Last week saw the release of the new Richard Osman book (and also the announcement of the Booker Prize shortlist, but we'll talk about that next time, perhaps!).
Called 'The Man Who Died Twice', it's the sequel to his hugely successful debut novel 'The Thursday Murder Club' which was published just before lockdown last year. If you're still in the dark, Richard Osman is the very tall man who co-hosts the quiz show 'Pointless' on the BBC.
But surely you've heard something of his story? This is a celebrity who has written a very popular novel and it's received lots of attention. The book? Well, it's a murder mystery set in a retirement home and most people have really enjoyed it and that's why it's sold lots of copies. Some people, of course, don't know what the fuss is about.
Normally I might be a bit cynical about a big 'name' publishing a book, and receiving an inordinate amount of marketing support - the type of which is rarely accorded to your jobbing writer. But on this occasion, I have actually enjoyed reading both books, have found Richard Osman to be a very pleasant man who genuinely champions bookshops, and I've also discovered that people who might not normally come into a bookshop, or read a novel, have been curious enough to buy his book.
What's more, though the book is set around a murder mystery, the story is full of humour, and the characters are warm, sometimes wise, charming and engaging. And it's nice to find a book which makes you smile. While I hope we don't have too many copycat books published as a result of this success, if more people are encouraged to read, and to find enjoyment and positivity through this book and others like it, that can't be a bad thing, can it?
Thank you for reading.