The Bullet That Missed


The sleuthing pensioners of the Thursday Murder Club are back and better than ever in Richard Osman’s The Bullet That Missed.

Life in the idyllic Coopers Chase Retirement Village is far from quiet, especially for the Thursday Murder Club. The group’s four members—Elizabeth, a retired MI5 agent with connections across the globe; Joyce, a former nurse with a knack for solving puzzles; Ibrahim, a well-mannered psychiatrist; and Ron, a retired union leader who never backs down from a fight—are trying to crack the cold case murder of TV presenter Bethany Waites. Ten years ago, Bethany was investigating a multimillion-dollar fraud operation. She told colleagues that she was close to unraveling it all, but before she could file her story, Bethany’s car was pushed off a cliff, and her body was never recovered.

As The Bullet That Missed begins, Osman’s septuagenarian sleuths have picked up the mantle. They’re working to uncover who’s behind the fraud and Bethany’s murder, not to mention the more recent deaths of two suspects in Bethany’s disappearance. In a parallel plot, Elizabeth’s past catches up with her when a mysterious man tasks her with carrying out an assassination. If she doesn’t comply, her and her friends’ lives will be forfeit. To protect herself and the people she loves, Elizabeth reconnects with an ex-KGB colonel (and former lover) to lay a trap for the man threatening her. 

This intricately plotted novel weaves its multiple mysteries together with aplomb, all while bringing back familiar faces from previous installments such as Police Captain Donna De Freitas; her partner, Detective Chief Inspector Chris Hudson; and Bogdan, who’s still fiercely loyal to Elizabeth and the group. Osman’s wry humor continues to shine, especially in the sections of the story told through Joyce’s lively diary entries. 

If there’s a flaw in The Bullet That Missed, it’s that readers need to be familiar with the previous books to fully appreciate some of the characters’ motivations and deepening relationships. However, with only two previous books in the series, it’s easy to get caught up. And mystery fans should absolutely do so, because this latest entry in the Thursday Murder Club series may be the best one yet.

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