Richard Osman’s Next Book Is About a Famous Crime Novelist

The best-selling author of The Thursday Murder Club series isn’t straying far from home with his new book.

Richard Osman presenting BBC Two's House of Games
Photo: BBC Two

They’ve all done it. Agatha Christie invented Ariadne Oliver. Kurt Vonnegut invented Kilgore Trout. Stephen King invented Paul Sheldon… Novelists can’t resist putting novelists at the centre of their books, often for sly satires on fandom, fame and the publishing world itself. Now, mega-successful crime author Richard Osman has written a book about a mega-successful crime author.

Osman announced last year that he was planning to take a break from his best-selling retirement village-set The Thursday Murder Club series, and writing a brand new novel. Now, he’s announced the first details of that book, and revealed its cover and title. Out in September 2024, Richard Osman’s next book published by Penguin Books will be We Solve Murders.

As explained in the video below, We Solve Murders is the story of an unlikely trio doing just that, but unlike the mismatched retirement community Thursday gang, these characters are globe-trotting sleuths. As the former Pointless and current Richard Osman’s House of Games host explains, the central characters will be:

“Steve. He lives in the New Forest. He’s got a little investigative agency, he likes to do the pub quiz, he goes home to his cat, his cat is called Trouble – that’s an exclusive – he likes to have a pint at lunchtime, he likes the simple life.

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“Amy, she’s a close protection officer for billionaires. She goes round the world with celebrities, she’s on private islands, she loves adrenalin, she thinks adrenalin is good for the soul, good for the skin, here’s the twist: they are father-in-law and daughter-in-law. Steve is the father-in-law, Amy’s the daughter-in-law, I know that you’d worked that out already.

“Amy is looking after a new client. She is the world’s best-selling novelist, she’s called Rosie D’Antonio. Think Jackie Collins, but for crime. It should be an easy job. Suddenly there’s a dead body – you knew that was coming – a bag of money and a killer who seemingly has his sights set on Amy. Or her sights, you know how this works. Who does she trust? Who can she send for? The only person she can send for is the only person she trusts, and that’s Steve having his quiet life in the New Forest.

“So Steve and Amy now embark on a breakneck race around the world, trying to stay one step ahead of a deadly enemy. Not only those two, but Rosie D’Antonio insists on coming too. So we’ve got a little gang trying to solve murders, they’re mismatched – where have we seen this before? Honestly, I think you’ll love it.”

Quite probably. So when can fans expect a return to Joyce, Elizabeth, Ron, Ibrahim and the Thursday Murder Club’s extended family? 2025. Having published four in his original series since 2020, Osman now plans to alternate on an annual basis: “We can do We Solve Murders one year and then we can do The Thursday Murder Club the next year.”

As Osman is often heard saying on his excellent BBC Two teatime quiz show, hey, we might as well?