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Plain Murder

3.43  ·  Rating Details ·  83 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
An excellent story, told in style: Three advertising men decide to kill a colleague to avoid dismissal and the grim prospect of joblessness. Their leader acquires a taste for crime, but eventually gets his comeuppance.
Paperback, 240 pages
Published December 1st 2001 by Simon Publications (first published 1930)
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Titas (Emperor)
A plain delicious murder!
In a paper company there are three workers who wants more power and faster. With a fool proof plan they execute a plain murder which opens a Pandora's box of power play, lies, blackmailing and more murders. With one of the three being more hungry than others, one way or another they all have face their doom.


I have exactly no idea why this book has such low ratings. I had first read this novel translated in Bengali(my regional language) and read the original a few months
Apr 12, 2014 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laura by: Bettie
From BBC Radio 4 - Saturday Drama:
Most famous for his Hornblower series, C.S. Forester wrote three seminal psychological thrillers at the start of his career that took crime writing in a new direction, portraying ordinary, desperate people committing monstrous acts, and showing events spiralling terribly, chillingly, out of control.

Plain Murder, set in 1928, takes us into a London advertising agency. Morris, Oldroyd and Reddy, have been caught taking bribes. One of their colleagues threatens to
An innovative crime novel from the unsung godfather of English noir.A hidden gem and a very good read from a master storyteller.
Carey Combe
Difficult to really enjoy this as the main character was so odious, but loved the narrators voice.
Roger Pettit
CS Forester is best known for his historical seafaring stories about Royal Navy hero Horatio Hornblower. He also wrote three crime novels. "Plain Murder" is, as the title suggests, one of the latter. It has some claims to be a sort of English version of the American pulp fiction that was becoming popular at the time that Forester was writing.

Set in London in the 1920s (and first published in 1930), "Plain Murder" is a gripping and readable story about an unhinged advertising executive who murde
Jul 16, 2012 rabbitprincess rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Forester, those who like short and snappy mysteries
Shelves: bibliotheque, 2012
* * * * 1/2 rounded up

"Killing for killing's sake is extraordinarily rare, but killing for quite inadequate motives is much more usual."

London in the 1920s is a grim place if you don't have a job, and three men at the Universal Advertising Agency are facing the prospect of unemployment after their supervisor, Harrison, caught them taking bribes. But before Harrison can report their doings to the big boss, one of the men, Morris, decides that the best way out of their predicament is to kill him.
Ant Harrison
Sep 13, 2012 Ant Harrison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Another hidden gem from C.S. Forester; one of a short cannon of his early works, this is a dark study of a psychopath and his murderous activities. Charles Morris is the uninspiring advertising agency clerk, who embarks on a murder as the solution to his problems - a one-off event which inevitably leads to more killings before eventually spiralling out of control.

Forester's grasp of his narrative is iron-tight and despite the darkness of the subject matter, displays an ironic humour alongside a
Dec 04, 2012 Bert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another gooden' from Forester, and you know what? I never thought i'd ever even consider reading Hornblower, but on the strength of these 20s/30s british noir gems, I'd consider it. So this sort of feels dated but in a good way, and i like how the narrator is a bit judgemental about the main villain Morris, who is pretty naughty, and you even kind of get invited into questioning his motivations ('..some might say that Morris was merely a stolid conscienceless brute with neither feelings nor ...more
Mar 16, 2015 Hannah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
I really don't know any other 30s writer who wrote dark psychological thrillers. This is a cold cold book, deliberately so. You are not supposed to like any of the characters yet feel conflicted about the badness of it all.E.g. surely you should like the housewife and want to protect her? Its just not that simple in CS Forester world.

I love his crime books, they have so much doubt about right & wrong in them. They are sinister and unflinching, daring in imagination and well executed.
Josh Upadhyay
Aug 07, 2015 Josh Upadhyay rated it really liked it
This book is written in a style not dissimilar to that of the Sherlock Holmes novels. I'll admit, personally think the Sherlock Holmes novels are more engaging, but I still think this story has its own charm.

The characters are done quite well, though, especially the interactions between the characters. It's interesting to see the distrust between them, and the methodical mind of the killer.

Nov 04, 2013 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Not life changing but a quick and enjoyable weekend read, and a good example of 1920s British novel noir. The protagonist is well portrayed and quite frightening due to his lack of conscience. As I read I felt the depressing atmosphere of near poverty and the fear of living without a job in a time before the welfare state. This is my second Forester novel, the first being The African Queen, so maybe I will choose a Hornblower novel next.
Rick Bavera
Oct 11, 2014 Rick Bavera rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
First Forester book I have read. I enjoyed it.

This was a mystery written back in 1930 originally, so the style is different from those of today.

I didn't "predict" any of what happened, until right before it happened I was able to think to myself, "Oh, he's going to do X".... I was mostly but not entirely correct.

Enjoyable read.
Kit Masters
Dec 14, 2013 Kit Masters rated it really liked it
I really liked this, but then I really like Forester.
It's a simple yarn I guess but suspenseful enough.
Recommend this to anyone interested in either Forester (but read his historical fiction first,) or crime novels.

Mar 28, 2016 Andrée rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't read this - because the pages weren't in the correct order!
Will try again if I find it in another charity shop
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Cecil Scott Forester was the pen name of Cecil Louis Troughton Smith, an English novelist who rose to fame with tales of adventure and military crusades. His most notable works were the 11-book Horatio Hornblower series, about naval warfare during the Napoleonic era, and The African Queen (1935; filmed in 1951 by John Huston). His novels A Ship of the Line and Flying Colours were jointly awarded t ...more
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