How Not To Commit Murder by Robin Storey.
“What a clever story with a wonderful balance of mystery and suspense and light-hearted comedy and fun.” A Life Through Books.
Career conman Reuben Littlejohn is determined to go straight this time after his release from prison, with the help of his new wife.
But he hadn't counted on stumbling across a plot to kill his parole officer Lucy, with whom he is madly in lust. Or being blackmailed into becoming an accomplice to her murder.
Never have his skills in lying and cheating been so vital! Can he save his own life as well as Lucy’s?
If you like Donald Westlake and Colin Bateman, you’ll love this book with its artful blend of comedy and crime and flawed but engaging characters.
“There is a great balance between the Crime/Mystery part of it and the Comedy. I found myself guessing the whole way through, and being wrong quite a bit, while laughing out loud.” Texas Book Nook.
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This book is also available in print in the Books section.
About Robin Storey
in Pittsworth, Queensland, Australia, Australia
Suspense, Crime, Humor and Comedy
Nick Earls, Christopher Brookmyre, Janet Evanovich
After many years as a freelance writer, I'm now hooked on fiction writing and love being an indie author. I live on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia - beautiful one day, perfect the next - where we complain if the temperature drops to below 14 degrees Centigrade. I'd love you to come and visit me on my blog http://storey-lines.com/ and if you subscribe to my readers' group (there's a form on the home page) you'll receive a FREE e-book of my comedy crime novel How Not To Commit Murder. I love connecting with readers and other writers, so come on over to my Facebook page and say Hi. https://www.facebook.com/RobinStoreyw... My other books are romantic comedy Perfect Sex, an e-book of four short comedy/mystery stories Comedy Shorts, noir romance novella An Affair With Danger, memoir Making The Breast Of It - Breast Cancer Stories of Humour and Joy and suspense-noir A Time For Penance. If you'd like to find out more about these books, you can to go my Amazon Author page http://www.amazon.com/Robin-Storey/e/... or my website. http://storey-lines.com/my-novels/ As you can see, I love writing in a variety of genres. After writing An Affair With Danger, I realised how much I enjoy writing edgy, suspenseful stories with flawed characters who are often the underdogs and frequently don't act like heroes. My latest novel A Time For Penance, published in May 2017, is about a woman who travels 20 years back in time to undo a murder she committed. I'm a certified book nerd (too many books, not enough time!) and am a useful team member on quiz nights for the literary questions - but not much else. When I'm not writing or reading, I enjoy hiking and chilling out at the beach, which is five minutes drive from my home. My partner and I walked the full Camino Frances pilgrimage across northern Spain in September 2016. It was a life-changing experience which will satisfy my appetite for adventure for a long time. Although I have attended many workshops and seminars over the years on various aspects of creative writing, the one thing that I believe has been of the most value to me in my writing is reading a wide variety of books. As well as a good writing critique partner who'll give you honest feedback, which I'm also lucky enough to have.
What was your inspiration for this novel?
I worked for many years as a probation and parole officer, so had contact with a wide range of offenders from various backgrounds, and indeed this has been grist to the mill for my crime novels. My main character, Reuben Littlejohn, developed gradually in my head – his character is a combination of a few conmen I’d met, plus a hefty dose of imagination.
How do you incorporate humour into a crime novel about a conman?
Writing humour has always come naturally to me; I can find humour in most situations. In this book it’s Reuben’s character – he’s in his early thirties but in some ways he’s never grown up. He loves Mandrake comics, hates the thought of a regular job and he’s a bit of a dreamer. He fantasizes about lots of things, including women, so this alone lent itself to comedy.
It’s the situations combined with the character’s personality that lend themselves to humour – Reuben’s disastrous attempts to hold down a job, his relationship with his disapproving in-laws, and his attempts to lead a double life – pretending to help Frank Cornell murder Lucy, at the same time trying to save her life, without his wife Carleen finding out. This requires a lot of subterfuge and stretching of the truth!
What was your biggest challenge in writing How Not To Commit Murder?
Writing a character who is a criminal but still making him someone the reader can empathize with. And I think I’ve succeeded because I’ve had readers say to me,’ I didn’t want to like him, but I couldn’t help it.’ I think the humour had a lot to do with that.
Also, I wondered how I’d go writing from the point of view of a thirty-something male, which clearly I’m not, but it was easier than I expected. Although there are a lot of differences in the mental and emotional make-up of men and women, there are many similarities as well. Deep down we all want to be loved and appreciated for who we are, and to find meaning and fulfilment in what we do.
If there was ever such a thing as a well-meaning criminal, then Reuben, the central character, is just that. The problem is other people don't get hit good intentions at all. After coming out of prison and marrying his prison visitor who is able to provide for him, one of his former fellow inmates, Frank, catches up with him and he is blackmailed into becoming involved in a plot to kill his parole officer Lucy. Given little choice but to comply, Ruben has to go more than the extra mile to ensure that his parole officer remains unharmed, yet at the same time be seen by Frank to be fully co-operating. It's a perfect blend of comedy arising from a complex situation. Reuben has no boundaries to what he will do, in this desperate situation. A charming book that warmed my heart.