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Extract: We Solve Murders by Richard Osman

If you loved Richard Osman’s The Thursday Murder Club series, you’re no doubt counting down the days until the release of the first book in a brand-new series, We Solve Murders.

We Solve Murders introduces Steve Wheeler, a retired police officer enjoying peaceful village life, and his daughter-in-law Amy, a private security officer to the rich and famous. Amy is on assignment, protecting a high-profile author on a remote island. It was supposed to be an easy job – until a dead body, a bag of money and a ruthless killer enter the picture. She calls Steve, the only person she can trust, and together they’re in a race against time to stay one step ahead of a deadly enemy.

We Solve Murders is out on 12th September 2024, but available to preorder now. Can’t wait that long? Fear not. Below, we have an exclusive extract of the book’s first few chapters.

We Solve Murders

Richard Osman

We Solve Murders
by
Richard Osman

Prologue

You must leave as few clues as possible. That’s the only rule.

You have to talk to people sometimes; it’s inevitable. There are orders to be given, shipments to be arranged, people to be killed, etc., etc. You cannot exist in a vacuum, for goodness’ sake.

You need to ring François Loubet? In an absolute emergency? You’ll get a phone with a voice-changer built-in. And, by the way, if it’s not an absolute emergency, you’ll regret ringing very soon.

But most communication is by message or email. High-end criminals are much like millennials in that way.

 Everything is encrypted, naturally, but what if the authorities break the code? It happens. A lot of very good criminals are in prison right now because a nerd with a laptop had too much time on their hands. So you must hide as well as you can.

 You can hide your IP address – that is very easy. François Loubet’s emails go through a world tour of different locations before being sent. Even a nerd with a laptop would never be able to discover from where they were actually sent.

But everyone’s language leaves a unique signature. A particular use of words, a rhythm, a personality. Someone could read an email, and then read a postcard you sent in 2009 and know for a fact they were sent by the same person. Science, you see. So often the enemy of the honest criminal.

That’s why ChatGPT has been such a godsend.

After writing an email, a text, anything really, you can simply run the whole thing through ChatGPT and it instantly deletes your personality. It flattens you out, irons your creases, washes you away, quirk by quirk, until you disappear.

‘ChatGPT, rewrite this email as a friendly English gentleman, please.’ That is always Loubet’s prompt.

Handy, because if these emails were written in François Loubet’s own language, it would all become much more obvious. Too obvious.

But, as it stands, you might find a thousand emails, but you would still have no way of knowing where François Loubet was, and you would still have no way of knowing who François Loubet is.

You would, of course, know what François Loubet does, but there would be precious little you could do about it.

Chapter 1

It had finally happened.

Andrew Fairbanks had always known he would be famous one day. And that day – a quiet, sunny Tuesday in early August – had, at last, arrived.

The years of Instagram fitness videos had given him a following, sure, but nothing like this. This was insane.

There had been an on–off relationship with a minor pop singer, which had seen his picture in the papers from time to time. But not on the front pages like today.

The notoriety Andrew Fairbanks had chased for so long was finally his. His name on lips around the world. Trending on social media. That selfie on the yacht was everywhere. Andrew, shirtless and tanned, winking into the camera, the warm sun winking along behind him. His bottle of Krusher energy drink raised in a happy toast.

And the comments beneath the photo! The heart emojis, the fire emojis, the lust. Everything Andrew had ever dreamt of.

Some of the other comments might have dampened his spirits a little, however. ‘Gone too soon’, ‘So fit, RIP’, ‘So haunting to see that photo when you knew what was about to happen’ – but you couldn’t argue with the volume. Impressive traffic. In the offices of the Love Island production team, his photograph was passed around, and there were discussions about how perfect he might have been if only, well, you know.

Yes, finally, everybody knew Andrew Fairbanks. Or, as he was now more commonly known, ‘Tragic Instagram influencer, Andrew Fairbanks’.

So it wasn’t all upside. And, in fact, even that slim upside is beginning to dim. It is Wednesday afternoon by now, and his name is already beginning to slip down the rankings. Other things are happening in the world. A baseball star has driven his pick-up into his ex-wife’s swimming pool. A beauty vlogger has said something inappropriate about Taylor Swift. The conversation, like the tide, is turning.

Andrew Fairbanks had been found dead: shot in the head, tied to a rope and thrown from a yacht bobbing about in the Atlantic. There was no one else on the yacht, and no sign that anyone had ever been there, with the exception of a leather bag containing nearly one million dollars.

But none of this gives you the right to be famous more than a day or so. One day, perhaps, there might be a podcast about the case or, better still, a Netflix true-crime documentary, but, for now, Andrew’s limelight is turning to dusk.

Soon Andrew Fairbanks will be just a photograph, holding a purple energy drink in front of a blue sea, a corpse in a South Carolina mortuary, and the odd ‘Remember that guy who died on that yacht with all that money?’

Who killed him? Who knows? Someone or other, certainly, and social media has a lot of opinions on it. Why did they kill him? No idea – someone must have had their reasons, mustn’t they? Jealous partner? Instagram fitness rival? Could be all sorts of explanations. Can you believe what this vlogger has said about Taylor Swift?

Just for the one day, though, what a ride it had been. If Andrew had still been alive, he would have been looking for a full-time manager. Get me a few more deals, protein bars, teeth-whitening clinics, perhaps I could launch my own vodka?

Yes, just for a day, everybody had wanted a piece of Andrew Fairbanks. Although, after the sharks had finished with him, there weren’t that many pieces left.

And that’s showbusiness.

Chapter 2

‘What don’t you like about yourself?’ asks Rosie D’Antonio. She sits on an inflatable chair shaped like a throne, in a swimming pool shaped like a swan. ‘I always ask people.’

Amy Wheeler is sitting, bolt upright, on a garden chair at the poolside, the sun in her eyes and her gun within easy reach. She likes South Carolina. This hidden offshoot of it, at least. Early morning and the temperature in the nineties, an Atlantic breeze, and nobody, for the time being, trying to kill her. She hasn’t shot at anyone in a while, but you can’t have everything.

‘My nose, I suppose,’ says Amy.

‘What’s wrong with your nose?’ asks Rosie, sipping something green through a non-recyclable straw, her trailing hand rippling the water.

‘Don’t know,’ says Amy. She is impressed that Rosie D’Antonio is in full, perfect, make-up while in the pool. How old is she? Sixty? Eighty? A mystery. The age on her file reads Refused to disclose. ‘It’s just wrong, when I look at it. It’s off.’

‘Get it done,’ says Rosie. ‘Bigger, smaller, whatever you think you need. Life’s too short to not like your nose. Hunger and famine are problems, or no Wi-Fi, but noses aren’t a problem. What else?’

‘Hair,’ says Amy. She is in danger of relaxing. Feels it creeping up on her. Amy hates relaxing. Too much time to think. She prefers to do. ‘It never does what it’s told.’

‘I see that,’ says Rosie. ‘But it’s easily fixed. There’s a hair technician I use. She flies in from somewhere. Chile, I think. Five thousand dollars and your troubles are over. I’ll pay.’

‘And my ears are lopsided,’ says Amy.

Rosie tilts her head and paddles herself towards Amy, considering her very carefully. ‘I’m not seeing that. You have great ears. Like Goldie Hawn’s.’

‘I measured them with a ruler once,’ says Amy, ‘when I was at school. It’s only a millimetre, but I always see it. And my legs are too short for my body.’

Rosie nods, pushing herself back into the middle of the pool, where the sun is hitting hardest. ‘More to the point, though, Amy, what do you like about yourself?’

‘I’m English,’ says Amy. ‘I don’t like anything about myself.’

‘Yawn,’ says Rosie. ‘I used to be English too, and I got over it. Pick something.’

‘I think I’m loyal,’ says Amy.

‘That’s a good quality,’ agrees Rosie. ‘For a bodyguard.’

‘And my short legs give me a low centre of gravity,’ says Amy. ‘So I’m very good at fighting.’

‘There you go,’ Rosie nods. ‘Loyal, and very good at fighting.’

Rosie raises her face to the sun.

‘If someone does try to shoot me this week, do you have to dive in front of the bullet?’

‘That’s the idea,’ says Amy, without conviction. ‘Though that’s mainly in films.’

It’s hard to dive in front of a bullet, in Amy’s experience. They go very fast indeed.

‘Or in books, sure,’ says Rosie. ‘Would you like a joint? I’m going to have one.’

‘Best not,’ says Amy. ‘Maximum Impact gives us mandatory blood tests every three months, company policy. A single trace of any drug and I’m fired.’

Rosie gives a ‘fair enough’ grunt.

It’s not the most exciting job Amy has ever had, but it’s sunny, and she likes the client. Rosie D’Antonio, the world’s bestselling novelist, ‘if you don’t count Lee Child’. Her Spanish-style mansion on her own private island just off the coast of South Carolina. With her own personal chef.

For various operational reasons Amy once had to spend the best part of a month living inside an abandoned oil pipeline in Syria, so this is a step up. The chef brings her a plate of smoked salmon blinis. He’s not really a chef – he’s a former Navy SEAL called Kevin – but he is learning fast. Last night his bœuf bourguignon was a triumph. Rosie’s regular chef has been given two weeks’ leave. Amy, Rosie and Kevin the Navy SEAL, are the only people on the island, and that’s how it’s going to stay for now.

‘No one’s allowed to kill me,’ says Rosie. She has paddled over to the side of the pool, and is now rolling a cigarette. ‘Except me.’

‘And I won’t let you,’ says Amy.

‘But someone might try to shoot me,’ says Rosie. ‘Given one never knows any more, the world being as it is and so on. So, if they do try, no jumping in front of the bullet, okay? Not on my account. Let them kill the old woman.’

Maximum Impact Solutions, Amy’s employer, is the world’s biggest close-protection agency, possibly the second biggest since Henk Van Veen left and took half his clients with him. If someone steals from you, or someone wants to kill you, or if there is discontent among your private army, they are the people to call. Maximum Impact Solutions has many mottos, but ‘Let them kill the old woman’ is not one of them.

‘I’m not going to let anybody kill you,’ says Amy.

Amy remembers watching Rosie on the communal TV when she was growing up. Those shoulder pads, that attitude. It had meant a lot to Amy, seeing how strong a woman could be, while she slept each night curled up in a ball under her bed and dreamt of better days. Rosie will not die on her watch.

Chapter 3

‘Cat, ginger, unapproachable. Haughty even, the little bugger. Mason’s Lane. Contact attempted but rebuffed. 3.58 a.m.’

Steve puts his Dictaphone back in his pocket. He hears the sound of the ginger cat inexpertly scaling a back fence. It was not often he saw an unfamiliar cat on his walk. It was almost certainly nothing, but almost everything was almost certainly nothing, wasn’t it? And yet some things did eventually turn out to be something. He once caught an armed robber because of a Twix wrapper in a blast furnace. One rarely knows the significance of things at the time, and it doesn’t cost a penny piece to note things down.

Steve turns left on to the top of the High Street, and sees it stretch out like an unspooling grey ribbon before him, lit by the dim bulb of the moon.

If you were to visit Axley – and you should, you’d like it – you might think you had found the perfect English village. A gently sloping high street, looping around a touch at the bottom where it skirts the bank of the village pond. There are two pubs, The Brass Monkey and The Flagon, identical to the tourists but teeming with subtle and important differences to the locals. For example, one flies a Union Jack and the other the Ukrainian flag. There’s a butcher, a baker. No candlestick-maker, but you will find a little gift shop selling scented candles and bookmarks. Striped awnings, bicycles leant against shopfronts, chalk boards promising cream teas or tarot readings or dog treats. There is a church at the top of the village, and a small bookmakers at the bottom of the village, take your pick. Steve used to visit both, and now visits neither.

And, all around, there is the New Forest. The forest is the whole point of the place. The village itself simply found itself a small clearing and settled in. There are walks and trails, the chirrup and buzz of wildlife, and the backpacks and rain macs of the tourists. Stray New Forest ponies some days wander on to the main road and are accorded due reverence. It was their forest long before it was yours, and it will be theirs long afterwards too. Axley simply shelters among the trees, curled into a little nutshell.

When Steve first moved here – twelve years ago, was it? Something like that, Debbie would remember, probably fifteen the way time goes – it hadn’t fooled him for a second. Steve hadn’t been hoodwinked by the hollyhocks and the cupcakes and the cheery ‘Good morning’ greetings. Steve had seen secrets behind every pastel front door, seen corpses in every back alley, and every time the church bells rang in the hour, Steve had heard the chimes of death.

A crisp packet has blown into a hedge. Steve retrieves it and places it in a bin. Monster Munch. They don’t sell Monster Munch in the local shop, so that will have been a tourist.

No, Steve had refused to be fooled by Axley. Twenty-five years in the police force had taught him to always think the worst of everyone, and everything. Someone offers to help you fix the flat tyre on your bicycle? She will kill you. Someone offers to carry your shopping home from the local shop? He will rob you. And then kill you. Someone is raising funds for a local hospice? She will abscond with those funds, and her husband will be found buried in the garden. Always expect the worst, and you’ll always be prepared. Never let anyone, or anything, take you by surprise.

Ironic, given what soon happened.

Steve stops by the window of the estate agent and peers through the glass. If he was moving to the village today, he wouldn’t be able to afford it. The only way anyone can afford to buy a house these days is to have bought it fifteen years ago.

Steve had been wrong about Axley – he’d be the first to admit it. There were no murderers lurking behind the doors, no mutilated corpses in blood-soaked alleys. When people raised money for hospices, that money went to the hospice, and the husbands could go about their gardening unharmed. And, thus, Steve had begun to relax.

Steve had never relaxed as a child; his dad had made sure of that. School? Too bright to fit in but not bright enough to get out. Then joining the Metropolitan Police at the age of eighteen, seeing the worst that London had to offer, day after day. Sometimes this included his own colleagues. Every day a fight.

Steve takes out his Dictaphone once more. ‘Pale-blue Volkswagen Passat, registration number PN17 DFQ, in car park of The Brass Monkey.’ Steve walks around the car. ‘Tax disc up to date.’ There is the wrapper from a Greggs in the footwell. Where is the nearest Greggs? Southampton? The services on the M27?

He resumes his walk. He will go as far as the pond, sit there for a while, then head back up. Of course he will – that’s what Steve does every night.

Axley had transformed Steve. Not all at once, but, smile by smile, favour by favour and scone by scone, the people and the place had taken down the wall that he had built up over so many years. Debbie had told him it would, and he hadn’t believed her. She had been born here, and, when Steve finally left the Met, she had persuaded him to make the move. She knew.

Steve had worried there would be no excitement, no adrenaline, but Debbie had reassured him. ‘If you get bored, we’re only twenty miles from Southampton, and there are plenty of murders there.’

But Steve didn’t miss the excitement, and he didn’t miss the adrenaline.

Steve liked to stay in; he liked to cook for Debbie; he liked to hear birdsong; he found himself a solid pub-quiz team. Good but improvable.

A stray cat, a proper bruiser, came to visit them and refused to leave. After a week or two of snarling and bullying, from both Steve and the cat, they each let down their guard. And now you’ll find Steve, reading his paper in an old armchair, Trouble curled up on his lap, purring in his sleep. Two old rascals, safe and sound.

Debbie persuaded him to set up his agency. He was happy not working – she was bringing in enough money from painting – but she was right. He probably needed something to do, and probably needed to contribute something to the community. The name of his agency, ‘Steve Investigates’, was his idea. He remembers a Sunday lunch when his boy, Adam, had come round with his wife, Amy. Amy is a bodyguard, works with billionaires and oligarchs, always on the other side of the world. Adam does something or other with money. Steve speaks to Amy more than he speaks to Adam. She’s the one who rings; she’s the one who makes sure they visit if she’s in England on a job.

Amy had told him to call the company ‘Maverick Steel International Investigations’. Branding is very important in the world of private investigations, she had said, but Steve had countered that his name was Steve, and he investigates things, and if that wasn’t a brand, what was?

Amy is working with Rosie D’Antonio, the author, somewhere or other in America. Steve will play it cool when he talks to Amy later, but he will want all the gossip. There’s always gossip when she’s protecting celebrities. Once Amy was working with a singer in a boy band, and he took heroin on an elephant.

‘Google America time difference,’ says Steve into his Dictaphone.

Steve Investigates keeps him pleasantly busy and adequately afloat. He has a few contacts with insurance companies. If you’ve ever claimed a year’s salary because of a bad back anywhere in the New Forest, Steve has probably sat outside your house at some point, perhaps followed you to the gym. It makes Steve happy to find that people are almost always telling the truth about these things. He’ll look into affairs if you really, really want him to. His only rule is that he won’t travel any distance. Steve doesn’t want to stray too far from Axley. He’ll drive up to Brockenhurst if you need him to, couple of nice pubs up there. At a push he’ll head over towards Ringwood or down towards Lymington, but ask him to go to Southampton, or Portsmouth, and Steve will politely decline.

Get yourself involved in a murder case, say, and before you know it your time is not your own. Steve never misses the Wednesday-night quiz at The Brass Monkey now. A murder would almost certainly get in the way of that at some point. No thank you.

Enjoyed this extract from We Solve Murders? Let us know in the comments below…

We Solve Murders

Richard Osman

247 Comments

    Pre-ordered when first mentioned. So love your wit and style of writing. Roll on September!

    Still missing ttmc but this is reading as a good thriller. Agree with others re tax disc but it puts it slightly in the past. Also the rounding of the characters. Just hoping tho that it doesn’t go into the modern genre of very violent and/or psychological crime. Again, like others had preordered it.

    It sounds great, but I never doubted it wouldn’t be. The trademark humour and wit, characters that catch your interest, that easy style of writing that wins you over- it can only be the brilliance of Richard Osman.

    “School? Too bright to fit in but not bright enough to get out”. Love this – know exactly how this feels…
    Glamorous setting un Ch1, more down-to-earth in Ch3.
    So far loving it and can’t wait for rest.
    Plea – do get back to TTMC soon… your public awaits. X

    Intriguing as ever, can’t wait to read the book

    Richard Osmand has a way of engaging you immediately.
    I really enjoyed the sample. Looking forward to reading the whole book.

    Very enjoyable. Look forward to finding out what happens next. I like Steve already.

    Oops I’m definitely in the minority but these chapters haven’t pulled me in yet but I’m sure Mr O will soon change that with his usual twists and turns and character building.
    Just make sure you do Richard of I’ll be missing TTMC even more!!!
    Roll on September to see my mind changed.

    Love it. Look forward to reading the whole book. Well done Richard. Thank you.

    Love it, too. Sorry, Richard, I will be ordering it at my library – just to keep it going. Re. the tax disc comment, we don’t know which year the story is set do we ?

    I love it. Anything Richard Osman writes says or does is fine with me. I pre-ordered ages ago and it will soon be here. I am really looking forward to that day.

    Missing Thursday Murder Club 🥲
    Loved this wee taster. Pre-ordered book weeks ago. I’m looking forward to September very much. Brilliant writer.

    Loving this already! I really like the way you make all your characters relatable; Amy unhappy with her hair, ears etc.
    Then Steve knowing that the local shop doesn’t sell Monster Munch! Where on earth did the idea for Monster Munch come from? Genius!!!
    Just like TTMC, your ability to weave in everyday experiences – the ones that majority of us have, really does make the characters come alive.
    Very much looking forward to following this new duo. 😊

    Wow, The Thursday Murder Club is certainly a hard act to follow, but if this tantalising soundbite is anything to go by, Amy, Steve and Trouble will be hot on their heels. I can’t wait for September. Just one thing, when was the last time you saw a tax disc in a car? or am I being a little too “Elizabeth” for my own good!

    Pre-ordered the book as soon as it was announced. The extract was an excellent whistle wetter. Publication date is not coming fast enough!

    I love the new characters and really looking forward to the book coming out. However, please give my regards to Joyce is you speak to her anytime. You are a brilliant writer Richard. Thankyou

    Yes please. I’d preordered it way back, but I’d do it all over again after reading this extract.

    I’m hooked and looking forward to the whole shebang.

    Just as wonderful as expected! I cannot wait for the whole book! Lovely characters as ever.

    Hooked already. Looking forward to buying the book. Seems like we have a new group to become attached too.

    Loved it! Great to have a new set of characters and I look forward to reading the whole book so much
    You cannot write them fast enough for me and I feel there could be endless other books in the wings……

    Sounds like another great start !! Will miss the Thursday Murder Club ( hope there’s more to come ! ) but can’t wait to see the new characters grow , keep up the good work Richard

    I will join the quiet chorus of disappointment about a delay in a new Thursday Murder Club. But like the rest of the choir, this taste of the new book was just what we needed to remind ourselves of the quality of writing from Mr Osman, and we should have had no doubts that we would enjoy equally anything he writes. Looking forward to reading the whole book!

    Didn’t want to stop reading – heading straight to order a couple of copies as don’t want to be fighting over a copy!!

    I love being part of your gang Richard, you’re such an honest, good guy and we all know that we can trust the next group of page turners that you have passed the baton to. Keep up the good work Mr Osman you never know you might even become famous, haha! Xxx

    Exciting, intriguing, I can’t wait until September!!

    Golly! Mr Osman’s done it again. I’m hooked already – and less sad that I won’t be reading about Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron this year. Can’t wait for September!

    As Janet Daville and others have said ‘Why is there a tax disc in a 2017 reg car?’
    Apart from that, I love this style of writing and am pre ordering the book now. Thanks Richard, another great read

    I thought oh dear no more Thursday Club, but I am hooked. Shame I have to wait until September to find out how it’s all going to turn out……. Roll on September.

    I’m hooked already – bring on September!

    I have a brother-in-law Steve, a niece Amy, and a good friend Rosie, and one of my grandaughters has a cat called Binx(Trouble) and thats who I imagine them to be in this book. Love the first two chapters and looking forward to the new book as a birthday pres
    ent in September.

    So looking forward to getting my hands on this one! Roll on September….

    Love, Love,Love it.
    Can’t wait until September. It’s going to be a long, long summer waiting for this book.
    I also love Thursday Murders Club and can’t wait for their next new adventure in the near future

    Really looking forward to getting to know Steve, Trouble and Amy! Thanks for the excerpt!

    How do we know if the ‘selfie’ was an actual selfie?

    Who found the remains and why were they there?

    Who owned the yacht?

    Why did the author write what she did and how has that resulted in ana assassination attempt?

    A big fan of the Thursday Murder Club books and looking forward to the film! That said, this new book has hooked me already. Well done Mr. Osman!

    Looking forward to reading this book. Loving it already.

    Enjoyed this immensely! Gutted this won’t be out in time for my summer holiday but I shall look forward to September! Love Richard Osman’s books, can not lie, Trouble is my favourite so far 🙂

    I was really disappointed when you announced that your next book wasn’t going to be in the Thursday Murder Club series but this looks right up my street. Am very much looking forward to the book coming out!

    Already hooked, loved the extract and now annoyed I’m going to have to wait to find out what is going to happen. Never mind as it will definitely be worth the wait . Another winner !

    Done it again. A fresh style of writing that takes you right in to the characters and wondering what is going to happen. Looking forward to the full book.

    Done it again. A fresh style of writing that takes you right in to the characters and wondering what is going to happen. Looking forward to the full book.

    I absolutely loved reading your extract! As usual I was gripped from the first sentence!!! Roll on September, this is definitely another winner 👏 ❤️

    Can’t wait, love the way you write and how you bring the characters to life.

    So much excitement ahead this book promises a comfortable time in my favourite chair with a choice of cats, one dark grey, fat, greedy and predictable ( to which I’m allergic) one ginger, slim, fussy eater and elusive ( not allergic but never able to cuddle long enough to get a reaction ) The mysterious Mother was the same one but the fathers were clearly NOT…. Hussy of a Pussy 🐈 🐈‍⬛ your writing style inspires me Richard and I’m equally excited for The Thursday Murder Club film, which will not be seen from my favourite chair nor will there be a choice of cats on my lap merely spilt popcorn. Thank you for sharing your talent.

    My eye is on Trouble the cat…! I wonder what shenanigans he’s going to bring to the tale..?
    Can’t wait by the way..!

    love it,looking forward to september to read it.

    Another brilliant book waiting to be read.
    We have already preordered. Roll on September. We will be in uk then .. could pop in and say hi🥰😂

    It’s shaping up to be another hit Richard. Roll on September!!!!

    Have pre-ordered this as soon as it was mentioned. Love your style of writing Richard, I can hear your voice. You also have a knack of grabbing the reader immediately within the first few sentences.
    These snippets of characters have come alive already.
    Let’s have summer(?) and roll on the autumn!

    Love it, already pre-ordered the book ages ago, this will make a great read before the next Thursday Murder Club 😁

    Ooh yes, I’m hooked – can’t wait for the full novel

    Was worried as I read the prologue in Elisabeth’s voice. But got over it quickly enough. Richard this is very unkind of you, already hooked and now even more desperate for September. Your writing style is BRILLIANT. Congratulations on what I’m sure will be another winner.

    As an expat I really enjoy the references to monster munch and twixes, I also love the ginger cat, and the chat gbt references, and Lee Child! Good work Richard. # 🔥🤪

    Yes please…. I’m hooked 🙋‍♀️
    I love the way you can hear Richard’s voice in the way he writes…
    I do hope Elizabeth is doing well by the way.. I do think about her now and then.

    Brilliant. Looking forward to reading it.

    Brilliant. Looking forward to reading it.

    Intriguing, loving the new characters especially trouble, already pre-ordered. But when was this set…tax disc???

    Great teaser Richard, looking forward to the release. As with others I love your relaxed writing style which I suspect is not as easy to achieve as it is to read. Congratulations on bringing t new main characters to life (three if you include the cat, which I expect will feature later on).

    Ooh I love it already! September can’t come quickly enough !!
    Thank you Richard.

    Already pre-ordered! I won’t read the extract as I don’t want it to spoil my enjoyment of the book when it arrives. Oh, ok, tiny white lie – I read the prologue ;-))

    I pre- ordered a copy ages ago as how could it not be good, Richard has written it.

    I was sad when you announced that The Thursday Murder Club was being temporarily put to rest and doubted whether you could create new characters as beguiling as Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron. How wrong I was! This teaser of a taster has me hooked already and I can’t wait to get to know more about Steve and Amy. You are a fine writer! Roll on September!

    Don’t think I’m going to be disappointed- off to a good start!

    Fantastic storytelling. 103 whole long days to wait now for more about Amy and Steve. Can’t wait.

    Audio Book coming out at the same time? I love going to sleep with a Richard Osman beside me!

    Oh my goodness. This is going to be another page turner from the wonderful Mr Osman. Can’t wait for the book.

    I already love Steve, I cannot wait to continue reading. ❤️

    Intrigued already … pre ordered in May … roll on September 🙌

    Ooh. This promises to be a real page turner. Can’t wait for publication date. Thanks Richard.

    Pre-ordered ages ago,can’t wait!!
    Looking forward to it!. Well done Richard ,another winner definitely!!!

    Can’t wait to get to know Amy and Steve.

    Love your comfortable, witty style, and feel I am getting to know the characters already! I will look forward to reading about their adventures in September. Thank you

    Love it already! Will now pre-order, how could I not? Roll on September…

    Can’t wait to read what happens next. I live on the edge of the new forest and it’s great I can picture all these places that I have been to. Another hit on the way. Trouble the cat is just a brilliant idea.

    I also am completely hooked, & can’t wait for it to come out in September! It’s going to be a birthday present for me. 😍

    Think you’ve written another winner Richard, looking forward to September!

    Oh my goodness. I should not have read this, am totally hooked and now have to wait till September.

    Already invested in it. Really looking forward to the book coming out.

    So excited for this. I love Richard’s style – it’s like I’m curled up with a cuppa in the arm chair opposite him. Roll on September!!

    I can already picture the characters and setting. Can’t wait to read it! 😊

    Don’t be nervous Richard, this book is going to be another big hit thanks to your clever, witty, and intriguing writing. I can’t wait to devour the full book!

    I’m hooked already and I will be counting down until September. Thank you Richard

    What’s not to like about Amy?

    Very clever Mr Osman. Looks like another winner.

    I’m invested already. Bring it on can’t wait.

    So glad to see you are keeping it light with a bit of humor….I so love your wit! I’m on my 4th read of the 4 books of the Thursday Murder Club …love the humor and warmth amongst the 4 ….and reading the books again just brings me such joy! I’ve preordered this book and cannot wait for it tu o arrive! Please keep writing! Hugs from across the pond in Maryland!

    Very excited for the rest of the book.
    Love Richard Osman’s books and read them over and over.
    Can’t wait to get to know all our new friends.

    Can’t wait to get my copy. Has been in order since first hearing about it. Thanks for the teaser- already interested !!!

    Have loved all Richard’s previous books, and want this one as soon as it is available! Thanks for the others!

    Any ideas on who is going to read it for the audio? I like someone who reads normally not clipped as if they have to pronounce each word perfectly…

    This looks like it is going to be another brilliant Richard Osman book. I loved all of the Thursday Murder Club books and have just revisited them by listening to the audiobooks. I love your style of writing, Richard. Always a touch of humour there. I look forward to reading the rest of this story in September. Can’t wait. 😄

    Thank you again Richard! It’s like settling into the comfiest chair with a cuppa knowing you’re in safe hands and will be engrossed till the last sentence. I love it and am so looking forward to the whole book 🤗.

    Hi Richard we are heading into our winter so I am ready for the new book. I don’t remember a date so this could be pre 2014? Love getting to know the new people and places around the world. I believe everything you write because I don’t know the areas, so you could tell me anything and I would believe you.🤔😊 looking forward to the new movie to. 😊🙋‍♀️👍

    Well done Richard- a winner from the get-go.
    Thanks for the sneak peek. Oh and here in Australia I well and truly have my woolies out on the first day of Winter!

    I’ve made sure the library has ordered this! I’m first on the list, and do looking forward to it!

    Thankyou Richard!! So nice to be in the exclusive loop, already liking the characters and scene and want to know more!!! xxx

    I’m all in! Love it, can’t wait till September!

    Literally can’t wait. Loving the new characters and Richard’s style, full of humour and intrigue.

    Loved the extract and can’t wait to read the book! The characters are really interesting.

    Love it, pre ordered already, can’t wait. Like others mentioned ChatGPT and a tax disc? Hmm is this a mistake or a ploy? We will have to wait to find out. Sounds like a great set of characters though. What did the lad do to get murdered? Argh got to wait.

    Thought I’d miss the old gang but I just love Richards writing style; easy and intriguing. Can’t wait to get onto this one.

    Excellent start, I definitely want to read the rest, never mind the tax disc! 😉 You have a distinct style Richard, easy to get on with but not easy to stop reading.

    September can’t come fast enough. I’m already a fan of Trouble the cat (Trouble being my best friend’s name for me!)

    Another book I can’t wait to read and will be sad when I’ve finished. Great author, looks like another hit!

    Can’t wait? Parked till Sepember. Need to make the most of my later years!

    Can’t wait to read your latest book, I’m sure it will as entertaining as the last ones.

    Very intrigued. Look forward to reading the rest of the book.

    I’m really looking forward to reading the whole book, more characters to unravel

    I’m really looking forward to reading the whole book, more characters to unravel

    Steve is already my favourite. Roll on September!

    Now I’ve got to wait 4 months to find out what comes next…… you love teasing us!!
    Sure it will be another hit x

    Already pre-ordered. Looking forward to see what the cat gets up to.

    OK, I’m hooked! Can’t wait until 12th Sept…

    Love it really looking forward to the book in September.

    Just read it can’t wait for the book. I’ve already pre-ordered. Can’t wait for September.

    Looking forward to meeting these characters properly in September. Love the Thursday Murder Club gang and hope to feel the same about the new characters.

    Really looking forward to reading the whole book. Wonderfully written as usual.

    Absolutely love it already! So looking forward to reading this book.

    That was a great little peek into We solve Murders! Only problem now is I have to wait until September and I’m not sure I can!
    I could have read all night I could have read all night and still I would beg for more!

    Excellent! Absolutely love it looking forward to it been out.

    Invested already! Don’t like Steve having a cat but willing to ignore his pet choice!
    Good luck and best wishes!

    Very much looking forward to the book after this introduction. Steve has stuck a chord already and Amy is clearly worth knowing, their development as characters will be extremely interesting I feel. Inhope to learn more of Debbie, Adam and Axley as the series progresses.

    Hooked. Can you bring the publication date forward to today please?

    The characters instantly draw you in and I can’t wait to read the rest of the book.

    Tax disc is my only criticism. As for everything else I feel this is going to be another winner.

    I don’t think the tax disc is an error. Richard has a trick up his sleeve!. Can’t wait to find out

    Yes definitely can’t wait to learn more about these two. Looking forward to September!

    Yes definitely can’t wait to learn more about these two. Looking forward to September!

    very exciting. will be ordering on audible. I wonder who will be reading the audible version.

    I am hooked as usual, cannot wait for the book to arrive

    What a great opener, can’t help thinking the ‘tax disc’ comment was intentional 🤔, roll on Sept 12th can’t wait…

    Can’t wait for the book. As for the tax disc – well why not? Personally I rather liked them!!

    I’ve enjoyed all of your books Richard. Not only do you spin a good yarn, but it’s a joy not to have gratuitous violence, steamy explicit bedroom gymnastics etc. ( yes been there done that etc) The stories flow and leave me looking forward to the next book.

    Very entertaining, I am intrigued to see how all the different storylines come together

    Very interesting premise.Looking forward to reading the full book,preordered ages ago.Glad to meet Trouble the cat,strays are always more interesting.Good work Richard.

    Genius marketing ploy; cracking intro to the new characters.

    Can’t wait to read this- my curiosity has peaked. Seems a natural follower to the Murder Club personalities.

    Can’t wait to read this- my curiosity is peaked. Seems a natural follower to the Murder Club personalities.

    Can’t work out if it’s set now or 15-20 years ago but loving it so far and really looking forward to reading the rest.

    Love it, can’t wait for my copy to come in September! And I absolutely LOVE “The Thursday Murder Club” series!! I can’t wait for the next book in that series, I hope it is soon!

    Love it. Really looking forward to reading the rest. In the meantime, I’ve got the last Thursday Murder club to read.

    I was hooked from just the first few paragraphs! Can’t wait to read it 🙂

    Loved it! Cannot wait for the rest 😆 tax disc does seem to be a mistake though given the car reg is 3 years after they ended… sorry

    This reads like the beginning of a hard to put down page turner. Thanks for the preview. Looking forward to the finished book.

    Can’t wait for more but I agree with the other comments chatgpt and tax discs make this hard to date

    Got my attention already! Cannot wait to found out more about Amy, Rosie, Kevin the Navy SEAL, Steve, Debbie and Trouble. A brand new gang to love!

    Already pre ordered as soon as it was announced. Richard’s books have caught me like a fish on a hook. So, really looking forward for this release.

    Awww what a tease you are ,now can’t wait til September. IAM sure it will be amazing: )

    Book is on pre-order and I cant wait till September! Loving Steve already. Its going to be a cracker!

    Roll on 12 September – sounds like you’ve done it again 🙂

    Darn it, was just getting hooked, once again, and I have to wait until September. Putting my order in now!!!

    I really need to read more now. Living just 10 minutes drive from Ringwood and the Forest, I’m absolutely hooked already!

    Sounds good so far, the characters are likeable as is the setting.

    I wonder if it is published on the same day worldwide? If not I’ll buy it when I get home. It looks like a winner!

    All’s right with my world again, a new book to look forward to. Information passed to my son-in-law. Two happy people, thank you.

    Oh I’m really looking forward to this one .

    I almost wish I hadn’t read it, because now I want to read the whole thing, not a tantalising extract!!! The characters pull you in from the get go and the gentle humour is so comforting, like a warm hug from a dear friend!! Love it so far!!

    I’ve just decided this will be my book club’s book for September, so that we can all enjoy it and discuss it together. (And because I’ve already pre-ordered three copies!) Another inviting and lively read, with rich, entertaining characters. Can’t wait!

    Gosh it must be scary sending your new characters out into the world! Love it so far – roll on September!

    What a start! Can’t wait to read the rest 😊

    Hooked already. Love the new characters and the way Richard writes. Grabs you with intrigue and a warm hug! Book has been pre-ordered for ages. Cant wait to read it

    New characters are instantly relatable and likeable. Looking forward to the reading the rest.

    Love it & can’t wait to read the rest. Already hooked by the excerpt!

    Do resent the Kindle price – as someone who struggles with RA & finds paperbacks troublesome now, not owning the book itself is bad enough, but to have to pay more than the paperback costs is insulting!

    Exciting! Although not sure when it’s set seeing as there are no years that both tax discs and chat gpt exist

    “Tax disc up to date”. Schoolboy error Richard. Abolished 2014.
    Love the preview. Will definitely be buying the book.

    Sounds like some good intrigue and interesting characters.

    Already enthralled and can’t wait for this (hopefully) new series of books. The main characters sound so interesting already. Let’s fast forward to September.

    Already pre-ordered! I’m so so excited to read this and fall in love with these new characters as well! 🙂

    My appetite has been whetted. I want more!

    Absolutely love The Thursday Murder Club gang, so was a little apprehensive when Richard announced this new story. However after only reading the first couple of chapters, I now know I shouldn’t have worried, because I’m hooked already. Love Richard’s writing style and can’t wait to read the rest of the story.

    It may be nerve wracking for you, Richard but what a tease you are! I love it! Your writing doesn’t fail to excite and as much as I love The Thursday Murder Club series I’m looking forward to reading your new series and getting to know these characters better.

    Oh yes! Another winner there Richard. Great little touches of humour. I wonder who the ‘baddie’ is?

    Lucky me, will have the best birthday present ever. Can’t wait

    I’ll be listening to the audio book on my morning walks. On pins and needles to find out the reader.

    I’m intrigued to know more. I can’t work out what year the book is set in yet, as a paper tax disc is mentioned, but I’m sure it will soon become apparent.

    I’ve taken to Steve and the cat, but no so much Amy.

    I’m looking forward to September.

    Loving it already, taxdisc ? When’s this set?

    It will take a little time to re-orientate, the expectation of a warm comfortable word blanket wrapped around you and your best secret friends is a hard thing to replace! Having said that it’s new territory and lots of potential to make a new bunch of friends, the ex cop Steve has bags of possibilities, not yet convinced by Amy but early days. The start was a bit of a confusion but I’m sure it’ll all come together in R.O’s skilful hands.
    The cat is bound to be loads of background fun, looking forward to how we get along.

    Absolutely love it! Already hooked…. can’t wait for the book….👏😃

    September cant come quickly enough. I need more.

    Really looking forward to reading the whole thing!!!

    I love the way Richard writes. I can’t wait to read the rest.

    This is a brilliant treat but also a horrible tease – I don’t want to wait until September to read the rest!

    Mixed feelings! I couldn’t stop reading but now … I have to wait! Ugh! Don’t want to wish my life away but roll on September! How many sleeps?? Too many.

    Sounds very intriguing, I’m looking forward to finding out more.

    Now I cannot wait for the rest but – there is always a but – you imply that Steve is checking the tax disc by looking at it on the car. The UK no longer issues tax discs. This stopped in 2015.

    Involved already – thanks for the (surprisingly lengthy!) preview. Twitching with anticipation…..

    Really engaging characters. My brain is whirring as this has the feel of an intriguing Peter James-style novel, which I already can’t wait for! Thanks for this ‘taster’, Richard….SOLD! X

    Hooke already – cannot wait till 12 September. Love the characters already!

    Soooo looking forward to this 👏👏

    Intriguing start, interesting characters. Looking forward to reading the real thing.

    Already got my attention from the first few words. This is going on my birthday wish list in a couple of months…

    Can’t wait for this and it’s released on my birthday!

    It sounds another winner … just like the Thursday Murder Club …. great characters 👌 my husband and myself love what they say and get up to … and by just reading these few chapters… this will be the same … Great having cats 🐈 😻 🐈‍⬛️ interested as well or any animals
    Well done Richard 👏

    I’m hooked! Can’t wait til it’s out😊

    Good wee taster, I’ll forward to reading the rest of this book 😊

    Already love the characters and can’t wait for the book.

    Already love the characters and can’t wait for the book.

    Ooh, you tease..!! Can’t wait for the release.

    Wonderful! Can’t wait to read the whole book

    Appetite absolutely whetted, can’t wait for the release. Reads like it will be just as good as all your others Richard!

    Intrigued! I’m sure I’ll love it just as much as the TMC. Thank you.

    Really looking forward to reading the book and getting to know the characters can’t wait 👍😊

    This sounds so interesting, look forward to being able to read the book, have loved the Thursday club stories so far, looks like this could be another winner

    This sounds so interesting, look forward to being able to read the book, have loved the Thursday club stories so far, looks like this could be another winner

    Fabulous…..but to be honest, I knew it would be….roll on September!

    Roll on September!! I need to read the rest of the book! Well done Richard Osman, keep up the brilliant work.

    Looking forward to continuing this read! Also excited about the first Thursday Murder Club film. Only downside is I’ll have to subscribe to Netflix! 🙈

    Really excited with this extract and can’t wait to read the whole book.
    I live in the countryside out side Portsmouth and often visit the New Forest-and can just imagine the village of Axley.

    CANNOT WAIT!!!!! Great start – thank you for sharing with us 😊

    Am going to love these new characters,probably Steve more than Amy.

    I enjoyed the tone of Richard’s writing and the chatty style. It reminds me of the voiceover Humphrey Bogart would do at the beginning of films. I like the two story strands – USA and the New Forest – and I’m looking forward to reading what happens next.

    I am hooked and can’t wait for the book to come out.

    A cracking start, I am loving the characters already. I have pre-ordered and can’t wait.

    I didn’t think it would be possible to be more excited for this to arrive, but now I am! A wonderful start to a new book and series, and that great Richard Osman touch. I wanted to keep on reading. Can’t wait!

    Love it! Can’t wait for the whole book! I really enjoy Richard Osman’s writing – it is fresh, crisp, engaging.

    interesting characters, cant wait for the release date.

    OK you’re right, I’m hooked can’t wait for it to come out

    Looking forward to reading this. Love it already .

    Love it! Can’t wait to get stuck in to the whole book.

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