World Book Day sees girl go to school dressed as a member of the Thursday Murder Club

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Teachers at the Grange Primary School in Daventry were left reeling this morning after 7-year-old Emma Williams arrived for World Book Day dressed as Elizabeth Best, the 76-year-old protagonist from Richard Osman’s adult thriller-mystery novel The Thursday Murder Club.

Sporting a meticulously chosen grey permed wig, a tastefully outdated floral blouse, and a pair of glasses perched at the end of her nose, Emma declared to her bewildered classmates and slightly horrified teacher that she had officially outgrown “The Gruffalo”.

“It’s time for me to get my teeth into something a bit more gritty,” she announced, adjusting her faux bifocals with a maturity far beyond her years. “I prefer my literature sprinkled with a dash of murder now that I’m 7.”

Emma’s choice has sparked a frenzy among the PTA, with parents divided between admiration for her bold literary tastes and reading ability, and grave concern that their children might now swap bedtime stories of fairy tales for tales of cold-blooded murder.

“It’s innovative, I’ll give her that,” said one parent, flipping through a copy of The Thursday Murder Club they had hastily purchased to understand the seven-year-old’s newfound idol, “There aren’t even any pictures in it.”

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Meanwhile, Emma has taken her role seriously, spending the day solving “mysteries” around the school playground, like who took the last piece of crumble at lunch, and advising her peers on the importance of observation and deduction.

“It’s all about the details,” she sagely advised a group of six-year-olds as she peered over her glasses, a move she had practised in the mirror for authenticity, “and at my ripe old age, I no longer have any confidence in the school’s authorities to get the job done properly.”

Williams’ teacher said he was a little shocked, but it was nothing compared to 2012 World Book Day, when her class had eleven boys dressed as Christian Grey.