Richard Osman is perfectly at ease pretending to be a 78-year-old woman

Here in England, Richard Osman was best known as a TV personality, the presenter of the British quiz shows “Pointless” and “House of Games.” With the publication of his

debut crime novel in 2020, he became an international literary celebrity. “The Thursday Murder Club” and its follow-up, “The Man Who Died Twice,” follow a team of elderly sleuths

as they solve cold cases from their comfortable retirement village in the English countryside. The wry, amiable thrillers — “cozy crime,” as they have been categorized — have sold

millions of copies, becoming bestsellers on both sides of the Atlantic. Osman and I met for a walk in the park near his home in London to discuss the third novel in the

series, “The Bullet That Missed,” who inspires his characters — and the murder story in his own family history. (This interview has been edited for length and clarity.)

Q: This is your third novel after a long career in TV. Do you approach writing differently after the success of “The Thursday Murder Club?” A: When you write the

first novel, unless you’re a maniac, you assume it’s terrible and that you’re not a writer. All the way through you’re like: “Wow! This is what writing a book is like!” And when

something needs to happen in the story you go, “Now, what would happen next if this were a novel?” When you come to write the second or third one, it’s just, “What happens next in

my story?”