How Not To Commit Murder
How Not to Commit Murder is a humorous tale of mayhem, murder and facing the truth. It's a modern comedy crime book that will keep you engaged from the first page to the last.
Comedy Crime At Its Best
Reuben Littlejohn inadvertently stumbles across a plot to kill his parole officer Lucy, with whom he is madly in lust. Nefarious criminal Frank Cornell, who has a grudge against Lucy, blackmails Reuben 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 - and without Carleen finding out?
If you like Donald Westlake and Colin Bateman, you’ll love this comedy crime book with its artful blend of flawed but engaging characters.
How Not To Commit Murder Reviews
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Interview With Robin Storey
What was your inspiration for How Not To Commit Murder?
I worked for many years as a probation and parole officer.
This gave me experience 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, combined with a large dose of imagination..
How do you incorporate comedy 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.
Reuben is on parole and his parole officer Lucy play a central role in the story.
Having been in the job myself, I was able to do a gentle sendup of the parole process, imagining how it would be through Reuben’s eyes.
It’s the situations combined with the character’s personality that lend themselves to comedy such as:
1. Reuben’s disastrous attempts to hold down a job and his relationship with his disapproving in-laws.
2. His attempts to lead a double life – pretending to help Frank Cornell murder Lucy at the same time trying to save her life.
3. Trying to stop his wife Carleen finding out which requires a lot of subterfuge and stretching of the truth!
You can read more about writing humour in my blog post What Makes You Laugh?
What was the 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.
Are comedy crime books your specialty? Will there be a sequel? How Not To Rob A Bank? How Not To Kidnap A Billionaire?
There are no plans for a sequel at the moment. But you never know....