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We had a really great time discussing this month’s book: The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman. I believe it received some of the highest scores we’ve had for a book in a long time. It wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but for those who did like it...we loved it.

I don’t think we’ve ever thrown so many quotes out for a book, and thank you to Cindy for not only putting together our character summary, but for putting down some of the quotes. My ultimate favorite was:

“More women are murdering people these days,” says Joyce. “If you ignore the context, it is a real sign of progress.”

The book received ten 9s, eight 8s, one 7, two 6s, one 5, and one 2. I think the fact that 18 out of 23 scores were either an 8 or 9 says it all.

Those who scored at the lower end of the spectrum thought the book was a bit corny, silly, farcical (not in a good way), not funny, implausible, convoluted, and the characters were annoying.

Those with a 7 or above thought it was a hoot, funny, hilarious, not as complicated as the first book, had great characters, tied up all loose ends, had an adequate body count, got points for being gruesome, had great one liners, and was a quick read. We also liked that Joyce had quite a role in this book and even went off on her own to investigate. Team Joyce! Amy pointed out that book one killed a Penny, book two a Poppy, and she predicts we lose a Patty in book 3.

Quite a few people commented that one of the reasons they really liked the book was that it was a reprieve and/or just came at a good time. These members have read some heavy books (one that was pointed out was Karin Slaughter). So it was a great time to read something light and funny. Timing can really be everything with books.

We discussed the audio book since quite a few of us listened to it. Most liked the reader, but there were 1 or 2 people who didn’t. We also discussed whether or not we’d read the first book and if we had if we liked it. I personally didn’t like the first book as much as everyone else did, but I chalked it up to the fact that everyone told me it was so good, so I had a high expectation and found that it didn’t live up. Others said that this book was just better than the first. Perhaps Richard Osman is getting better as he goes.

The third book in the series, The Bullet That Missed, is out in September (we also noted that the 2nd and 3rd books seem to have very James Bond-y titles). I will put it on the book list for the first half of 2023 (we vote in October). If (when) it gets picked, for those who don’t plan to read it, you’ll know in advance which month we choose and can plan your out-of-town vacation accordingly.

Some book recommendations (the first is a mystery but the second two aren’t):

Thank you to Kim for bringing great snacks for the meeting.

Speaking of snacks, we have a budget of $15 a month from the library and we decided to use it for our monthly water supply and an October Halloween pizza party. We will continue to get volunteers for snack bringers to all other in person meetings and save our budget for the party.

We will meet next on August 22 to discuss The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz. Marilyn is bringing snacks.

If you have a BookMovement login, you get the reminders for the meetings. You will notice that when you get the reminder it will say the name of the book, the date, and who is leading and who is bringing snacks (see below). That’s a great reminder, but I will also try and remind the snack bringer prior to the meeting.

BookMovement 202208

See you next month!


Character List (with spoilers)[]

Elizabeth Best – former police investigator, wanted to be a marine biologist, husband Stephen has dementia
Joyce Meadowcroft – former nurse, “joyful optimist,” deceased husband Gerry, new Instagram user with racy handle
Ron Ritchie – former political activist, likes to give advice, enjoys “chaotic freedom,” has ex-wife, son, daughter, grandson Kendrick
Ibrahim Arif – former psychiatrist, realist/pessimist of the group, likes “thinking things through” but regrets cautious life, mugged by Ryan Baird when he bravely ventures into town

Douglas Middlemiss – Elizabeth’s former husband, M I 5 agent, stole 20 million pounds worth of diamonds from Martin Lomax
Martin Lomax – wealthy international money launderer, trade intermediary, gardener
Poppy – “waitress” at the Coopers Chase senior living facility but actually an investigator, mother Siobhan comes to Coopers Chase after Poppy’s death
Marcus Carmichael – the “corpse” that Elizabeth and Douglas use to fool the Russians in 1981
Chris Hudson – DC1 agent and Donna De Freitas’s mentor, actually dating Donna’s mum Patrice
Donna De Freitas – police constable who along with Chris Hudson worked with the Thursday Murder Club to solve mysteries in the first book.
Connie Johnson – drug wholesaler who flaunts her trade in front of the police
Ryan Baird – one of Connie Johnson’s drug sellers, his attack on Ibrahim draws revenge from the residents of Coopers Chase
Andrew Hastings – hired by Martin Lomax to take out Douglas, but he’s killed by Poppy instead
Bogdan Jankowski – “fixer” who does most any job for Elizabeth and plays chess with Stephen
Sue Reardon and Lance James – police officials on the diamond case
Frank Andrade Jr. – aka Andre Richardson, needs diamonds back for his NY crime family

Favorite Random Quotes[]

“We often wear people down in the end.” Joyce, p. 138

“More women are murdering people these days...if you ignore the context, it is a real sign of progress.” Joyce, p. 202

“I could buy 14.99 wine instead of 8.99.” Joyce, on what she would do with 5 million pounds.