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Murder Isn't Easy

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  45 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Three men, three motives, one murder. Who will come out on top? No one ever said murder was easy.

Nicholas Latimer considers himself indispensable to advertising agency NeO-aD – unlike his partners Barraclough and Spencer. Sometimes Nicholas thinks it would be better if he was running it by himself. If only some unfortunate accident would befall his colleagues…

Paul Spencer
Kindle Edition, 219 pages
Published March 29th 2018 by Ipso Books (first published January 1st 1936)
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Average rating 3.58  · 
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 ·  45 ratings  ·  24 reviews

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Murder Isn't Easy has an unusual structure, in that there are 3 main characters, and the novel is presented in three primary sections, with each section purportedly representing the first-person perspective of a main character. The 3 characters collectively operate an advertising agency, but each has little respect or use for the others, even if grudgingly they agree that none has the skillset to run the business by himself. Between the first and second characters' missives, two of the three mai ...more
Richard Thomas
May 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
Unusual structure

The book is written from the perspective of the four main actors in the plot and comprises first person accounts from each. It’s an enjoyable read and although the murderer can be guessed relatively easily it is worth pursuing to the end. Two of the protagonists are pretty unpleasant and this makes the book worth reading.
My thanks to Ipso Books and Crime Classics for a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I’m a great fan of pre and immediately post war crime fiction but had not read anything by Richard Hull., so thought this could be fun to discover a “new” author. Unfortunately my opinion of this book, first published in 1936, could be summed up in one word - tedious !

The three principal characters, Nicholas Latimer, Paul Spencer and Sandy Barraclough, own a none too successful advertisi
Puzzle Doctor
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Outstanding classic mystery tale. Full review at
Aug 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hilarious first-person narration lifts a murderous tale of jealousy and greed. The opening chapter sets the tone as we read the diary of a self-described 'brilliant' ad man who explains his artistic ad copy is being thwarted by a colleague who demands that he actually do work. It's 'Unreliable narrator meet delusional moron' that is so thoroughly modern (a novel version of 'Archer'), that you won't believe that it was originally published in 1936!?! The fun of the narration makes up for the rath ...more
Apr 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unusually this novel is written from 4 points of view. Each of the partners in NeO-aD is convinced that he is the essence of the company, and the others are a waste of space, and even perhaps hampering the company from it's true development. Each considers that he could run the company without the others, with minimal help from the office staff. It has got to the stage where each person is considering how to get rid of the others. And so it becomes a case of murder, but who will murder who? And ...more
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to Ipso Books and Crime Classics for a review copy. I’m afraid I am struggling to recommend it. While the structure is interesting - four first-person narratives around the same events with a bit of a challenge to decide exactly where the evidence lies and to what conclusion it leads - the characters are not. They are unlikable and their narratives, for the most part, tedious. As a reader I simply wanted to escape from their company.

My two stars are generous and are for the experiment wi
Jeffrey Marks
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interesting book with multiple viewpoints and a unique twist in the murder mystery. Highly recommended
Jul 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
full review forthcoming
Danielle P
May 03, 2018 rated it liked it
When three men with inflated self-importance and fragile egos start a business together, it's only to be expected that tensions will arise on occasion. But when discord turns to murderous intentions, who knows what might happen?

"Murder Isn't Easy" reveals the nasty behind-the-scenes workings of a struggling advertising agency whose partners, at first convinced that their different personalities would prove complementary, can now barely stand each other. Things start to go sour over a campaign fo
May 08, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Four Narrators and two murders. All with a straight face. Murder isn’t Easy is a comic mystery where the fun is in the telling. Not for evreryone, the humor comes from spending time with four narrators with distinct voices and personalites, - personalities we probably wouldn’t enjoy spending time with. And while I ended up enjoying the book, I did find it hard to keep going in the first section because the narrator was such an unpleasant person. It turns out there is a reason for that, and for t ...more
Apr 09, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a clever murder mystery which has a certain humor to it. Three men are partners in an advertising agency. Nicholas Latimer thinks he's the most important because he writes the text for the ads. Paul Spencer does the client contacts and went to a fancy school, and thinks he's the best. They each think the other one is lazy, and Nicholas tries to get rid of Paul. Meanwhile, the man in charge of finances, Barraclough, knows he's the smartest. Nicholas finds a new client with a wonderful pro ...more
Mar 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Thank you to Ipso Books (via Crime Classics) for the digital ARC.

I really did not take to this classic crime novel at all, despite my appreciation of the originality of the concept behind it. It is widely regarded as being unjustly neglected.

My doubts arise from the tone/authorial voice which was unrelentingly "jokey" and "blokey" in a way which I found rather dated. All of the protagonists were unendearing and Inspector Hoopington, rather faceless. The setting in the world of advertising is int
Dec 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle-unlimited
The book has a very unconventional structure. It is divided into four sections, each narrated from a first person voice by one of the main characters. It is very well written and the structure works quite well. The story setting is an advertising agency with three partners (Latimer is responsible for creative design, Spencer is responsible for getting the business, Barraclough is responsible for running the business). This book is kind of a dark comedy as well with quite a bit of space spent in ...more
Oct 14, 2020 rated it it was ok
Rating 2.5

As with the other books I have read by this author, the story is told using the pov of the main protagonist/s . In this case the book is split into 4 parts relating the story as seen by the 3 partners in the PR company and their secretary. And as with the other books I have read by the author this would probably work as a limited episode tv show, each part being a single episode.
However unlike the previous novels where the non likeable characters were shown/used with fairly dark humour
May 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook
I was quite enjoying this until about the half-way mark. The first half is told from the perspective of Nicholas Latimer, who considers himself by far the most important director at the ad agency he founded. It quickly becomes clear that he is not a reliable narrator. Then the perspective switches to his arch-enemy, another director called Spencer. After that is all got a bit too clever for its own good and I got a bit tired of it.

Too many male voices playing games.
Gowri N.
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a GAD fiction fan, I consider Richard Hull the find of the year. A master of reverse whodunits, he has penned a brilliant work here. The premise is the workplace from hell; an ad agency with 3 partners, each of whom despises the other two and thinks he is God's gift to the world. But which of them has murder in his heart? ...more
Apr 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh my, what a twisty story line. I absolutely loved it!!!!! Well written and engaging. Good look into the British way of doing business and interacting with one another. Kept me on the edge of my seat. Truly didn't see the ending coming. Great. Highly recommend. I received an advance reader copy from Crime Classics Review Club. Opinions are my own. ...more
Pat Welte
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading this book. It started off rather slowly but builds up faster. This story had an ending that I just did not expect. Some characters were very likable and others I disliked immensely. I would read more by this author.
Jan 12, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery
So. Boring.
May 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime-fiction
For my full review click on the link below:
Hugh Dunnett
I know I may be repeating what other reviews have stated in their descriptions but as the novel’s structure is fairly unusual and it is this that makes it worth reading, I think it may be worthwhile attempting again to describe it:
This is a novel in four distinct sections, with each being told in the first person by one of the main protagonists. Each section explains either how a murder is required or inevitable and how its execution should be or has been performed. All this is presented in such
The three partners in the new advertising agency hate each others. Nicholas is sure that he's the indispensible creative genius. Paul is the salesman, and he regards Nicholas as lazy and incompetent. Barraclough is the money man, looked down on by both the others as nit-picking and miserly. Each has a chance to express his position; the reader can easily see through their pretensions. The conclusion brings in another voice, to describe what really happened. ...more
stephen rodgers
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Feb 24, 2020
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Apr 29, 2018
Marianna Rudchenco
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Oct 24, 2016
abhinandan banerjee
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Dec 05, 2020
Jennifer L Goodman
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Kathy H
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Goodreads Librari...: merge editions 3 21 Mar 16, 2018 12:30AM  

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Richard Henry Sampson FCA (6 September 1896 – 1973), known by the pseudonym Richard Hull, was a British writer who became successful as a crime novelist with his first book in 1934.


Note: At least two other authors with the same name: Richard Hull-illustrator & Richard Hull-non-fiction

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