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    CRIME

    THE THURSDAY MURDER CLUB by Richard Osman (Viking £14.99, 400 pp)

    THE THURSDAY MURDER CLUB

    by Richard Osman

    (Viking £14.99, 400 pp)

    This debut from TV presenter Osman introduces an exciting new talent in crime fiction.

    His narrative voice is as distinctive as his characters — four residents of the Cooper’s Chase retirement village in Kent, who meet on Thursdays to try to solve old murder cases rather than watch daytime TV.

    Then, suddenly, two new murder cases turn up on their doorstep. The man who built the village and the one who owns it are killed.

    The four OAPs leap into action led by the doughty Elizabeth, while a friendly uniformed policewoman gives them inside information.

    The tone is light and witty, with touches of Alan Bennett and a sprinkling of Hyacinth Bucket, but the detection is deadly serious. It is addictive, hugely entertaining and far from ‘pointless’.

    THE WATCHER by Kate Medina (HarperCollins £14.99, 458 pp)

    THE WATCHER by Kate Medina (HarperCollins £14.99, 458 pp)

    THE WATCHER

    by Kate Medina

    (HarperCollins £14.99, 458 pp)

    This is the fourth outing for damaged psychologist Dr Jessie Flynn, and her character is deepening with each book. Once again, she is helping Detective Inspector Bobby Simmons — known as Marilyn. Together they investigate the murder of ruthless landlord Hugo Fuller and his wife at the swimming pool of their huge house outside Chichester in West Sussex.

    The crime scene is particularly horrifying as Hugo has been stabbed through both eyes while tied to a sun lounger.

    Flynn is also asked by a police colleague to help a teenager who has been relentlessly bullied since childhood because of his cleft palate. This, in many ways, echoes Flynn’s own troubled adolescence which saw her incarcerated in a mental institution for a time.

    Beautifully observed, with a rich central character, it has a heart and a conscience.

    ALL THE DEVILS ARE HERE by Louise Penny (Sphere £19.99, 443 pp)

    ALL THE DEVILS ARE HERE by Louise Penny (Sphere £19.99, 443 pp)

    ALL THE DEVILS ARE HERE

    by Louise Penny

    (Sphere £19.99, 443 pp)

    This 16th novel featuring Canadian Gamache sees him and his wife in Paris, visiting Stephen Horowitz, his billionaire godfather who virtually raised him as a boy. But after dinner at a local restaurant, Horowitz is knocked down and killed just feet away from Gamache in what looks like a deliberate hit and run.

    Inevitably, Gamache calls on his friends in the Paris police for help in investigating.

    When a second body is found in the flat his godfather owned, while he was staying — for some inexplicable reason — in a vast suite at the Hotel George V, the mystery deepens. What secrets has Horowitz been hiding from his godson over the years?

    This is vintage Penny, delicate, engrossing and subtle.

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