Book Review

The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman

It’s the following Thursday.

Elizabeth has received a letter from an old colleague, a man with whom she has a long history. He’s made a big mistake, and he needs her help. His story involves stolen diamonds, a violent mobster, and a very real threat to his life.

As bodies start piling up, Elizabeth enlists Joyce, Ibrahim, and Ron in the hunt for a ruthless murderer. And if they find the diamonds too? Well, wouldn’t that be a bonus?

But this time they are up against an enemy who wouldn’t bat an eyelid at knocking off four septuagenarians.

Can the Thursday Murder Club find the killer (and the diamonds) before the killer finds them?

It’s another Thursday, and our intrepid group of retirees is pulled into another case when Elizabeth’s ex-husband turns up at Coopers Chase Retirement Village needing a place to hide.  If you’ve read the first novel in the series, you’ll know that Osman likes to throw several different threads into his novels, and The Man Who Died Twice definitely lived up to my expectations in terms of having a lot going on.  The Thursday Murder Club are soon caught up in a tangled web of Secret Service shenanigans, drug deals, and the search for some stolen diamonds.  It’s as much fun as I was expecting it to be, and while these novels aren’t wholly realistic – our gang are privy to far too much information and get away with some dubious behaviour at times – it’s the sort of novel where that doesn’t really matter. 

Our gang of four – Joyce, Elizabeth, Ibrahim, and Ron – are all present and correct, and there are a few other familiar faces from the first novel making an appearance as well.  Because of this, I do think that it helps to read these novels in order – the first novel introduces you to the characters and you’d be missing out on some of their backstory and what brings these four seemingly incompatible individuals together by skipping the first novel.  For those who are already familiar with these characters, I enjoyed finding out more about Elizabeth’s past in this novel.  There were hints in The Thursday Murder Club, but her backstory is more thoroughly fleshed out in The Man Who Died Twice providing greater insight into her character. 

I have to admit that I’ve become very fond of these four individuals, and I think that’s a testament to Osman’s skill as a writer.  I’d be hard pressed to pick a favourite, and I like the way in which they all bring different skills and knowledge to the table.  Even Elizabeth needs a little help at times, after all.  It seems that I’ve become so invested in these characters that I felt genuine outrage when one of them gets hurt early on in the novel.  I was so shocked and appalled that I did briefly consider taking Osman to task on Twitter.  Common sense soon prevailed, but it’s not very often that I want to tell an author off for hurting one of their creations.

As with the first novel, the plot moves at quite a pace, building up to a finale in which all threads are neatly tied up.  These novels – despite containing a murder or two – are cosier than I’d normally go for, but are utterly enjoyable, nonetheless, and Osman’s writing contains a warm and wonderfully British sense of humour that makes these novels an absolute joy to read.  I can’t wait to see what these four septuagenarians and their friends get up to in their next outing.

The Thursday Murder Club:

  1. The Thursday Murder Club
  2. The Man Who Died Twice
  3. The Bullet That Missed (due for publication in September 2022)


  1. Hitting the nail right on the head there a few times, Jo! I love this series so much as well, even though it’s not really something I would normally go for but it’s done so wonderfully warm and witty. I can’t wait for the next one.

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