The books best sellers’ lists have been having a double whammy for weeks… Richard Osman is topping the fiction polls for both paperbacks and hardbacks with his two runaway Thursday Murder Club hits.
Last year, Kaleidoscope noted the success Richard’s inventive crime story, The Thursday Murder Club, and how an inevitable follow up would be just as big.
Well, that’s been proved dead right with his The Man Who Died Twice, featuring all the memorable members of the ‘Club’, and both titles are soaring away at the top of the book lists with tens of thousands of sales every week. No doubt many of them bound for Christmas stockings in a few days’ time and Osman is more like the Man Who Is Making Millions… Twice with the way copies are flying out of the shops on and off line.
* Double Whammy! Richard Osman topping the Sunday Times books charts on December 19 2021
Richard deserves all the glories because Twice is another sumptuous helping of the mix of crime, humour, insight and wonderful characters as his first ‘Club’. Cracking, easy writing, great pacing, masterly plot and lots of twists and turns.
Undoubtedly, Richard is not going to stop here either and the Thursday series is set to run and run. He’s already talking about the third book and that is bound to top the charts too.
Reading both books, there is a ring of another famous writer about Richard’s style and settings… Jane Austen.
Now, the Club series may not be exactly Pride and Prejudice and who knows if Richard Osman will still be read in 200 years’ time. But there is a similarity to both Austen’s and Richard’s worlds.
Many have discussed how Austen’s books and storylines seem to live in a world somehow standing apart from the real-life of the age. Unlike, say, Dickens, whose books ooze the life of London or take on pressing issues such as poverty, greed, child cruelty at the time, Austen’s genteel plots of love and marriage wind their inexorable way to a conclusion without much, if any, reflection on current politics, or social affairs.
Of course, Austen’s genius overcomes this. Her stunning, insightful prose makes her world perfect just the way it is. Countless readers over the centuries wouldn’t want it any other way.
And Richard, in his own way, seems to do the same thing as Austen. His Thursday Murder Club and plots hover almost in an Osman-world of their own. His characters and action do operate in real life - buses and High Streets, coffee shops and supermarkets, retirement homes and police officers – but at the same time they stand apart and don’t let the wider, often uglier, outside in. The result? The reader can just bask in a perfect Thursday Murder Club world that is thoroughly entertaining.
Richard Osman’s The Man Who Died Twice is published by Viking Press
Kaleidoscope’s earlier review of The Thursday Murder Club