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The Last Devil to Die by Richard Osman

Updated: Feb 1

 

It’s always such good fun to embark on yet another adventure from The Thursday Murder Club. The gang of four from Coopers Chase Retirement Village is hugely entertaining, and their solving of crimes is hilarious but with the depth of threat and suspense necessary in successful crime fiction.

 

The Last Devil to Die begins with the shocking news that an antique dealer, a good friend and who was involved in the solving of a past crime, has been murdered. In response, the gang comprising former spy Elizabeth Best, psychiatrist Ibrahim Arif, retired nurse Joyce Meadowcroft and Ron Ritchie, once a union organiser, moves swiftly into full investigation mode meeting up with romance fraudsters, drug dealers, and art forgers as the search progresses. A package of heroine is missing and the body count multiplies. As in the other four novels, the characters are delightful in their individual quirks,  and the humour is understated and dry.

 

In this latest novel, though, there is a poignant and sensitively written subplot in which Elizabeth and her husband confront his advancing dementia. We’ve all become so fond of Stephen in the previous novels; despite his failing consciousness, we’ve caught sharp glimpses of his past and the man he was and experienced his humour and adoration of his wife. This situation brings further depth to the novel as we experience the anguish of dementia and consider the issues of euthanasia.

 

As with the previous novels, The Last Devil to Die is a wonderful read filled with goodwill, delicious excitement and humour. I’m looking forward to the next fabulous four adventure.


Reviewer: Paddy Richardson

Viking, Penguin Books

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