Richard Osman to publish first novel in new crime series | Books

Richard Osman to publish first novel in new crime series | Books

A new crime series by Richard Osman called We Solve Murders has been announced, after the huge success of his Thursday Murder Club novels.

The beloved elderly sleuths from the Pointless presenter’s bestselling series are taking a break for now. “I put them through quite a lot in the last book, The Last Devil to Die, so I’ve given them a year just to relax, kick back, rejuvenate. But they’ll be coming back in 2025,” Osman said.

We Solve Murders by Richard Osman.
We Solve Murders by Richard Osman. Photograph: Viking

In the meantime, We Solve Murders, which is published this autumn, will introduce the father-in-law and daughter-in-law detective duo Steve and Amy Wheeler. The title references the name of the detective agency the pair set up, after Amy, a private security officer, discovers a dead body and a bag of money while working on a remote tropical island. Steve has retired from the police and runs a small investigations agency in a New Forest village where “he’ll do the odd insurance job or finding a lost dog”.

“But if he never sees another murder, I think he’d be very happy,” Osman said, describing the new book to the Guardian. Amy is in her 30s and Steve in his 50s, “so, for me, very young,” he joked. But the fact that Steve is retired appealed to him, he said, as he was interested in the way that just when you think you know what the next stage of your life looks like, “life often has other ideas for you”.

Starting a new series was “nerve-racking”, Osman said, but necessary: “I hope to be writing until I’m 90, and that would mean I’d have to do 40 Thursday Murder Club books, so probably I need to write about other worlds.”

The cover of the new book features a cat – Steve’s beloved pet, Trouble. “Anyone with a cat at home, wherever they are in the world, whatever time they’re having, they always go, oh, I’d quite like to get back to the cat,” Osman said, explaining that he and his wife, Ingrid, always wondered if their cat Liesl missed them when they were on holiday. Throughout the novel, Steve “essentially just wants to leave the trouble of the world behind and get back to the cat called Trouble”.

Osman will continue this series in tandem with the Thursday Murder Club books, which he plans to keep writing “for as long as people want to read them”. When writing about Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron, “I just find myself being entertained by them,” he said. “So I’m not about to kill any of them off.”

That said, he is enjoying developing a new cast of characters, and doesn’t rule out embarking on other series in the future. “I would always do something that’s crime or mystery based, but I hope I’ve got all sorts of things ahead of me.”

Osman’s Thursday Murder Club series has sold 10m copies globally, and all four books in the series so far have broken UK sales records. The first Thursday Murder Club novel is being adapted into a film by Stephen Spielberg’s company. We Solve Murders is due to be published by Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House, on 12 September 2024.

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