Home Kent News Everything Richard Osman made up about Kent in his murder mystery book

Everything Richard Osman made up about Kent in his murder mystery book

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Original article from Kent Live

Pointless presenter RIchard Osman's first novel The Thursday Murder Club has proven to be a huge hit.

Having quickly become a Sunday Times bestseller, it was then the first debut novel ever to be Christmas number one.

There are reports it's proving massively popular over in America too – and that Steven Spielberg's production company has already bought worldwide film rights for it.

Which makes it all the more exciting that it is based right here in the Garden of England.

The book name-checks places up and down the county.

Its plot centres on a group of pensioners who set about solving the mystery of the murder of a property developer in a luxurious Cooper's Chase retirement village in "the Kentish Weald".

“You can’t move here until you’re over sixty-five and the Waitrose delivery vans clink with wine and repeat prescriptions every time they pass over the cattle grid.”

And one of the curiosities, at least for local observers, is how Richard Osman mixes between referencing real places in Kent, to other ones that appear to be totally made up.

Tunbridge Wells gets a number of mentions, as do Faversham, Folkestone and Ashford.

There's also a light-hearted derision of Whitstable: "I once went to Whitstable, just for the day, but couldn’t really see what the fuss was all about. Once you’ve done the oysters, there’s no real shopping to speak of."

Alongside this there are things and places that just don't appear to exist.

Drawing on our, ahem, expert knowledge of the county, below we've looked at some of the things that appear to be either wrong or wilfully made up.

Fairhaven

Fairhaven is a made up seaside town near the retirement village, oft-visited by the characters.

It's said to be "around 30 minutes in the other direction from Tunbridge Wells", meaning the Sussex coastline would be the best guess if it's based on a real place.

It also has a pier and a police station, and you apparently have to take the A21 out of it, all of which suggests it may well be based on Hastings.

Hastings from above

"I like the younger feel of Fairhaven. I like to see what people are wearing and I like to hear the seagulls

"There is a vegan café, just off the seafront, that I found a few months ago and I am already looking forward to a nice mint tea and an almond-flour brownie."

River Robertsmere

Describing how to get to the retirement village, Osman gives surprisingly detailed directions, all of which appear to be totally made up.

"… head into the heart of the Kentish Weald, you will eventually pass an old phone box, still working, on a sharp left-hand bend.

"Continue for around a hundred yards until you see the sign for ‘Whitechurch, Abbots Hatch and Lents Hill’, and then take a right.

"Head through Lents Hill, past the Blue Dragon and the littlefarm shop with the big egg outside, until you reach the small stone bridge over the Robertsmere.

"Officially the Robertsmere is a river, but don’t get confused and expect anything grand."

Kent Today

Radio Kent gets a name-check, as does Kent Police several times and Kent County Council.

But KentLive can confirm it does not, as far it is aware, have a brand new media rival using the above moniker.

Tunbridge Wells

The above town is of course real. And apparently so is the Virgin Active gym that a character visits.

But it looks like Osman missed the mark with a calculated guess that our leafy west Kent town has a Waitrose cafe.

Alas, it only has a Little Waitrose combined with a petrol station.

You have to venture to leafy Sevenoaks or Tonbridge for one of the big stores.

Original Article