Viking to publish Richard Osman’s debut novel

Richard Osman

Viking, an imprint at Penguin General, are delighted to announce the acquisition of Richard Osman’s debut novel, The Thursday Murder Club, as well as one other novel, which will form the first two books in a classic crime series.

Set in a fictional ‘luxury retirement village’ off the A21 in Kent, The Thursday Murder Club stars four retirees who meet every Thursday to solve cold cases, and who encounter a live case in their first literary outing. Viking will publish The Thursday Murder Club in Autumn 2020, with the second novel in the series following a year later.

Richard rose to fame presenting Pointless with Alexander Armstrong and presents his own BBC quiz, House of Games, along with Insert Name Here and Child Genius. He is also a regular on panel shows such as Have I Got News For You and Would I Lie To You.

Richard said: “I can’t begin to express how excited I am to be taking The Thursday Murder Club to the brilliant team at Viking. To turn from a lifelong reader to a debut author is a dream come true for me. I can’t wait for readers to meet these characters, and to try and solve their many mysteries. And, on a personal note, I’m delighted that my Mum now thinks I have a proper job.”

Editorial director Katy Loftus, who acquired the two books, said: ‘The Thursday Murder Club marks the launch of a dazzling new literary talent. Richard Osman writes fiction like he was born to it, and I know that his quartet of unlikely detectives – Joyce, Elizabeth, Ibrahim and Ron – are swiftly going to become household names across the UK. Richard captures an essence of Britain, and of Britishness, in the same way that Agatha Christie did in her day, with the same knife-sharp observational skill and fond humour.’ 

Venetia Butterfield, Publisher at Penguin General, added: ‘The whole team at Viking and Penguin General fell in love with Richard’s extraordinary novel, and we are hugely excited to be able to introduce readers to the remarkable world he has created, and to launch a major new voice in fiction.’

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