace has many rooms. Some are dustier than others.’

How delightful it is to join the TMC again, together with their favourite police officers DCI Chris Hudson and PC Donna De Freitas, Elizabeth’s husband Stephen, and the resourceful Bogdan.

Joyce’s journal brings us much of the story, with various asides. Elizabeth works through the facts methodically and is occasionally surprised by Joyce’s insights, and Ron rises magnificently to the occasion as the various strands are pulled together. And Ibrahim? He and Ron’s grandson do some sleuthing of their own. All is not lost, even though Ibrahim’s phone was stolen when he had achieved level 127 (of 200) playing Tetris.

I have really enjoyed both books so far published in this series. The characters are well developed, there are plenty of different threads to untangle, and I though the ending was perfect.  

‘‘And there’s the clue!’ The short-sighted lean further forward, and the long-sighted lean further back.’

Note: My thanks to NetGalley and Penguin for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith