Top critical review
Reviewed in Australia on 8 November 2020
Despite thinking Richard Osman is terrific, despite enjoying the old folk characters, despite the aimiability of the gentle humour (don’t think you’ll fall off your couch laughing), despite the originality of the premise, this isn’t all that great. I wanted to really like it, but it somehow doesn’t quite get over the hurdle. It’s not a bad book by any means and I’ll give the next one a go when it comes out, but it does leave something to be desired in the plot department, introducing important characters towards the end. It’s good form in a whodunnit to drop a couple of hints about the culprit that astute readers pick up while the rest of us only realise that we did in fact know something pertinent but missed it. Also, the character of Bogdan is a bit too good to be true. What is nice is the former spy character of Elizabeth, the seniors getting their groove on with Skype etc, the multicultural cast and the sometimes sly wisdom of the elderly. In short, Osman shouldn’t give up, but let’s hope the next one’s better.