... once you read Osman’s funny, warm-hearted novels, it is hard not to be charmed by the eccentricities and the resourcefulness of his creations ... humour is gently threaded through every element of The Bullet That Missed. Writing genuinely funny prose is not at all easy; it is rare that I find a book that has me actually laughing out loud, but I snickered so much reading this one that it was remarked upon by my family ... It is not all laughs – Osman doesn’t milk it for pathos, but Elizabeth’s battle with Stephen’s developing dementia is heart-wrenching ... if you pick up The Bullet That Missed expecting a dark crime novel, gruesome deaths and buckets of jeopardy, you will be disappointed. But you would also be a bit silly, because that’s not what these books set out to be. Their impetus doesn’t come from solving the crime or escaping from danger – it comes from enjoying the Thursday Murder Club (and especially Joyce, who is obviously the best of them) deal with everything that’s thrown in their path with panache and aplomb, be it cryptocurrencies or hitmen.
There aren’t many authors (celebrity or non) who write with such assurance and such guaranteed entertainment, combining slices of real life alongside a fantasy world where oldies solve crimes ... as intriguing, joyous and charming as the rest of the series ... Osman doesn’t only know about his own life – he has a remarkable ability to get inside the heads of all his characters, and give wholly convincing streams of consciousness. How does he know about the concerns of young women, elderly Mums, and career criminals? ... There are moments where he takes in the reality of loneliness and bereavement, and there is an underlying sweetness, and slight naivety, about the belief that what everyone needs (including career mega-criminals) is just some friends and fun and someone to listen to you. There are funny descriptions ... The plot is good, full of surprises and interest and cryptocurrency, but honestly – read it for the fun, the characters and the conversation ... We can only hope that we will all end up at Coopers Chase in our old age, and that there are a lot more books to come.
Osman concocts a satisfyingly complex whodunit full of neat twists and wrong turns. But unlike most crime novelists, he ensures his book’s strength and momentum stem not from its plot or its thrills but rather its perfectly formed characters. Once again, the quartet of friends makes for delightful company ... If there is fault to be found it is a recurring one throughout the series – namely that Osman’s two men have less to do than his two women, and as a result feel like extras around the main double-act. But what a double-act ... What could have been twee and uninvolving is in fact heartwarming and enthralling. 'They carried a kind of magic, the four of them,' a policeman muses. That magic is still there in abundance.
... hits on every front. Its quandaries stymie, its solutions thrill, its banter is worth reciting and its characters exemplify an admirable camaraderie. One can only hope that the Thursday Murder Club’s next outing appears before long.
... [Osman's] habit of patting his characters on the head for knowing about cryptocurrency is as patronising as the assumptions he claims to be challenging ... even more detached from reality than the previous two ... It does, however, contain a spectacular giveaway in the shape of an observation from another minor character, an improbable DCI called Chris ... Chris has inadvertently put his finger on one of the series’ most significant flaws, which is the absence of any moral framework. Violent crime might be messy at times, but Osman’s plots quickly move on to the next thing, which could be a heist or (as here) a death threat to one of the main characters. Even that evokes little anticipation because it’s obvious that, in this world of magical unrealism, they are all going to survive for the next adventure. Hence the books’ other serious drawback, the persistent lack of any sense of jeopardy ... Crime writers are understandably reluctant to dispatch their fictional detectives, but there are other ways of creating suspense. None of these features in Osman’s novels. His villains are neither credible nor threatening, and the appearance of a cheery new character who used to be the KGB station chief in Leningrad feels particularly unfortunate in view of events in Ukraine.
If you can imagine a set of investigators that are two parts Famous Five to one part Miss Marple in a story infused with the acid wit of Mick Herron, you won’t go far wrong. Hugely entertaining, dryly funny and quietly brilliant in its plotting, The Bullet That Missed is one of the most purely enjoyable crime novels of the year.
... if you haven't read the other books you might be a bit lost at first. But ultimately it won't matter; the characters are so sharp, the writing so clever you'll be swept along even if you don't yet know all the players ... It's great fun to see elderly people portrayed in ways that elderly people usually are not — with full lives, complicated backgrounds, tons of experience and minds sharp as tacks. They all have strengths, they all have flaws (Joyce is vain, Elizabeth is proud, Ibrahim is battling various fears), and together they have wonderful chemistry ... Yes, there are deaths. And yes, there is strife. But yes, this book is as delightful as the others. A remarkable achievement, Osman up there effortlessly balancing on that very high bar.
Osman has hit the bullseye ... Osman writes with a very light touch. There’s almost a madcap feel to the action at times, yet he doesn’t shy away from issues affecting the elderly: diminishing mental and physical capabilities, loss of image, and the feeling of time running out. Plenty of layers, but plenty of laughs, too.
This intricately plotted novel weaves its multiple mysteries together with aplomb, all while bringing back familiar faces from previous installments ... Osman’s wry humor continues to shine, especially in the sections of the story told through Joyce’s lively diary entries ... If there’s a flaw in The Bullet That Missed, it’s that readers need to be familiar with the previous books to fully appreciate some of the characters’ motivations and deepening relationships. However, with only two previous books in the series, it’s easy to get caught up. And mystery fans should absolutely do so, because this latest entry in the Thursday Murder Club series may be the best one yet.
Osman’s novel is a convoluted story with investigations into fraud, murder, and threats in a case that takes the group into prisons, TV studios, and danger; romance, humor, and a clever trap to catch a villain fill out the plot ... Although the third in Osman’s series is confusing at times, it’s a character-rich mystery that will be eagerly received by fans of the Thursday Murder Club.
... diverting ... delivers laughs along with a nicely woven plot involving fraud, murder, and life in the Kent retirement village of Coopers Chase ... The pace is breezy, the characters are intelligent and varied in their interests and backgrounds, and the humor is often pitched to readers who understand the vagaries of getting older. Osman reliably entertains.