“The Thursday Murder Club” Is Readers’ Choice

Shutterstock / Peshkova © the thursday murder club

Readers across the UK and Ireland have crowned “The Thursday Murder Club”, the record-breaking debut novel by TV presenter Richard Osman, as their book of the year.

The Books Are My Bag Readers Awards are the only book awards curated by bookshops and voted for by readers, sponsored by National Book Tokens. So their “Readers Choice” award matters!

This win for Richard’s book shouldn’t come as a surprise, thought. It was the “fastest selling adult crime debut” in recorded history, selling 45,000 copies in its first three days on sale. It became an instant Sunday Times number one bestseller.

“I’m absolutely thrilled beyond words to win this award,” Richard said. “Thank you Booksellers Association, thank you Books Are My Bag. To win an award voted for by readers is the absolute dream. It means a great deal.”

The 2021 Books Are My Bag Readers Awards Winners, as chosen by readers:


“Still Life”, by Sarah Winman (4th Estate)


“I Belong Here”, by Anita Sethi (Bloomsbury)


“The Hill We Climb”, by Amanda Gorman (Chatto & Windus)

Young Adult Fiction

“Ace Of Spades”, by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé (Usborne)

Children’s Fiction

“When The Sky Falls”, by Phil Earle (Andersen Press)

Breakthrough Author

Marcus Rashford, author of “You Are A Champion”, with journalist Carl Anka (Macmillan Children’s Books)

Reader’s Choice

“The Thursday Murder Club“, by Richard Osman (Viking Press)

The Books Are My Bag Readers Awards, now in their sixth year, are the only book awards with a shortlist curated by booksellers, and winners voted for by readers.

The shortlist judging panel comprised: Nessa Urquhart (Waterstones), Elaine Stabler (Blackwell’s), Jude Brosnan (Stanfords), Annie Rhodes (Norfolk Children’s Book Centre) Amanda Truman (Truman Books), James Firth (The Stripey Badger) and Tony West (The Alligator’s Mouth).

National Book Tokens is the headline sponsor of the Books Are My Bag Readers Awards, which are part of Books Are My Bag, the annual campaign highlighting the joy of buying books in local bookshops.

For more information visit www.booksaremybag.com

Click here to read Fiction Ed Lucy’s review of “The Thursday Murder Club”.

Iain McDonald

Iain is Digital Content Editor at the "Friend", making him responsible for managing flow of interesting and entertaining content on the magazine's website and social media channels.