Detail from The Marlow Murder Club Cover showing part of a crossword

The Marlow Murder Club by Robert Thorogood


If you are looking for a gentle crime TV series, the I would definitely recommend Death in Paradise. Imagine Midsomer Murders with a range of 'locked door' seemingly impossible mysteries all set on a beautiful Caribbean Island. The fictional island of Saint Marie is served by an airport, a meditation centre, has a volcano, several rock festivals and boasts an astounding amount of murders all solved by a quirky Inspector and his staff of 3.

Now before you start believing that you have wandered into the digital version of the Radio Times, there is a reason for this! The author of the Marlow Murder Club created Death in Paradise. he has also written a number of spin-off novels featuring the first Death in Paradise detective DI Richard Poole. The Marlow Murder Club however does not feature him and is the first in the Marlow Murder Club mystery with a fresh set of characters. We read this as part of our family reading group. I've linked some of the titles we have discussed below.

If you are sat thinking the cover looks vaguely familiar, this is because publishers know their stuff! The cover art uses the same colours as the cover of The Thursday Murder Club, the astronomical bestseller penned by Richard Osman. It is pitched perfectly at fans of Richard Osman's book and can't wait for the follow up published in 2 weeks. But (I am going to whisper this) The Marlow Murder Club is better.

The Plot (From the Back)

77 year old Judith Potts is blissfully happy. She lives alone in a faded mansion in Marlow, sets crossword puzzles for The Times, and there's no man in her life to tell her what to do or how much whisky to drink.
One evening, whilst out swimming in the Thames, Judith witnesses a brutal murder. When the local police don't believe her story, Judith and 2 unlikely friends decide to investigate for themselves. Together they are the Marlow Murder Club.

My Thoughts

On reading the bio of Robert Thorogood, i discovered he read Agatha Christie's 'Peril at End House' at the age of 10 and fell in love with the genre. This is a nicely balanced novel with shades of Christie, a smattering of Death in Paradise, all finished off with an ingenious murder and a great lead character.

I found Judith brilliant, like Elizabeth in the Thursday Murder Club, she is a lady with a set of skills and a slightly dodgy past. I was desperate to visit her fictional home as she is surrounded by masses of interesting objects that one would just want to gaze at. Interestingly, though my lovely mother in law felt a little lukewarm towards her and found her over-bearing.

Judith is joined by vicar's wife, Becks, who appears to have lost her way slightly in life. More devoted to the idea of being the perfect housewife because she does not work; and dog-walker Suzie. All 3 are great! The scene where they attempted to break into the solicitor's office had me hooting with laughter.

My well-read father in law and lovely mother in law worked out the solution to the murder, but both me and my husband had no idea how the murder was committed.

And so, having awarded Malibu Rising a 5 ⭐️ in my previous review, I am delighted to award another one straight after. I loved it! It's great fun with an ingenious murder, interesting characters and is perfect for fans of Mr Osman's book. The follow up is yet to receive a title and the publication date is listed as December 2022 so far. Keep your eyes peeled folks!

I'll be back on Friday with, FINALLY, my To Be Read pile post. And if you are a fan of the cryptic crossword, then why not try the Marlow Murder Club Cryptic crossword?