This is the third entry in Richard Osman's "Thursday Murder Club" series. It's predictably funny, and (somewhat surprisingly) warm and sentimental at the same time. Prospective readers will want to check out the first two volumes before reading this one; a number of characters from previous books are brought back. And a pile of new characters are introduced.
But it starts out simply enough. The four core members of the TMC (Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim, Ron) decide to investigate an old unsolved case: the (apparent) murder, years ago, of TV investigative reporter Bethany Waites. She was investigating a massive fraud involving evasion of the Value Added Tax, to the tune of millions of pounds. (Value Added Tax? Pounds? It's British stuff.) Her last communication promised a breakthrough that was "absolute dynamite". And then her car was found at the bottom of a tall cliff.
Plus which, Elizabeth and her senile husband Stephen are abducted on a walk, taken to see the "Viking". Who demands that Elizabeth use her Bond-like spy skills to kill an old adversary, Viktor, a one-time KGB kingpin. And if Elizabeth declines, the Viking promises to murder… Joyce! Quite the pickle.
These two plot threads interact in unexpected ways.
It seems a movie is in the works. Nobody asked me, but I continue to see Judi Dench as Elizabeth and Penelope Wilton as Joyce. (Joyce is described as "tiny", Penelope Wilton is not, but I don't care.)