Eight Perfect Murders
A chilling tale of psychological suspense and an homage to the thriller genre tailor-made for fans: the story of a bookseller who finds himself at the center of an FBI investigation because a very clever killer has started using his list of fiction’s most ingenious murders.Years ago, bookseller and mystery aficionado Malcolm Kershaw compiled a list of the genre’s most unsolvable murders, those that are almost impossible to crack—which he titled “Eight Perfect Murders”—chosen from among the best of the best including Agatha Christie’s A. B. C. Murders, Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train, Ira Levin’s Death Trap, A. A. Milne's Red House Mystery, Anthony Berkeley Cox's Malice Aforethought, James M. Cain's Double Indemnity, John D. Macdonald's The Drowner, and Donna Tartt's A Secret History.But no one is more surprised than Mal, now the owner of the Old Devils Bookshop in Boston, when an FBI agent comes knocking on his door one snowy day in February. She’s looking for information about a series of unsolved murders that look eerily similar to the killings on Mal’s old list. And the FBI agent isn’t the only one interested in this bookseller who spends almost every night at home reading. The killer is out there, watching his every move—a diabolical threat who knows way too much about Mal’s personal history, especially the secrets he’s never told anyone, even his recently deceased wife.To protect himself, Mal begins looking into possible suspects—and sees a killer in everyone around him. But Mal doesn’t count on the investigation leaving a trail of death in its wake. Suddenly, a series of shocking twists leaves more victims dead—and the noose around Mal’s neck grows so tight he might never escape.

Eight Perfect Murders Details

TitleEight Perfect Murders
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMar 3rd, 2020
PublisherWilliam Morrow
ISBN-139780062838209
Rating
GenreMystery, Thriller, Mystery Thriller, Fiction, Adult

Eight Perfect Murders Review

  • Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill
    January 1, 1970
    Wow! What do I even say about a book that has rendered me speechless? This book is a thriller lovers dream come true. First of all, Peter Swanson won me over with The Kind Worth Killing and has never let me down since. I find him and Liz Nugent to be the masters of the dark, twisted thrillers. I often wonder how they come up with this stuff! Can you imagine their computer search history? The stuff that murders are made of!!!Sooo with that being said, listen to this premise...absolute Wow! What do I even say about a book that has rendered me speechless? This book is a thriller lovers dream come true. First of all, Peter Swanson won me over with The Kind Worth Killing and has never let me down since. I find him and Liz Nugent to be the masters of the dark, twisted thrillers. I often wonder how they come up with this stuff! Can you imagine their computer search history? The stuff that murders are made of!!!Sooo with that being said, listen to this premise...absolute genius...Malcolm Kershaw owns a specialty bookstore- he carries mystery, thriller books that may be hard to come by. He is an expert in classic mystery books and he knows them in and out. People travel from all over the country to visit his little store. When Malcolm publishes an interesting blog post on the bookstore's site about how to commit the perfect murder, he uses 8 different books with plots that in his opinion would be the perfect crime. Not much came of that at the time but years later someone is murdering people and following this list to the tee. Now the FBI is interested...very interested in what Malcolm has to say.OMG this was a thrill ride from the word go. I devoured and I mean devoured this book in one single day. My internal voice kept saying, this book is so good you should slow down and savor it. Yet I couldn't flip these pages fast enough as I had to know what happened. This book had so much appeal because not only was it was a very unique plot, it also had a ring of truth to much of it. My google fingers were going at warp speed as I researched if any of this has really happened. The answer is YES. This was like a history lesson for me of authors gone bad...so fascinating. I also discovered many books that were on the "list" that I want to read! Add in a fantastic bookstore cat named Nero that has his own Instagram page and what more can you ask for?!! I love a gorgeous cat with a history...my oh my if this cat could talk.
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  • Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
    January 1, 1970
    Guess who got the ARC?! Me!Can't wait to read this one ASAP...
  • Meredith
    January 1, 1970
    CLEVER!! “Books are time travel. True readers all know this. But books don’t just take you back to the time in which they were written; they can take you back to different versions of yourself.” A blog post written on eight mystery novels that detail the perfect murders becomes the blueprint for a serial killer in Eight Perfect Murders. This is a compelling, original, and intriguing read about the mystery genre. When Mal, an independent bookstore owner, is contacted by the FBI regarding a CLEVER!! “Books are time travel. True readers all know this. But books don’t just take you back to the time in which they were written; they can take you back to different versions of yourself.” A blog post written on eight mystery novels that detail the perfect murders becomes the blueprint for a serial killer in Eight Perfect Murders. This is a compelling, original, and intriguing read about the mystery genre. When Mal, an independent bookstore owner, is contacted by the FBI regarding a blog post he wrote years ago, he is shocked to discover that someone is using his literary recommendations as a guide to commit murder. Mal realizes he has a connection to one of the victims and he begins to wonder if the murderer is going to make him his next target. This is a book for those who love mysteries and appreciate the nuances of the genre . Mal discusses what makes mysteries so riveting to read. He details some classics, and in discussing the perfect murder plots, reminds readers of why some mysteries are so powerful.Mal is the single narrator and he controls every word of this story. I got caught up in his tale and was eagerly flipping the pages to see where he was going to take me. He weaves in a wealth of knowledge about the mystery genre and throws in some red herrings, while at the same time slowly revealing his secrets. When the reveal occurred, I was a little underwhelmed, but then I soon realized I got caught up in the wrong element of this book--yes, the mystery of who is committing the murders is intriguing, but what is even more intriguing is the narrator himself. This isn’t about the who or the why. It is about the power of the narrator. I had fun trying to unravel Mal’s secrets and uncover the web of the eight perfect murders. I highly recommend for those who love the mystery genre. I received an ARC of this book from Edelweiss and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Chelsea Humphrey
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 STARS"Do you want to tell me why you're questioning me?"She unzipped her leather bag and removed a single sheet of paper. "Do you remember a list you wrote for this store's blog, back in 2004? A list called 'Eight Perfect Murders'?"As an avid reader of anything that Peter Swanson writes, I couldn't wait to crack open Eight Perfect Murders. My first love affair with the written word outside of adolescence was with many of the books included on this perfect murders list, including Agatha 3.5 STARS"Do you want to tell me why you're questioning me?"She unzipped her leather bag and removed a single sheet of paper. "Do you remember a list you wrote for this store's blog, back in 2004? A list called 'Eight Perfect Murders'?"As an avid reader of anything that Peter Swanson writes, I couldn't wait to crack open Eight Perfect Murders. My first love affair with the written word outside of adolescence was with many of the books included on this perfect murders list, including Agatha Christie, Patricia Highsmith, James M. Cain, etc. I'm an only child and an old soul, so most of my years growing up included black and white Alfred Hitchcock movies and books that were written before my parents were born, so you can see why I had such high expectations for this story going in. Overall, I did enjoy Eight Perfect Murders, and I think it will be a smashing hit in the book community.Our story begins with an introduction to Malcolm Kershaw, and we quickly learn how he became a bookseller and why he's drawn into the FBI's investigation of a series of murders that look alarmingly similar to those in popular mystery novels. Malcolm has penned a list of what he considers to be eight of the most flawless murders carried out in suspenseful fiction, and the agent who interviews him believes the killer is drawing from Kershaw's exact list. Our protagonist isn't certain how he can help, other than to discuss in detail these murders with Agent Gwen Mulvey, but he decides being cooperative is a better way to keep the FBI at bay. If you've read anything by Swanson, then you know that his protagonists always have a secret or two that they are hiding, and it's the reader's job to figure out how big or small those secrets may be. Obviously I'm not here to spoil the plot for you or tell you how it all wraps up, but I will say that this one has a slightly different feel to it than the author's previous novels. While my favorite aspect of the story was the inclusion of these books that I am so fond of, it also felt like the in depth discussion into these novels halted the flow and pacing of the story at hand. It's also worth noting that, if you haven't read any of the books listed in Malcolm's blog post and are wanting to read them for yourself, you may want to pick those up before starting this one. This isn't a slight against the author; he respectfully chose older books that a large portion of the fiction reading population have already devoured, but there are many spoilers throughout this book for the stories in the list. Aside from this, I thought the final 70% was well done and found myself glued to the book. Swanson pulls his trademark twists and turns, which is always a pleasant experience. If you're looking for a relatively short read full of mysterious nostalgia, put this one on your TBR for March!*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.
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  • Holly B
    January 1, 1970
    This one was a page turner from the beginning. (for me) What a bookish tale!A bookish narrator- Malcolm KershawA bookish setting - Old Devils BookstoreA bookish blog list - Going to have to read some of these and Strangers on A Train is one I own and will read next!A bookish murder I guessed wrong!Even a bookish cat! Nero (don't worry he fares fine!)While I was reading, I never wanted to close the book! I was always intrigued and changing my theory. All I wanted to do was read, collect the This one was a page turner from the beginning. (for me) What a bookish tale!A bookish narrator- Malcolm KershawA bookish setting - Old Devils BookstoreA bookish blog list - Going to have to read some of these and Strangers on A Train is one I own and will read next!A bookish murder I guessed wrong!Even a bookish cat!  Nero (don't worry he fares fine!)While I was reading, I never wanted to close the book! I was always intrigued and changing my theory.  All I wanted to do was read, collect the clues and find out more. At one point, I said "I knew it", but no I didn't!Finally a mystery that doesn't involve a missing child, an unstable female or a same old/ same old premise!In the mood for a something different? Tired of all the predictable mysteries and underwhelming endings? I would highly recommend this one!Brilliant! Don't miss it!!!Thanks so much to Goodreads for this win! And EW for my e-copy! OUT MARCH 2020    
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  • Debra
    January 1, 1970
    Calling All Bloggers!!!! This book might make you want to resist/reconsider/re-think blogging lists; such as, your top ten favorite books, top ten favorite movies, or as is the case in this book - making a list about "The Eight Perfect Murders" found in fiction.Malcolm "Mal" Kershaw is a bookstore owner and mystery aficionado has found himself caught up in a murder investigation when a killer begins using his blog list about "perfect" murders and uses those as inspiration and begins killing Calling All Bloggers!!!! This book might make you want to resist/reconsider/re-think blogging lists; such as, your top ten favorite books, top ten favorite movies, or as is the case in this book - making a list about "The Eight Perfect Murders" found in fiction.Malcolm "Mal" Kershaw is a bookstore owner and mystery aficionado has found himself caught up in a murder investigation when a killer begins using his blog list about "perfect" murders and uses those as inspiration and begins killing people. When an FBI agent knocks on his door one cold winter night to ask him questions about the books on his list, why he choose them and how they are connected to recent unsolved murders, Mal is intrigued and agrees to help. Mal is an interesting character in that he fully acknowledges that he is not entirely good with people and the more he gets to know someone the more distant from them he begins to feel. He has a small circle of people in his life who are quirky and interesting as well. Plus, his bookstore, The Old Devil's Bookshop (how's that for a name? has a cat name Nero who is certainly more popular and interesting than his owner (isn't he?).Is there a connection? Does the killer know Mal or is this individual a stranger who was inspired after reading the books on Mal's murder list? As the book progresses, Mal's past and his relationship with his dead wife also come to light. Is Mal a suspect or is he just an expert in the mystery genre? Are the murders perfect, or will the killer be brought to justice?So, I was snuggled up on my couch reading and then there was a twist, a revelation, another twist, another revelation and once again, Peter Swanson reminded me why I am such a fan. His plots are well thought out, perfectly paced and intelligent. He knows how to keep a reader engaged and had me glued to my seat. I love trying to figure a book out (the whole whodunit) and had my super sleuth hat on while reading this one (I did not figure anything out) in this book. Needless, to say, I love that he had me guessing until pretty much the end. Plus, now he had me intrigued and wanting to read and re-read some of the books on the "Perfect Murder list". Plus, those who have been to Boston or live in Boston, will enjoy being able to say "I know that place!" or "I'm familiar with that street!" as Mal walks around the city.Fans of Peter Swanson and the Mystery genre will not be disappointed. Thank you to William Morrow and Edelweiss who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.
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  • JanB
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 What a clever homage to the classic murder mystery! The author’s love shines through in these pages. Don’t come expecting a police procedural with the latest in forensic science. But come expecting to be thoroughly entertained. I have a particular love for the mystery authors of old like Agatha Christie, Rex Stout, and Ruth Rendell, and I binge-read most of them in my 20s. But modern day mystery authors, such as Donna Tartt, gets a nod too, so this book ticked all my boxes. What could be 4.5 What a clever homage to the classic murder mystery! The author’s love shines through in these pages. Don’t come expecting a police procedural with the latest in forensic science. But come expecting to be thoroughly entertained. I have a particular love for the mystery authors of old like Agatha Christie, Rex Stout, and Ruth Rendell, and I binge-read most of them in my 20s. But modern day mystery authors, such as Donna Tartt, gets a nod too, so this book ticked all my boxes. What could be more perfect than a mystery bookstore owner with an in-house cat named Nero (Nero Wolf)? There are literary references throughout the book, which made me want to drop what I was doing and read (or re-read) every book mentioned. I have a list. Speaking of lists....Mal, the bookstore owner, is a widower who lost his wife in an unfortunate accident, and spends his evenings alone drinking craft beer and reading. His life is upended when he is contacted by the FBI, who suspects that a serial murderer is using his blog post, Eight Perfect Murders, which lists the eight perfect murders in fiction, as a blueprint for the murders. As Mal becomes entwined in the investigation it becomes clear there is quite a tangled web to unweave. Along the way we learn bits and pieces of Mal’s life and backstory. There was a moment where I thought the story was going in a direction I couldn’t get behind but the author was clever enough to fool me and the ending was perfection. This was a buddy read with my friend, Marialyce, and we enjoyed our discussion, especially of the ending. I loved this clever, fun book and highly recommend it for avid fans of the mystery genre. I think those who have a true love for the craft will love this book. I closed the last page with a better knowledge and appreciation for classic murder/crime books. I loved the author's book, The Kind Worth Killing. This book has once again made me a fan of Peter Swanson. • I received a copy of the book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review*. For our duo review of this book and others please visit https://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpres...
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  • Dorie - Cats&Books :)
    January 1, 1970
    2 and rounded up to a 3 for a good premise that went very wrong. Being a bookseller I always like books that take place in, about or around a bookstore.O.K. finished this last night and I thought it was a big disappointment. It moved at a snail's pace, at least for me. It was at 70% on my Kindle before I actually felt the plot was picking up some speed.Unless you read a lot of Agatha Christi and older mysteries and love them, I think you will get very tired of the mention over and over again 2 and ½ rounded up to a 3 for a good premise that went very wrong. Being a bookseller I always like books that take place in, about or around a bookstore.O.K. finished this last night and I thought it was a big disappointment. It moved at a snail's pace, at least for me. It was at 70% on my Kindle before I actually felt the plot was picking up some speed.Unless you read a lot of Agatha Christi and older mysteries and love them, I think you will get very tired of the mention over and over again about the books that the killer was basing his method of murder on. There was a lot of needless repetition, and I feel I no longer need to read those books as he has told me the plot and the way the murderer committed the crimes for each of these books.There are so many characters in this book that it will make your head spin. The one that I really enjoyed was Ms. Mulvaney, the FBI agent who gets in trouble for following her instincts and working along with Mal, but she had her own suspicions about what was going on. I don't understand this author. His first book had so many amoral and nasty things in it that I totally dislilked “All The Beautiful Lies” . The second one I read “Before She Knew Him" I enjoyed. I thought it was clever and fast paced. Now this one, ugh!!I know I am already the outlier once again but I thought this book was boring. I didn't feel any tension while reading it and I didn’t really care about Mal who seemed self absorbed and was not very quick to figure out what was going on. There are so many red herrings in this book I felt like I was in an aquarium!I don’t want to turn anyone off from this book so read a variety of reviews, there are plenty of higher reviews out there, we’re all different. I can only give my honest opinion and my feelings of being disappointed in what I had hoped was going to be a great read.I received an EARC of this novel from the publisher through Edelweiss.This book is set to publish in March of 2020.This was a Traveling Sisters buddy read.
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  • Marialyce
    January 1, 1970
    Having really enjoyed this author's The Kind Worth Killing, I was super anxious to take on this new story as it seemed to possess all the elements one loves in their mystery stories. It was quite the story and a bit of a cautionary tale for those of us who blog and make lists. In this book, we meet a book store owner, Malcolm Kershaw, who years ago had compiled a list of the perfect murders found in various books, ranging from Agatha Christie to Donna Tart with many of the creme de la creme Having really enjoyed this author's The Kind Worth Killing, I was super anxious to take on this new story as it seemed to possess all the elements one loves in their mystery stories. It was quite the story and a bit of a cautionary tale for those of us who blog and make lists. In this book, we meet a book store owner, Malcolm Kershaw, who years ago had compiled a list of the perfect murders found in various books, ranging from Agatha Christie to Donna Tart with many of the creme de la creme authors we think of today when the word mystery comes to mind. Who knew that now, in the present day, an FBI agent, Gwen, makes what seems to be a connection between Mal's list and murders that have been carried out. Strange but seemingly true, Mal finds himself being drawn deeper and deeper into a web where the spider, aka the murderer, seems to be well acquainted with Mal, even to the point of the death of Mal's wife. As in all good mysteries of all, there are a plethora of suspects. It's a game of cat and mouse and as the noose seems to be getting tighter around Mal's neck, we see twists and turns in the story that we didn't see coming. How can this murderer know so much about Mal, and why is it that he is being drawn in closer and closer to the danger that might eventually lead to his demise?The story, told with lots of references to previous murder mystery stories was such a clever way to present the story with all its evil and the realization that what we have in this story is a bona fide serial killer. The movement of the book through the various scenarios gives us an appreciation for the authors that Mr Swanson included in this tale and gave it a definite "mystery of a bygone day" feel. However, be cautioned that if you have not read these books, many of the murderers are given away by Mal's musings over the list and its contents.I do recommend this book to all those who love that mystery that weaves a pattern around what you think is happening and then blows you away. You can think you are pretty smart and have your killer nailed down, but you will be in for that inevitable surprise. With a nod to the past, Mr Swanson has created a wonderful book for those of us who love a mystery, and who doesn't?Thank you to Peter Swanson, William Morrow Books, and Edelweiss for an advanced copy of this book due out on February 5, 2020.It was mystery time for this duo of reading friends. So when we were able to secure a copy of the new Peter Swanson book, Eight Perfect Murders, Jan and I were definitely on board and ready to be involved in a mystery story so bizarre and strange that it turned into a book that was hard to put down. To see our duo reviews plus an interview with the author, you can go here: http://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpress...
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  • Paromjit
    January 1, 1970
    Peter Swanson writes the dream novel for crime and mystery fiction aficionados as he pays tribute to the genre, with the ideal unreliable narrator in bookseller Malcolm Kershaw who runs and part owns The Old Devil's Bookstore specialising in crime fiction, in Boston, Massachusetts. Many years ago Kershaw compiled in his blog a personal list of the eight perfect murders in crime fiction, it comprises of Agatha Christie’s A. B. C. Murders, Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train, Ira Levin’s Peter Swanson writes the dream novel for crime and mystery fiction aficionados as he pays tribute to the genre, with the ideal unreliable narrator in bookseller Malcolm Kershaw who runs and part owns The Old Devil's Bookstore specialising in crime fiction, in Boston, Massachusetts. Many years ago Kershaw compiled in his blog a personal list of the eight perfect murders in crime fiction, it comprises of Agatha Christie’s A. B. C. Murders, Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train, Ira Levin’s Death Trap, A. A. Milne's Red House Mystery, Anthony Berkeley Cox's Malice Aforethought, James M. Cain's Double Indemnity, John D. Macdonald's The Drowner, and Donna Tartt's A Secret History. In a wintry Boston in the present, FBI Special Agent Gwen Mulvey turns up at Kershaw's bookstore, convinced his list is bleeding from fiction into reality, with a killer working his way through it, guided into committing the perfect murders in real life.Mulvey co-opts Kershaw into her investigation as they re-read and discuss the books on the list, he is aware he is a suspect, with more of his personal history slowly and skilfully revealed in the narrative. Malcolm is a loner, who struggles to connect with people beyond the initial developments of a relationship, the one and only exception being his beloved wife, Claire Mallory, a woman with her own past trauma and other issues. From childhood, his favourite genre has always been crime fiction although in more recent times he has not been able to read it, instead cribbing from reviews for current crime fiction to cover for his contemporary lack of knowledge. As he visits crime scenes with Mulvey, it becomes increasingly clear as more murders occur replicating those from the original list, that a killer is targeting those connected to him, getting ever closer to the bookseller himself, triggering Kershaw's urgent investigation to identify the killer.Swanson litters this entire novel with other literary references to numerous well known crime novels, and I should warn readers who want to read from the blog list that they should do so prior to reading this as there are major spoilers included. The creation of the central protagonist, Malcolm Kershaw, and his development is done with skill and Swanson draws on classic well known tropes in the crime fiction genre with panache. This is the perfect multilayered read for crime fiction readers, and I have no doubt that this book will go down a storm on publication. Highly recommended. Many thanks to Faber and Faber for an ARC.
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  • Jayme
    January 1, 1970
    Malcolm Kershaw, owner of the Old Devil’s Bookstore, in Boston once compiled a list titled “Eight Perfect Murders”. He posted them on his blog, and now, FBI agent Gwen Mulvey has arrived at the bookstore, one cold, snowy night because she thinks there might be a killer out there, recreating the Murders from his list:The Red House Mystery (1922) A.A. MilneMalice Aforethought (1931) Anthony Berkeley CoxThe A.B.C. Murders (1936) Agatha ChristieDouble Indemnity (1943) James M. CainStrangers on a Malcolm Kershaw, owner of the Old Devil’s Bookstore, in Boston once compiled a list titled “Eight Perfect Murders”. He posted them on his blog, and now, FBI agent Gwen Mulvey has arrived at the bookstore, one cold, snowy night because she thinks there might be a killer out there, recreating the Murders from his list:The Red House Mystery (1922) A.A. MilneMalice Aforethought (1931) Anthony Berkeley CoxThe A.B.C. Murders (1936) Agatha ChristieDouble Indemnity (1943) James M. CainStrangers on a Train (1950) Patricia HighsmithThe Drowner (1963) John D. MacDonaldDeathtrap (1978) Ira LevinThe Secret History (1992) Donna TarttI’ve listed them because if you have not read them, or seen the movies, and you read this book...the plots will be spoiled for you! So, if you plan on reading them...read them first, and make this book 9! If not, then enjoy Peter Swanson’s homage to crime writers past and present, in this, his latest novel, most reminiscent of the book that made him, famous, “The Kind Worth Killing”. Very atmospheric, and if this book were a movie, I could picture it being made in “Autochrome Lumiere” (that muted color) as Boston was experiencing a very, snowy Winter throughout this story, and I could picture the cold nights and see the warm glow of lamps, as Mal, And Gwen reread the books on the list, and tried to figure out who the murderer could be...All I am going to say is that although the pace of this book was a S L O W burn...Mr. Swanson caught me by surprise, MORE than once, again!! As the saying goes...Patience has its rewards. And, who doesn’t like a bookstore with a resident cat? 😼Available March 3, 2020! Thank you to Edelweiss, Harper Collins-William Morrow and Peter Swanson for the ARC I received in exchange for a candid review!
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  • Susanne Strong
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 StarsA Rulebook for the Perfect Murder? Say What?! When starting out, bookseller Malcolm Kershaw created a blog which incorporated best of lists. Who knew that his Best of List for the “Eight Perfect Murders” in Literature would become a rulebook for unsolved murders in New England. Mal is now the owner of an infamous bookstore in Boston when the FBI comes a knocking, he can't help but be intrigued. When they ask for his help investigating, he jumps at the chance. When Mal realizes that he 3.5 StarsA Rulebook for the Perfect Murder? Say What?! When starting out, bookseller Malcolm Kershaw created a blog which incorporated best of lists. Who knew that his Best of List for the “Eight Perfect Murders” in Literature would become a rulebook for unsolved murders in New England. Mal is now the owner of an infamous bookstore in Boston when the FBI comes a knocking, he can't help but be intrigued. When they ask for his help investigating, he jumps at the chance. When Mal realizes that he has a connection to one of the victims, all of the pieces fall into place. The problem of course is that you can run but you can’t hide, no matter how hard you try. “Eight Perfect Murders” by Peter Swanson is a compelling thrill ride that was quite the tangled web, which I enjoyed doing my best to untangle. I read this with my book buddy Kaceey, and had this one figured out quite early on, much to her amazement. While I found the first half of this novel utterly suspenseful, I found the ending to be a bit lackluster. On the whole however, I thoroughly enjoyed this and would recommend it to mystery/suspense lovers.This was another fabulous buddy read with Kaceey.Thank you to Edelweiss, Harper Collins - William Morrow and Peter Swanson for the arc.Published on Edelweiss and Goodreads on 12.21.19.
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  • marilyn
    January 1, 1970
    Malcolm, owner of an old school bookstore, has a story to tell. The FBI wants to interview him because of some murders and their possible connection to a blog post he made, listing the eight perfect murders in literature. Even if I hadn't read all the books, I'd at least seen the old movies that were made from the books so the plot of this story was interesting to me. Malcolm realizes that the FBI suspects him of the murders that have occurred since he seems to have a blueprint in his blog, Malcolm, owner of an old school bookstore, has a story to tell. The FBI wants to interview him because of some murders and their possible connection to a blog post he made, listing the eight perfect murders in literature. Even if I hadn't read all the books, I'd at least seen the old movies that were made from the books so the plot of this story was interesting to me. Malcolm realizes that the FBI suspects him of the murders that have occurred since he seems to have a blueprint in his blog, listing the murders and more that may happen, with his innocent list posted years ago. So Malcolm takes it upon himself to figure out who is committing the murders, why they are committing them, and why they may be trying to frame him for them. Malcolm has a sad history, with his wife dying in a car accident and with something happening to him in the past that has caused him to never read murder mysteries again. He seems so low energy, passively observing life, and rarely eating more than a few bites of food...is more bothering Malcolm than the death of his wife and this new situation of a murderer copying a list he made?I enjoyed this story although I did get tired of the repeated details of each book. And if you have never read the books and don't want to be spoiled, this is not the book for you. Malcolm is going to totally spoil each book, over and over again. Still, I wanted to find out just what was going on with Malcolm because he seemed to be an unreliable narrator who had a lot he wanted to tell. Oh, there is a book store cat that I loved. Nero, a yellow tabby who was the reason that a lot of people visited the store regularly. We all need a Nero in our lives.
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  • Faith
    January 1, 1970
    “...the cleverest, the most ingenious, the most foolproof (if there is such a thing) murders in crime fiction history.”I loved “The Girl with a Clock for a Heart” and “The Kind Worth Killing”, but I was really disappointed by the author’s next three books. I was happy to find that I was immediately drawn into this twisty suspense novel and was definitely not disappointed by it. The protagonist is Malcolm Kershaw who owns Old Devils Bookstore in Boston. The store specializes in mysteries and it “...the cleverest, the most ingenious, the most foolproof (if there is such a thing) murders in crime fiction history.”I loved “The Girl with a Clock for a Heart” and “The Kind Worth Killing”, but I was really disappointed by the author’s next three books. I was happy to find that I was immediately drawn into this twisty suspense novel and was definitely not disappointed by it. The protagonist is Malcolm Kershaw who owns Old Devils Bookstore in Boston. The store specializes in mysteries and it reminded me of the days when I spent a lot of time browsing in a mystery bookstore inhabited by a huge store cat. Malcolm no longer likes reading contemporary mysteries (and I can totally relate to that) but he is a big fan of classic mysteries. A few years ago he published a blog post in which he listed 8 mysteries that featured perfect murders. Now, an FBI agent suspects that several real life murders have been committed by someone who is using the list as a guide. Warning: this book contains massive spoilers (including plots, twists and resolutions) for the 8 books on the list and for several additional classic mysteries. I had already read most of those books so it wasn’t a problem for me, but if you haven’t read them yet it could be an issue. Special Agent Gwen Mulvey of the FBI isn’t certain that Malcolm didn’t commit the murders himself, but she uses his knowledge of the mystery books to help her find the killer. Malcolm begins to suspect that the murderer not only knows the list, but also knows Malcolm. The plot of this book was very clever. There were, secrets, red herrings and twists within twists. The old mysteries were woven into the book in an entertaining way. I was afraid that I was going to have to give up on this author, but this book was very satisfying. 4.5 starsI received a free copy of this book from the publisher.
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  • Ceecee
    January 1, 1970
    Also entitled ‘Eight Perfect Murders’ Malcolm Kershaw is the co-owner of the Old Devils Bookstore (great name!) in Boston, Mass.. it’s winter and snowing very heavily. Despite the inclement conditions he is visited at the store by FBI SA Gwen Mulvey who is investigating a series of murders. Unlikely as it may seem, they appear to be similar to an Agatha Christie novel. Even less likely is the murderer echoing a piece Malcolm wrote for the store blog entitled ‘Eight Perfect Murders’ in which he Also entitled ‘Eight Perfect Murders’ Malcolm Kershaw is the co-owner of the Old Devils Bookstore (great name!) in Boston, Mass.. it’s winter and snowing very heavily. Despite the inclement conditions he is visited at the store by FBI SA Gwen Mulvey who is investigating a series of murders. Unlikely as it may seem, they appear to be similar to an Agatha Christie novel. Even less likely is the murderer echoing a piece Malcolm wrote for the store blog entitled ‘Eight Perfect Murders’ in which he lists and briefly describes books with varying methods of committing the perfect murder???? The unfolding story is narrated by Malcolm as he tries to solve who the killer is, who he and Mulvey christen Charlie. This is the intriguing premise of the latest offering from the imaginative ‘pen’/mind of Peter Swanson. There is so much I like about this book. One of its primary settings is the bookstore...... selling my favourite genre .... crime books, so what’s not to love???? Not only does the store offer a great atmosphere for the story but it also means there are intriguing characters who either work there or shop. Secondly, the weather gives an additional atmospheric feel as Malcolm slithers and slides around the surrounding area trying to find the answers. Thirdly, the book name dropping! This made me very happy as I’d read a great deal of them and if not, like Malcolm I’d watched the movie!!The characters are good too. Malcolm is very interesting and by his own admission he’s very like what he sells, only he’s the closed version. He gives little away and then only if he’s forced to or so chooses. He’s a loner, he doesn’t make friends easily yet he bags a wife, Claire, flawed though she was. The book is a fascinating slow burner but it has plenty of intriguing twists and turns in this revenge killing, book themed novel. Most of the victims are not very likeable but the really interesting thing is that it’s more about the killer and him/her sticking to the murder methods of the list than it is about the victims. The big reveal is a humdinger and I genuinely didn’t see that one coming! The ending is excellent and I guess we’ll never know what Malcolm ultimately did. Overall, a terrific, very well written, intriguing, twisty and brilliant book which makes you ask questions constantly and is a crime fiction addicts manual! It took me on a trip down memory lane with many of the books mentioned which I greatly appreciate. With huge thanks to NetGalley and in particular to Faber and Faber who granted my ‘wish’ to read this book which I am very grateful for as I’m a fan of Peter Swanson! ’
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  • Danielle (The Blonde Likes Books)
    January 1, 1970
    Let me start by saying, I loved this book! I wont rehash the plot, but I really loved that Eight Perfect Murders was not just a thriller, but was also a book about books. Our narrator, Malcom, owns the bookstore that he works in, so he's reading and recommending books frequently, but the main plot of our novel is that murders are being committed in the same vein they were committed in eight different books. I absolutely loved that plot, and thought it was a very clever idea!While other reviewers Let me start by saying, I loved this book! I wont rehash the plot, but I really loved that Eight Perfect Murders was not just a thriller, but was also a book about books. Our narrator, Malcom, owns the bookstore that he works in, so he's reading and recommending books frequently, but the main plot of our novel is that murders are being committed in the same vein they were committed in eight different books. I absolutely loved that plot, and thought it was a very clever idea!While other reviewers found the book to be more of a slow burn, I didn't feel that personally - I was immediately engrossed  in the book, and had a hard time putting it down. I was trying to figure out who was behind the murders as more and more clues were revealed, but Swanson always does a great job with his twists and turns, that I wasn't on the right track. I will say that the ending was left somewhat open, so the reader can interpret things on their own, which I know not everyone loves, but I think worked well here. I read this as a group read with Jayme, and several of our friends who also review and blog, so it provided some great discussion on how we each thought the book ultimately ended. I gave this one 5 stars! Eight Perfect Murders is out on March 3, 2020, so be sure to mark your calendars and pick this one up! Many thanks to Edelweiss and William Morrow for my copy of the book. It was my pleasure to provide an honest review. 
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  • Tammy
    January 1, 1970
    Swanson’s back with a shrewd, cunning, and crafty mystery. An independent bookstore owner, specializing in mysteries, becomes tangled in murder investigations based on an old blog post. There are nods to many mystery writers and their books as well as sly references. Are these perfect murders or a perfect murderer?
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  • Susan Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars This is a difficult book to review because I don't want to give a thing away. The surprises are what make this book so delightful. It is about a mystery book seller in Boston who one day writes a blog about the Eight Perfect Murders. They are:1. The Red House Mystery- A.A. Milne2. Malice Afterthought- Anthony Berkeley Cox3. The A.B.C. Murders- Agatha Christie4. Double Indemnity- James M. Cain5. Strangers on a Train- Patricia Highsmith6. The Drowner-John D. MacDonald7. Death Trap- Ira 4.5 stars This is a difficult book to review because I don't want to give a thing away. The surprises are what make this book so delightful. It is about a mystery book seller in Boston who one day writes a blog about the Eight Perfect Murders. They are:1. The Red House Mystery- A.A. Milne2. Malice Afterthought- Anthony Berkeley Cox3. The A.B.C. Murders- Agatha Christie4. Double Indemnity- James M. Cain5. Strangers on a Train- Patricia Highsmith6. The Drowner-John D. MacDonald7. Death Trap- Ira Levin (actually a play)8. The Secret History-Donna Tartt The blog sparks little discussion on-line but suddenly dead bodies linked to the author start turning up. This is a wonderfully different book that refers to a lot of mystery stories so to a fan, it is quite delightful. And befitting a book about the best mysteries, it's chock full of surprises. Thanks to Edelweiss for a copy of this book in exchange for a fair review.
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  • DeAnn
    January 1, 1970
    4 mystery book/movie tie-in starsIf you love mysteries and have read much of the genre, I think you will love this book. The featured narrator is a Boston bookstore owner, Malcom Kershaw. I did love the setting as I attended college in Boston, and I think Peter Swanson captured the atmosphere of it well. The book title refers to a blog post that Malcom wrote in his early days at the bookstore about eight perfect murders. I’ve only read one of those 8 books (ABC Murders), but Swanson definitely 4 mystery book/movie tie-in starsIf you love mysteries and have read much of the genre, I think you will love this book. The featured narrator is a Boston bookstore owner, Malcom Kershaw. I did love the setting as I attended college in Boston, and I think Peter Swanson captured the atmosphere of it well. The book title refers to a blog post that Malcom wrote in his early days at the bookstore about eight perfect murders. I’ve only read one of those 8 books (ABC Murders), but Swanson definitely gives away plot details for each of the books, so if you don’t want to spoil the reads of those 8 titles, I’d steer clear of this one until you’ve had a chance to read the source books first.Malcolm is visited by an FBI agent who finds similarities between a string of murders and the murders detailed in his list of eight perfect murders. There are twists and surprises in this book and I will just add that Malcolm is not the most reliable of narrators. This one is a slow burn, but I did enjoy it. I might have loved it if I had read all 8 of the books. As Malcolm and the agent dig into the cases, the tension builds as to who the murderer is and where he will strike next.Thank you to Edelweiss, Peter Swanson, and William Morrow for an early copy of this one to read and review.
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  • Abhinav Ka
    January 1, 1970
    Let me begin with a confession - I am a Peter Swanson fanboy. I have been, right from the time I read The Kind Worth Killing. For me, there are thrillers and then there are Peter Swanson thrillers. I am sorry if this sounds like a heavily biased review. I am not a professional reviewer, but just your average reader, who was lucky enough to get an advance copy of Peter Swanson's latest, thanks to Edelweiss plus and of course, the publishers. Peter Swanson's tales almost always involve an Let me begin with a confession - I am a Peter Swanson fanboy. I have been, right from the time I read The Kind Worth Killing. For me, there are thrillers and then there are Peter Swanson thrillers. I am sorry if this sounds like a heavily biased review. I am not a professional reviewer, but just your average reader, who was lucky enough to get an advance copy of Peter Swanson's latest, thanks to Edelweiss plus and of course, the publishers. Peter Swanson's tales almost always involve an unreliable narrator - and that works for me. Eight Perfect Murders is a story revolving around a bookseller, his book store that specializes in mystery books and eight stories about perfect murders. Malcolm Kershaw writes a blog post on 8 books that deals with perfect murders - books that we are all familiar with - The ABC Murders and Strangers on a Train, for example. Little did he know that the blog post would one day, come back to haunt him, when an F.B.I agent turns up at his door, claiming that someone has been committing murders based on the books in the list. Of course, I can't tell you the story, but Swanson is once again, at the top of his game. The story is in a way, a tribute to a few of the most thrilling novels of the last century. It might not be everyone's cup of tea, but if you have enjoyed any of Peter Swanson's previous books, this one wouldn't disappoint you.
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  • Esil
    January 1, 1970
    A high 4 stars!I was all set to give Eight Perfect Murders 5 stars but I didn’t love the end enough to quite get there.But I loved the premise and most of the delivery. Malcolm Keyshaw is the first person narrator. He is part owner of a mystery bookshop. A few years back, he wrote a blog posting about eight classic mysteries with perfect murders. Flash forward, and he gets a visit from a detective who suggests that someone may have picked up on his blog to replicate the murders... From there, A high 4 stars!I was all set to give Eight Perfect Murders 5 stars but I didn’t love the end enough to quite get there.But I loved the premise and most of the delivery. Malcolm Keyshaw is the first person narrator. He is part owner of a mystery bookshop. A few years back, he wrote a blog posting about eight classic mysteries with perfect murders. Flash forward, and he gets a visit from a detective who suggests that someone may have picked up on his blog to replicate the murders... From there, Swanson builds a delicious tangled web. So much of the story draws on other mysteries, which is so much fun. And as Malcolm ponders the increase in unreliable narrators, one wonder how reliable Malcom is...This won’t be for everyone because it’s slow and careful. But I loved the slow layered shifting narrative. And I loved all the references to other classic mysteries. It definitely made me feel like reading — and in some cases rereading — all eight books on the list.As I said, I didn’t love the end. I felt the story lost some of it’s originality as we discover what’s really going on. But I still thought that this was mostly fabulous.Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for an opportunity to read an advance copy.
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  • Barbara
    January 1, 1970
    This is a clever book on a number of levels, starting with the basic premise: A bookstore owner, Mal, has written a blog listing 8 more-or-less classic mysteries featuring murders that Mal considers "perfect". The books aren't perfect, just the conception and execution of the murders. It now appears that someone is using the blog as a map to commit a series of 8 real life murders.Given that premise, the narration has the potential for metafiction, ala Anthony Horowitz's Hawthorne series. Given This is a clever book on a number of levels, starting with the basic premise: A bookstore owner, Mal, has written a blog listing 8 more-or-less classic mysteries featuring murders that Mal considers "perfect". The books aren't perfect, just the conception and execution of the murders. It now appears that someone is using the blog as a map to commit a series of 8 real life murders.Given that premise, the narration has the potential for metafiction, ala Anthony Horowitz's Hawthorne series. Given the ways in which elements of those 8 mysteries, not to mention the blog, echo through the plot, there is definitely a metafictional quality built in. But it gradually emerges that Mal is a decidedly unreliable narrator, and that becomes the driving force of the plot. Can't say more about that without spoilers.Swanson does a particularly good job in this book with two qualities of a well-wrought mystery. One is that oh-so-gradual reveal of Mal's backstory. The other is the number of characters who had the potential to be responsible for following through on the 8 murders. Not too many to be confusing, but enough to keep you guessing. FWIW, I've read comments to the effect that the book should serve as a caution to bloggers, but the admonition, if one is intended, is probably best directed to exploring the darker places on the internet, not the sunny business of reviewing mysteries. With all that said, I didn't feel as gripped by this book as I have in other Swanson novels, but since I think that may have more to do with my reading circumstances than the book itself, I'm rating this a 4. I haven't had much time for sitting and reading print books lately, so my reading experience for this book was chopped up into many small chunks, which undoubtedly interfered with the narrative flow.Note: I received an ARC in a giveaway.
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  • Dennis
    January 1, 1970
    Sadly, this story didn't resonate with me at all. The plot (a murder based on someone who's a fan of a bookstore owner's blog about murder mysteries) just seemed a bit too unrealistic. I did enjoy the way the novel was written, but overall was very disappointed.
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  • Leslie - MamaNeedsABook
    January 1, 1970
    Malcom Kershaw lives a quiet life as the co-owner of Old Devils Bookshop in Boston, a relatively successful bookstore dedicated to mysteries. That is until a detective finds a link between open murder investigations and a blog post he wrote about - you got it - Eight Perfect Murders (in books). And now it looks as though the killer is seeking out Malcom as well.Let me just say, this book made me feel woefully under-read. I added a bunch of Agatha Christie to my TBR list - as well as the rest of Malcom Kershaw lives a quiet life as the co-owner of Old Devils Bookshop in Boston, a relatively successful bookstore dedicated to mysteries. That is until a detective finds a link between open murder investigations and a blog post he wrote about - you got it - Eight Perfect Murders (in books). And now it looks as though the killer is seeking out Malcom as well.Let me just say, this book made me feel woefully under-read. I added a bunch of Agatha Christie to my TBR list - as well as the rest of the list from his blog post - upon completion. However, whether you've read all of the books on his list or not, this book was tailor-made for the bookish mystery lover! I loved this book. I loved the premise of a serial killer using the strategy of murderers in books. I loved Old Devils Bookshop. I loved Malcom and his tragic story - because if there's anything I love as much as a good mystery, it's a good tragedy. They do often go hand-in-hand. His tragedy centers around his deceased wife, who he clearly loved to an unhealthy extent. And I love that as well. It also doesn't give up all of its mysteries at once. This book spoke to me in many ways and I believe it will to many fans of the mystery genre...5 mystery-book-loving stars!Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for my honest review!
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  • Holly
    January 1, 1970
    A classic who-done-it. When bookstore owner Mal, is called in to discuss a murder, he is quite surprised to find that an article he wrote several years ago is the basis for the murders. The article, aptly named "Eight Perfect Murders", is being used to conduct real life murders. Mal sees the correlation but gets truly involved when the murders start becoming too close to home. This book did remind me of something that Christie herself would have written. There were some twists that kept me A classic who-done-it. When bookstore owner Mal, is called in to discuss a murder, he is quite surprised to find that an article he wrote several years ago is the basis for the murders. The article, aptly named "Eight Perfect Murders", is being used to conduct real life murders. Mal sees the correlation but gets truly involved when the murders start becoming too close to home. This book did remind me of something that Christie herself would have written. There were some twists that kept me engaged and Swanson's writing is still going strong. *Thank you to a giveaway on Goodreads for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Liz Barnsley
    January 1, 1970
    Loved this. Pure Peter Swanson with a noir twist and an excellent premise. All the literary references gave me an even longer tbr list darn it Fuller review nearer the time.
  • Heidi
    January 1, 1970
    “I’ve always felt that being with people, as opposed to being alone, can make you feel loneliness more acutely.” (Peter Swanson just “gets” us introverts!)The thing I love most about Peter Swanson’s novels is that they are so wicked! Even though most of his main characters lack a “normal” moral compass, they always remain somewhat likeable. What does that say about me as a reader? I’m not sure if I want to delve too deeply into this, but his stories are always immensely entertaining.Every book “I’ve always felt that being with people, as opposed to being alone, can make you feel loneliness more acutely.” (Peter Swanson just “gets” us introverts!)The thing I love most about Peter Swanson’s novels is that they are so wicked! Even though most of his main characters lack a “normal” moral compass, they always remain somewhat likeable. What does that say about me as a reader? I’m not sure if I want to delve too deeply into this, but his stories are always immensely entertaining.Every book lover will agree that stories whose plotline revolve around books are simply irresistible! Swanson pulls out all the stops with his latest book, because not only is his main protagonist Malcolm Kershaw the owner of a mystery bookstore, but all-time classic crime books like Agatha Christie, Ira Levin and Patricia Highsmith feature prominently in the plot. There is even a resident cat in Old Devil’s bookshop – oh, someone teleport me there right now!With this cosy scene set and every booklover swooning over the books’ fictional bookshop, Swanson lures his readers into a false sense of comfort. Because remember, readers, this is the king of wicked! It’s not long until a whiff of murderous activity drifts into the idyllic scene, as it becomes apparent that one of Malcolm’s blog posts featuring a list of books that describe the “perfect murder” is being used as a template for a murder spree across Boston. And it’s not only the police who are interested in finding the culprit, but Mal himself is very keen to track down the murderer, for reasons all of his own.As is his hallmark, Swanson delivers twists and turns aplenty, and you cannot trust anyone – if you have believed yourself to be a decent armchair detective, I challenge you to work out this one! For lovers of mysteries in general, or those who have become a bit jaded with predictable thrillers or those with ridiculous “killer twists”, EIGHT PERFECT MURDERS will inject some refreshed enthusiasm into the genre. Multi-layered, intelligent and utterly unpredictable, this wicked book should be on every crime-lover’s list this year. Whilst the infamous Lily from Swanson’s earlier book THE KIND WORTH KILLING is still my favourite creation by this author, Malcolm Kershaw almost lives up to her. Enough said. The book comes out on 3 March, so make sure you pre-order your copy now. You won’t be disappointed!Thank you to Edelweiss and William Morrow for the free electronic copy of this novel and for giving me the opportunity to provide an honest review. *blog* *facebook* *instagram*
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  • KC
    January 1, 1970
    3.75 stars. Malcolm Kershaw, the proprietor of a Boston bookshop which specializes in mysteries, is visited by FBI Agent Gwen Mulvey in search of his literary assistance. Agent Mulvey believes that a string of murders is quite possibly linked to an old blog post written by Kershaw revealing eight perfect murders in the mystery genre. This suspenseful fast paced tale will have mystery book lovers rejoicing. For fans of the Hawthorne series by Anthony Horowitz.
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  • Patty
    January 1, 1970
    Eight Perfect MurdersByPeter SwansonWhat it's all about...Eight perfect murders are plotted and and committed by a very clever former mystery lover. An FBI agent just happens to wander upon this issue and tracks down the person who initiates this list. Why I wanted to read it...I love every Peter Swanson book that he has ever written however this was my least favorite one. I think it was the list aspect of it. What made me truly enjoy this book...I did like all of the book suggestions, though, Eight Perfect MurdersByPeter SwansonWhat it's all about...Eight perfect murders are plotted and and committed by a very clever former mystery lover. An FBI agent just happens to wander upon this issue and tracks down the person who initiates this list. Why I wanted to read it...I love every Peter Swanson book that he has ever written however this was my least favorite one. I think it was the list aspect of it. What made me truly enjoy this book...I did like all of the book suggestions, though, but not the way this book was written. Why you should read it, too...Readers who love books in lists should enjoy this one. I received an advance reader’s copy of this book from the publisher through Edelweiss and Amazon. It was my choice to read it and review it.
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  • Nicole
    January 1, 1970
    This was a really interesting and clever thriller. Not like anything I have read previously. This book is told in a memoir format. You follow Malcom as he is visited by a detective one day, who is concerned that someone is copying a list that he wrote of eight perfect murders in crime and mystery books, someone is bringing those murders to life and Malcom needs to find out who.I've not read a book like this before. It is essentially a crime book about crime books. It is very clever and This was a really interesting and clever thriller. Not like anything I have read previously. This book is told in a memoir format. You follow Malcom as he is visited by a detective one day, who is concerned that someone is copying a list that he wrote of eight perfect murders in crime and mystery books, someone is bringing those murders to life and Malcom needs to find out who.I've not read a book like this before. It is essentially a crime book about crime books. It is very clever and definitely a unique thriller. However, I would add that this book has major spoilers for lots of famous crime books. Some of the more popular books that are spoiled in this book include the secret history by Donna Tart, ABC murders and the murder of roger Ackroyd. I loved the writing style. It was really engaging and easy to read.I also loved the setting. Malcom works in a mystery book store and honestly I really want to go to this shop, it sounds amazing. Overall, this was a really clever and unique thriller although be aware of major spoilers for popular crime and thriller books
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