The Bullet That Missed (Thursday Murder Club #3) by Richard Osman. Expected publication date, September 15, 2022: 4.5****

This is the third book in the Thursday Murder Club series and by now we know all the players. There are four main characters, two men and two women, and most of the time the action centers around the two women of the club, Elizabeth and Joyce. The men, Ron and Ibrahim are always around the periphery adding little bits of information to help solve the crime. And here the crime that they are investigating is a 10 year old disappearance/murder of a TV news reporter. The lady in question was investigating a major fraud scam in England and the night she was about to crack the case wide open her car went over the side of a cliff and her body was lost forever. But was it? And if so, who committed this crime that killed the news reporter?

            As with all of these cozy mysteries, it seemed as if the British write them better than anybody else. Because, as I have lambasted in the past, they don’t set their books in cute little towns, that have cute little names with cute little stores etc. and one person is never smarter than the police. Here it takes a whole host of people to figure out this crime. And as in all good cozy mysteries 1 murder begets another and by the time we have come to the end of the book there are at least three murders, as well as attempted murders. The action is fast and furious, especially when you consider that the Thursday murder club members are all over 80 years of age. How does Richard Osman do this? He has been able to introduce a lot of peripheral characters who are there to help these four people solve the crime. Each has their own area of expertise and each is then called upon to use those abilities to try to figure out what really happened.

            In addition to the four main members of the club, we have a Polish construction worker, three members of the local police force, a former Leningrad KGB head, a cryptocurrency money launderer, one of the grandsons of the club members, and even a criminal that they helped placed behind bars in the second book. It is not overwhelming, but it is interesting how Osman is able to blend all these characters together and come up with such a highly believable plot.

            There is a lot going on in this book, but it’s easy to keep the characters separate and see how they can eventually be part of future books. There’s some things that are unrealistic, no doubt, but that’s what makes cozy mysteries fun. My biggest negative with this book is that in tying up the case, there are certain loose ends that were not addressed. Hopefully they will be addressed in the future books. We know there’s going to be a future book because the ending basically tells us that this group is going to be heading to Dubai for another mystery. That’s fine with me. Osman was a well-known TV personality in England and from what I’ve been told he has decided to concentrate on these books, and I’m happy with that! If you have never read his books, you are in for a treat because these are fun books and fast books to read. If you’ve never read the first two books and just want to dive into this one, that’s OK because you don’t need to have a lot of past knowledge to follow the exploits of the Thursday Murder Club.

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