Murder Isn’t Easy by Richard Hull

I made a sort-of new year resolution with regards to the blog that I hope to keep consistently over this year. It is to have a good mix of genres/posts during any given week and to throw in one book I own (not the physical library ones) but have not read every month. This is the first of one such book. The year before last Kate @crossexamining crime gave me a bunch of recommendations that I put into a page, hoping to do something with it at some point. I did not refine that page or continue that trend, another something I might address this year. I bought this book on a rare book-buying spree and it has decorated my shelf in three different houses since. I finally sat down and read it all the way through today.

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There are a couple of things in general that I should preface my review with:

  1. I like the author’s narrative style and have generally enjoyed a couple of his works previously. This had me mildly predisposed to at least find the book good in moderation.
  2. It is not exactly an inverted mystery while not being much of anything else. It is a hotchpotch of genres and probably fits the Drama criteria best.
  3. It is not a spoiler to say that Richard Hull does unreliable narrators well because it is very, very obvious here the pomposity of one (or maybe more) has you questioning the truth.

Despite, or maybe because of all the above points, I found myself surprised after the halfway point. I kept thinking I knew how the story was going, and then I found that I was wrong by just that little bit that makes reading a book like this worthwhile.

As the blurb claims, the story is actually quite simple, to begin with. Three men work together, and they each find the other hard to bear. One of them sets about giving us an extended narrative into the issues at hand and what he intends to do about them. My only complaint is the first part goes on for a little longer than expected. It might have a purpose, but I would have enjoyed the book more if there was just a little quicker in the beginning. 

The inner workings of an Ad agency in the late 1930s was an added bonus.

I would still recommend Murder of my Aunt to anyone who asks, but this was a good one to try. Given its size and sarcastic/satirical commentary on people, it is an easy and fun read even with annoying self-important people as the primary characters.

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