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Richard Osman's book, The Man Who Died Twice, is set in the same Kent village as The Thursday Murder Club

Have you ever taken the single-track right turn just past the bridge and seen the tiny, wood-clad bus stop that leads to the Kent retirement village which author Richard Osman has set his two bestselling novels?

It's unlikely, because it doesn't exist - though there may be something very similar hidden in the Weald which the Pointless presenter based the fictional setting for the books, introduced in his debut smash hit, The Thursday Murder Club, on.

Richard Osman's second book is out now
Richard Osman's second book is out now

As the sequel, The Man Who Died Twice, also climbs the bestseller charts, the tale of the amateur sleuths living in the Coopers Chase Retirement Village has continued to capture readers' imaginations.

Richard, who was born in Sussex, knows his Kentish stuff as plenty within the books about the retired residents who meet up once a week to investigate unsolved murders, is based on fact.

He is the latest in a string of authors who have chosen to set their murder mysteries in the county.

The Thursday Murder Club, which he wrote in secret over 18 months and saw a 10-way publishing auction, which ended with Penguin Random House acquiring the rights for a seven-figure sum, is quite specific about the retirement village's location.

He says, after taking the A21 out of Fairhaven, if you want to find it you should head through Lents Hill, past the Blue Dragon and the little farm shop, before reaching the bridge over the Robertsmere and taking the single-track right turn with its dappled hedgerows.

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman was his debut Picture: Penguin Books
The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman was his debut Picture: Penguin Books

The names have been changed slightly but 'Britain's First Luxury Retirement Village' (though technically seventh, according to one of the characters) is made from a converted convent and houses 300 pensioners.

But he writes: "You can't move here until you're over 65, and the Waitrose delivery vans clink with wine and repeat prescriptions every time they pass over the cattle grid."

Formed with Penny a former inspector with 'Kent Police' the club is described as: 'A few glasses of wine and a mystery. Very social, but also very gory.'

And he enjoys using an older person's outlook on things. As one character sums up with: "No, just bludgeoned in his kitchen apparently..." "I bet he had a lovely kitchen too. What a shame."

The folk featured are portrayed drinking tea in the cafe at Waitrose in Tunbridge Wells, while Folkestone, Faversham and Whitstable all get passing mentions.

The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman is in shops now
The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman is in shops now

'Kent Tonight' gets a mention, as does Radio Kent's all-important weather forecast: "Radio Kent says it's going to be lovely all morning... we could make a day of it if anyone's got a picnic table they're not using?"

Director Steven Spielberg is said to be making a film of it, so we could be seeing film crews in the area soon.

The main town in the books is the fictional Fairhaven, which has, according to the narrator, a 'younger feel' to Tunbridge Wells and has a Ryman's stationers and Robert Dyas (where someone had died in the lightbulb aisle).

But where is it? You'll need to buy the sequel to see if there are any more clues...

* The Man Who Died Twice, which costs £18.99, hit the shelves earlier this month.

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