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

  • Emily May
    January 1, 1970
    Books are time travel. True readers all know this. What an adventure this book was! There's no denying that Eight Perfect Murders was a good deal more meta than my usual thriller picks, but I thoroughly enjoyed this romp through the mystery/thriller/crime genre-- from the classics to the modern to the obscure.This book scratched an itch I didn't even know I had, so to speak. See, I love love lists of books. When Goodreads or Buzzfeed or whatever posts a list of "50 Must-Read ____ Books" or "10 Books are time travel. True readers all know this. What an adventure this book was! There's no denying that Eight Perfect Murders was a good deal more meta than my usual thriller picks, but I thoroughly enjoyed this romp through the mystery/thriller/crime genre-- from the classics to the modern to the obscure.This book scratched an itch I didn't even know I had, so to speak. See, I love love lists of books. When Goodreads or Buzzfeed or whatever posts a list of "50 Must-Read ____ Books" or "10 Most Anticipated Books of ____", then you can bet I'm clicking. I am such a sucker for those lists. I just didn't know I wanted to read a mystery about one until now!There's a lot I can't say about Eight Perfect Murders, but I'll try to give you some idea what it's like. I've only read one other Swanson book so far (Before She Knew Him) and this one was very different. The protagonist, Malcolm Kershaw, is the co-owner of the Old Devils Bookstore, a place specializing in mysteries. One day, an FBI agent enters the store and begins to question him about several murders, which may or may not be related. What has brought Malcolm to her attention is a blog post he wrote when he was first hired at Old Devils: "Eight Perfect Murders." It's a list of eight mystery/thriller novels that contain, in Malcolm's opinion, the most "perfect", unsolvable, uncatchably brilliant murders. Thing is, some of the recent murders seem oddly similar to several of the "perfect" murders in the novels listed.Malcolm gets dragged into the investigation, part aid and part suspect, and it's not a spoiler to say we learn very quickly he has a lot of secrets of his own. And, wow, I just really loved the exploration of all these novels. Not just the eight at the centre of the story, but many great crime novels. Some I knew well; some I'd never heard of. Be warned: this book does spoil the plot of all eight novels mentioned in the blurb - The A.B.C. Murders, Strangers on a Train, The Red House Mystery, Malice Aforethought, Double Indemnity, The Drowner, The Secret History and Deathtrap - so you may want to read them first if they're still on your TBR.To me, this book was a celebration of the mystery genre. A laugh at its conventions; a love letter to its best and underappreciated works. Following Malcolm as he tries to piece together the puzzle and come to terms with just how guilty he himself is... well, it's quite a ride.I did figure out the "culprit", though, and I think a lot of mystery readers will. There are too few possibilities to make it truly challenging. But I honestly did not care. The fun is in the getting there, the thrill of the chase, and the uncertainty of the many small mysteries the book presents along the way. I'm just that kind of thriller reader, honestly. I do not care if you can pull out the shockiest shocker of a twist if I don’t enjoy the getting there. Give me a good ride and a protagonist who intrigues me over "twists" any day. Also, I have about fifty new recommendations from this book. That's only a slight exaggeration.Facebook | Instagram
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  • 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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  • Meredith
    January 1, 1970
    CLEVER!! Books are time travel. True readers all know this. But books dont 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 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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  • Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
    January 1, 1970
    Guess who got the ARC?! Me!Can't wait to read this one ASAP...
  • Dita
    January 1, 1970
    I tried to love this as much as I have loved some other Peter Swanson books but in the end, I think it was just three stars.Here's why...1. Spoilers. Holy crap!! The books he spoils are some of the best I've ever read and if I'd read this book before I'd read some of those? Wow, I'd be murderous. I mean, major spoilers.BOOKS SPOILED: The A.B.C. Murders, Strangers on a Train, The Red House Mystery, Malice Aforethought, Double Indemnity, The Drowner, The Secret History and Deathtrap 2. Too much I tried to love this as much as I have loved some other Peter Swanson books but in the end, I think it was just three stars.Here's why...1. Spoilers. Holy crap!! The books he spoils are some of the best I've ever read and if I'd read this book before I'd read some of those? Wow, I'd be murderous. I mean, major spoilers.BOOKS SPOILED: The A.B.C. Murders, Strangers on a Train, The Red House Mystery, Malice Aforethought, Double Indemnity, The Drowner, The Secret History and Deathtrap 2. Too much talk and not enough action for long stretches. C'mon, c'mon, c'monnnnnnnn!3. I like a tidy, wrapped up ending with no lingering questions.Bravo for some great twists, it was, in many ways a great book but, yeah.....3 stars.
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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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  • Nilufer Ozmekik
    January 1, 1970
    I need a Gibberish translator right now! Because this is only language I may fluently speak after reading this book. Fcjeijfiojopi50ov! See! I lost control my thoughts again! I cannot form a proper sentence! There is no slightest chance for me to dislike this book! 8 perfect murders based on selected amazing thrillers starting from Christies epic A.B.C. Murders (this time the killer concentrated on bird names more than alphabetical order) to thrilling Ira Levin play Deathtrap (after watching the I need a Gibberish translator right now! Because this is only language I may fluently speak after reading this book. Fcjeijfiojopi50ov! See! I lost control my thoughts again! I cannot form a proper sentence! There is no slightest chance for me to dislike this book! 8 perfect murders based on selected amazing thrillers starting from Christie’s epic “A.B.C. Murders” (this time the killer concentrated on bird names more than alphabetical order) to thrilling Ira Levin play “Deathtrap” (after watching the movie version, everyone had hard times to consider Christopher Reeves their superhero!), Highsmith’s “Strangers on a train” (Mr. Swanson gives so great details about differences between the Hitchcock movie and the original story which is darker and more spooky), Donna Tartt’s “ A Secret History”. And let’s not forget James M. Cain’s “Double Indemnity” (if you haven’t watch its movie, do it immediately to see Fred MacMurray’s brilliant performance!), A.A Milne’s “Red House Mystery”, John D. Macdonald’s “Drowner” and Anthony Berkeley Cox’ s “Malice Afterthought” (I have to make confession that I didn’t read the last three of them. But I already add to my MOUNT TBR that I rent hourly for bungee jumping activities!) Old Devil’s Bookshop’s owner Malcolm Kershaw chose those 8 books and wrote a blog of them as “8 perfect murders help you get away with them” ( It is not the title but you got his motivation to write this article!) Now a FBI agent appears at his bookstore, asking for his help because there might be killer out there obsessed with his article and commits murders at the same ways written on those books. And as we continue to read about the facts Malcolm also the narrator of the story presents us, we realize he keeps secrets to himself and slowly when we get inside of his mind and learn more about his traumatized love story with his ex-wife who died in the car accident, we pity on him but also start to get suspicious about him. Why a killer is obsessed with his article? Could Malcolm get involved with one of the murders? Did FBI agent tell him the truth? Could the killer also be a vigilante who brings the justice by punishing very notorious people because as far as we realize the victims are not angels, they have their own crimes and dirty secrets! This book is mesmerizing puzzle, combining perfect thrillers’ plots and subtexts at the most proper places intercepted with Malcolm’s fast pacing, brain cell destroyer, heart-throbbing story. He confuses the hell of us by giving small pieces about the truth. We get lost in his head and we are misled by him so many times and sucker punched by unexpected twists we could never see coming. I’m not gonna talk more about the story because it’s so hard to write more about without giving spoilers and I’m not the most trustworthy person who likes to write the murderers’ identities in the middle of each Christie books and send them to my loved ones (You may guess I’m not the most lovable person!) Overall: This is dark, intense, puzzling, dazzling, exciting, nail biter, hair splitter, heart throbbing, nightmarish, brilliant book and it already became one of my favorite books of the author. Even some revelations still have some small plot holes, I only cut half star and I’m giving my 4.5 rounded up to 5 doubtful, manipulative, mind-bending stars! I didn’t get rejected for this book but I couldn’t let it root at the NetGalley’s pending purgatory so this time I’m thanking myself and my husband’s credit card to buy this book and devour it at one sit! Highly recommending, one of the best thrillers of the year! Of course I should have had this!bloginstagramfacebooktwitter
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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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  • 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 Christies A. B. C. Murders, Patricia Highsmiths Strangers on a Train, Ira Levins Death 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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  • Mary Beth *Traveling Sister*
    January 1, 1970
    Malcolm owned a bookstore. He decided to do a blog on his website called Eight Perfect Murders. In his blog he decided to make a list of the genres most unsolvable murders, those that are almost impossible to crack. Malcolm finds himself at the center of an FBI investigation because a clever killer has started using his list of these perfect murders. This book was more of a slow burning mystery to me, instead of a thriller. I am not a big Agatha Christie fan, so that is why I didn't love this Malcolm owned a bookstore. He decided to do a blog on his website called Eight Perfect Murders. In his blog he decided to make a list of the genres most unsolvable murders, those that are almost impossible to crack. Malcolm finds himself at the center of an FBI investigation because a clever killer has started using his list of these perfect murders. This book was more of a slow burning mystery to me, instead of a thriller. I am not a big Agatha Christie fan, so that is why I didn't love this one. I am more of a thriller fan. There were some partsthat I did enjoy, especially the ending. I have not read any of the books on Malcolm's list. There were a couple that I would like to read but I feel that I already know what the books are about because there are so many spoilers. This book seemed to repeat itself over and over again. I was very disappointed. I didn't feel like the characters were well developed and there were a lot of characters. This book lost the thrill for me. It didn't have enough suspense for me. I put this book down many times. I did love the ending. I loved his books, The Kind Worth Killing and his book Before She Knew Him. I love this author and still can't wait to read his next book. I am in the minority of this book. Lots of others loved it.Several of us read this book in The Traveling Sister Group.I want to thank Edelweiss, the publisher and the author for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
    January 1, 1970
    I have no idea how to rate this book...
  • JanB
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 What a clever homage to the classic murder mystery! The authors love shines through in these pages. Dont 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 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 a killing spree. 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
    ***NOW AVAILABLE***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 ***NOW AVAILABLE***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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  • chan ☆
    January 1, 1970
    i read 13 thrillers in 13 days here's what happened
  • Jayme
    January 1, 1970
    Malcolm Kershaw, owner of the Old Devils 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 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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  • Will Byrnes
    January 1, 1970
    I dont trust narrators any more than I trust the actual people in my life. We never get the whole truth, not from anybody. When we first meet someone, before words are ever spoken, there are already lies and half-truths. The clothes we wear cover the truth of our bodies, but they also present who we want to be to the world. They are fabrications, figuratively and literally. Back in 2004, when he first started working at Old Devils, the mysteries-oriented bookstore that he now runs, Malcolm I don’t trust narrators any more than I trust the actual people in my life. We never get the whole truth, not from anybody. When we first meet someone, before words are ever spoken, there are already lies and half-truths. The clothes we wear cover the truth of our bodies, but they also present who we want to be to the world. They are fabrications, figuratively and literally. Back in 2004, when he first started working at Old Devils, the mysteries-oriented bookstore that he now runs, Malcolm Kershaw was asked to write a blog post. Eight Perfect Murders was his list of the best, fool-proof murders committed in mystery fiction. He posted and promptly forgot about it. Now, many years later, a killer seems to be using his list as the basis for a series of murders. Is Malcolm a potential target? Or is Malcolm otherwise involved? Special Agent Gwen Mulvey, thirties, blonde, has taken an interest. Seems not only is Malcolm’s list in use by a fan of the genre, someone Malcolm knows is one of the victims. Peter Swanson - image from the site Blood TypeThe blog piece that Malcolm wrote includes: The Red House Mystery – A.A. (Alan Alexander) Milne – 1922 Malice AforeThought – Anthony Berkeley Cox – 1931 The ABC Murders - Agatha Christie – 1934 Double Indemnity – James M. Cain – 1943 Strangers on a Train – Patricia Highsmith - 1950 The Drowner – John D.MacDonald – 1963 Deathtrap – Ira Levin - 1978 The Secret History – Donna Tartt – 1992For fans of mysteries this is both a fun puzzle and a docent-led tour of some of the best suspense writing of all time. Be forewarned, if you have not read these already, or seen the films made of some, the book will spoil them for you. Caveat lector. The list of eight is only the beginning. More than any other book I can remember, Eight Perfect Murders offers a cornucopia of fun genre references with a stop or two outside the field as well. It gives you a chance to reacquaint with some of the true whodunit classics, each with unique ways of doing someone in, ways the killer is aping. Swanson has some fun with the list, questioning whether the murders were all that foolproof and whether this or that other book should have been included instead. It is a delightful element, and you can imagine the discussions that went on in selecting this or that and excluding some others. It will certainly provide considerable fodder for your already mountainous TBR lists.We follow Kershaw as he tries to figure out who may be up to no good, with, and without Agent Mulvey, and tries to keep one step ahead of any official investigations. There is a bit of body heat developing between Krenshaw and Mulvey, but is that a natural result of boy meets hot special agent, or is the attraction a fatal sort, a manipulation, and if so, on whose part? There does seem to be something a bit off about the hot detective.I have not read all of Swanson’s books, but caught his first two, and there are common elements. Secrets abound. Not surprising for the genre, but Swanson’s leading men tend to hold significant intel back from the reader, to be revealed over the course of the book. There are also femmes fatale, dramatic women who hold the leading man in thrall, resulting in dark consequences. In this case, it is Kershaw’s wife, Claire, and I will say no more about that. One thing that is different this time is that we have a single narrator. Swanson usually likes multiple perspectives. Krenshaw’s bookstore is in Boston, being a familiar siting of Swanson stories. Beacon Hill being revisited is a familiar locale for readers of his oeuvre. Asked in a 2017 interview about this element in his work, Swanson said: It’s hugely important. I think Boston is a good location for a thriller, but I write mainly about Boston because that’s where I live. In Her Every Fear, [published in 2017] I wanted to write something that felt like a gothic thriller, and to me, a large apartment building in Beacon Hill just felt right. That section of Boston feels a little bit trapped in time. It has cobblestones, and narrow streets, and several of the buildings still have stable doors. He was going for something along those lines this time too, I expect, an old-timey specialty bookstore with familiar but infrequent customers, and scads of references to old books. This would have felt out of place in a Barnes & Noble on a large public square. Early on, Krenshaw is reminded of another young fictional special agent. It was impossible for me not to think of Clarice Starling,…from Silence of the Lambs. It was where my mind almost always went, to books and movies. It had been that way since I first began to read, And Mulvey, like her fictional counterpart, seemed too tame for the job. It was hard to imagine her whipping a gun from a holster, or aggressively questioning a suspect. She did question a suspect, though. She questioned you. Mulvey keeps Kershaw involved, even if his motives might be less along the lines of providing a public service than they are keeping informed of her progress in order to better protect himself. But what is he protecting? Thus, the quote that opens this review. Is Mulvey a good actor, intent on seeing justice served, or is he Dr. Lecter, serving up bits of information to someone he likes and respects, in service of some other plan?As for gripes I heard the ticking sound that meant Nero was coming toward us along the hardwood floor. Agent Mulvey, who heard it as well, turned and looked at the store cat. Hearing cat claws clicking on the floor is not a thing. My wife and I care for many cats, and have had many more over the years, none lacking claws, and never have we ever heard the click-clack that is described here. It is possible, I suppose, that there are cats that might provide such a sonic announcement of their arrival, but natural selection has seen to it, as Carl Sandburg can attest, that little cat feet are silent. A jarring item like this takes one out of the story, and I bet there are many readers in the target demo for this book, graced with feline presence, who might hack up a hairball on reading about such a cacophonous cat. A small, nerve-jarring bit. Swanson tosses in an impending storm, fills the streets with snow, but other than showing us a bit of Boston in winter, it did not seem that the weather motif added much, really, to the feel of the tale. In addition, there will be unrelated eye-rolling. You may hear yourself saying things like “fuh realz?” or “No, no way,” or “You’re kidding me, right?” as a character does this, that, or something else, that seems just dramatically dumb. On the other hand, if you are willing to treat your eye-ball chafing with over the counter products, and use ear plugs to drown out the sound of your own complaining voice, this remains a pretty fun, engaging read. Krenshaw seems likable, and his love of books will make him sympathetic to, you know, readers. Mulvey is intriguing, as we wonder if she is a straight arrow, or up to something. Krenshaw’s wife is a damaged, over-the-top siren, someone I found a bit tough to relate to, which is hardly a crime. But then we are not looking for high lit in a mystery novel. The rest of the supporting cast were drawn lightly, but served their purposes well. Swanson’s clear love of and appreciation for the genre, as expressed in the multitude of references, both in written and cinematic form, is infectious. (a treatable infection, nothing deadly, I promise). Having a shop cat named Nero doesn’t hurt.While it may not be Swanson’s best work, there is no mystery about it. Eight Perfect Murders is a perfectly fun, engaging page-turner of a read, particularly for devotees of crime fiction. “I felt closer to Claire than I’ve ever felt to anyone before or since,” I said.” But sometimes I didn’t know her.”Tess was nodding. “I feel the same way about Brian, close, I mean, then every once in a while, he’ll say something, or else I’ll read something he wrote, and I wonder if I know anything about him at all. Review posted – March 6, 2020Publication date – March 3, 2020=============================EXTRA STUFFThe book was released as Rules for Perfect Murders in the UK on May 3, 2020Links to the author’s Tumblr, Twitter and FB pagesSwanson’s web site has a cornucopia of samples of his Hitchcock poems, other poetry, short fiction and non-fiction, and is well worth checking out. Armchair Audience is Swanson’s site for writing on “Books read. Movies seen. TV Watched” He makes a slight nod to himself by referencing in the book a site called The Armchair SpoilerBook references - the Eight perfect Murders…Plus-----The Red House Mystery by A.A. (Alan Alexander) Milne (a writer of very substantial brain on Gutenberg-----Malice Aforethought by Anthony Berkeley Cox - Part 1 of 8 - audiobook-----The ABC Murders by Agatha Christie - free text on Internet Archive-----The ABC Murders - free audio on Internet Archive-----Double Indemnity by James M. Cain - novel - wiki-----Double Indemnity - film - wiki-----Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith – novel - wiki-----The Drowner - John D. Macdonald. novel - wiki----- The Secret History by Donna Tartt – novel- wiki==========Others, but not all – wiki links-----Shake Hands Forever by Ruth Rendell----- Louise Penny novels -----We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson-----Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn-----Too Many Crooks by Rex Stout-----The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith – (really J.K. Rowling) -----James Crumley - Elaine Johnson’s (a character in 8PM) favorite authorPoems-----Winter Nightfall by Sir John Collings Squire-----Black Rook in Rainy Weather by Sylvia Plath-----An Exequy by Peter Porter (About a dead wife)My reviews of other books by the author-----2015 - The Kind Worth Killing-----2014 - The Girl with a Clock for a HeartSongs/Music-----Max Richter - 24 Postcards in Full Colour-----The End of the Affair soundtrack by Michael NymanInterviews-----Book Q&As with Deborah Kalb – 2017 - Q&A with Peter Swanson -----You might check out my 2014 interview of the author below my review of - The Girl with a Clock for a Heart
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  • Lala BooksandLala
    January 1, 1970
    Ooooh this shit SLAPPED! 👏I love a good thriller gimmick, and following the plot of 8 classic murder mysteries books while they're being copycatted by an unknown killer present day was JUST what I needed.From page 1 when when this book introduced itself as "Eight Perfect Murders: a memoir" I was hooked. The main character, a bookseller named Malcolm essentially talks directly to the reader, acknowledging what we may be thinking of him and the case throughout, which was *chef's kiss*. We love a Ooooh this shit SLAPPED! 👏I love a good thriller gimmick, and following the plot of 8 classic murder mysteries books while they're being copycatted by an unknown killer present day was JUST what I needed.From page 1 when when this book introduced itself as "Eight Perfect Murders: a memoir" I was hooked. The main character, a bookseller named Malcolm essentially talks directly to the reader, acknowledging what we may be thinking of him and the case throughout, which was *chef's kiss*. We love a smart, self aware narrative style.So he basically wrote this blog post back in the day about 8 perfect murders from the mystery genre, from The ABC Murders to The Secret History, and now the FBI is on his doorstep looking into a string of real life murders that seems to follow his list. It gets a 4.5⭐ from me.Thanks to @williammorrowbooks for sending me an early copy
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  • Kaceey
    January 1, 1970
    By the looks of things it would appear Im once again in the minority!Malcolm Kershaw just got hired to work at a bookstore. One priority duty was to beef up their on-line presence. Really make it pop! Create a buzz that will have readers flocking to this local bookstore. First up, Malcolm compiled a list of his favorite unsolvable perfect murders. Sowhat happens when people start mysteriously dying and their deaths are strikingly similar to those murders on his list? Well....the FBI comes By the looks of things it would appear I’m once again in the minority!Malcolm Kershaw just got hired to work at a bookstore. One priority duty was to beef up their on-line presence. Really make it pop! Create a buzz that will have readers flocking to this local bookstore. First up, Malcolm compiled a list of his favorite unsolvable “perfect” murders. So…what happens when people start mysteriously dying and their deaths are strikingly similar to those murders on his list? Well....the FBI comes calling! That’s what! Surely this is nothing more than a disturbing coincidence? Or is someone really following his little “favorites” list!I’ve enjoyed Peter Swanson books in the past and the premise laid out had me excited to get started. Not to mention all the glowing reviews! But somehow it never took hold for me. The connection was never made. I think this was a case of its the reader, not the book.Peter Swanson remains one of my go to authors and though this one didn't grab me, I will still be watching for his next release.A buddy read with Susanne Thank you to Edelweiss, Harper Collins - William Morrow and Peter Swanson for an ARC to read and review.
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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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  • 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 has 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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  • Gabby
    January 1, 1970
    I finished this a few days ago and I still have mixed feelings about it. I loved some aspects of it but was pretty underwhelmed by other parts. Here are my general thoughts: POSITIVES:-I was able to read it all in one day and it helped distract me from everything going on in the world right now-I loved the style of the writing: how the beginning started with a memoir and the reader is trying to figure out if they can trust Malcom for the whole story-I love that this feels like a tribute to crime I finished this a few days ago and I still have mixed feelings about it. I loved some aspects of it but was pretty underwhelmed by other parts. Here are my general thoughts: POSITIVES:-I was able to read it all in one day and it helped distract me from everything going on in the world right now-I loved the style of the writing: how the beginning started with “a memoir” and the reader is trying to figure out if they can trust Malcom for the whole story-I love that this feels like a tribute to crime mystery thrillers, as it discusses these perfect murders from eight different books in great detail -Had two plot twists that I didn’t see comingNEGATIVES:-I feel like the ending was weak-The narrator Malcom felt slightly pretentious and he irritated me a bit-I don’t like that this book spoils the plot twists for eight other mystery crime novels -Sometimes the book felt like it was so inspired by these eight murders that this story doesn’t stand really well on its own, like the story relied way too much on the mysteries happening in the other books
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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. Thank you to William Morrow/HarperCollins and Edelweiss for this ARC.
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  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    January 1, 1970
    Well, if this isnt the perfect thriller for book lovers? ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ A bookseller lands himself in the middle of an FBI investigation because a killer is using his best list of fictional murders.You see, Malcolm Kershaw, the bookseller, gathered a list of unsolved murders make that unsolvable murders because they would be highly unlikely, if not impossible, to solve. He titled his list Eight Perfect Murders, and chose from some of the most well-known fictional works, A Secret History, A.B.C. Murders, Well, if this isn’t the “perfect” thriller for book lovers? ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ A bookseller lands himself in the middle of an FBI investigation because a killer is using his “best” list of fictional murders.You see, Malcolm Kershaw, the bookseller, gathered a list of unsolved murders… make that “unsolvable” murders because they would be highly unlikely, if not impossible, to solve. He titled his list “Eight Perfect Murders,” and chose from some of the most well-known fictional works, A Secret History, A.B.C. Murders, and Double Indemnity, among others.Like many of us, Malcolm spends his nights home alone reading…with the killer watching him.Mal ends up taking on some leads into the investigation himself. He has to for his own safety. Will this game of cat and mouse ever stop?Peter Swanson’s books are so psychologically smart. Gosh! It would be easiest to tell you that I loved it all, and I pretty much did. Malcolm’s love for books was pretty darn special. Eight Perfect Murders often felt like a classic murder mystery, and I loved every bit of that. It was like a story within a story. The ending was extremely satisfactory, and overall, I just plain loved it.I received a gifted copy. All opinions are my own.Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader
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  • Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
    January 1, 1970
    EXCERPT: 'You think these murders are related to the book?''I do,' she said. 'It's too fantastical for it not to be.' 'Is it you think someone's copying the books in order to get away with a murder? That someone wanted to murder Robin Callahan, for example, but then murdered the other people to make it look like a serial killer obsessed with birds?''Maybe,' Agent Mulvey said, and she rubbed a finger along the edge of her nose, up near her left eye. Even her small hands were pale, the fingernails EXCERPT: 'You think these murders are related to the book?''I do,' she said. 'It's too fantastical for it not to be.' 'Is it you think someone's copying the books in order to get away with a murder? That someone wanted to murder Robin Callahan, for example, but then murdered the other people to make it look like a serial killer obsessed with birds?''Maybe,' Agent Mulvey said, and she rubbed a finger along the edge of her nose, up near her left eye. Even her small hands were pale, the fingernails unpainted. She was quiet again. It was a strange interview, full of pauses. She was hoping I'd fill in the silence, I guess. I decided not to say anything.Eventually she said, 'You must be wondering why I came to talk with you.''I am,' I said.'Before I tell you, I'd like to ask you about one other recent case.''Okay.''You probably haven't heard of it. A man named Bill Manso. He was found near the train tracks in Norwalk, Connecticut, back in spring. He was a regular commuter on a particular train, and initially it looked as though he'd jumped, but now it looks as though he was killed elsewhere and brought to the tracks.''No,' I said, shaking my head. 'I didn't hear about it.''Does it remind you of anything?''Does what remind me of anything?''The nature of his death.''No,' I said, but that wasn't entirely true. It did remind me of something, but I couldn't remember exactly what it was. 'I don't think so,' I added.She waited again, and I said, '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?''ABOUT THIS BOOK: If you want to get away with murder, play by the rulesA series of unsolved murders with one thing in common: each of the deaths bears an eerie resemblance to the crimes depicted in classic mystery novels.The deaths lead FBI Agent Gwen Mulvey to mystery bookshop Old Devils. Owner Malcolm Kershaw had once posted online an article titled 'My Eight Favourite Murders,' and there seems to be a deadly link between the deaths and his list - which includes Agatha Christie's The ABC Murders, Patricia Highsmith's Strangers on a Train and Donna Tartt's The Secret History.Can the killer be stopped before all eight of these perfect murders have been re-enacted?MY THOUGHTS: I don't think my heart has ever lurched in my chest before. I have been breathless, actually stopped breathing, had marks in the palms of my hands from my fingernails, and had my heart pound, but never before has it actually lurched. It definitely did in Rules For Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson when the killer revealed himself. The circumstances in which he does so deserves to have a musical score written for it.This is a clever book. It is not fast paced; instead the tension builds slowly, imperturbably. There is only one narrator, Mal, the owner of a bookshop specialising in mysteries. There is a lot of dialogue, something I don't usually enjoy, but it works well here. There is a lot about this book that is different - in the very best of ways. I loved every moment of this read.The eight books Mal has listed for 'Eight Perfect Murders' are ones a lot of us are familiar with, but there were a few there I hadn't read (I will remedy that). Swanson continues to refer to other mysteries throughout the book - I have come away with a huge reading list! This is a bookish book, for bookish people, and one I will be buying a hard copy of. I expect to read it again. If I could nominate this as a modern classic murder mystery, I would. This deserves to be with the Agatha Christies, which is exactly where it will be being placed on my library shelves.📚📚📚📚📚'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.'THE AUTHOR: Peter Swanson is the author of six novels including The Kind Worth Killing, winner of the New England Society Book Award, and finalist for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, Her Every Fear, an NPR book of the year, and his most recent thriller, Eight Perfect Murders. His books have been translated into 30 languages, and his stories, poetry, and features have appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, The Atlantic Monthly, Measure, The Guardian, The Strand Magazine, and Yankee Magazine.A graduate of Trinity College, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Emerson College, he lives in Somerville, Massachusetts with his wife and cat.DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Faber & Faber via NetGalley for providing a digital ARC of Rules For A Perfect Murder by Peter Swanson for review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own personal opinions.For an explanation of my rating system, please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.comThis review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon and my webpage https://sandysbookaday.wordpress.com/...
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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.. its 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 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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  • 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 authors 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 “...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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  • Berit☀️✨
    January 1, 1970
    What a clever book! A captivating, compelling, and intelligent murder mystery. Peter Swanson has really hit it out of the park with this one. Not a thriller, but a well thought out, refreshing, murder mystery. A nod two classic mysteries of the past. Malcolm Kershaw owns the Old Devils Bookshop in Boston. He is an expert on all things Mystery books, even though hes not reading them anymore. Mal is approached by an FBI agent who believes that a serial murder is using a list he posted on his blog What a clever book! A captivating, compelling, and intelligent murder mystery. Peter Swanson has really hit it out of the park with this one. Not a thriller, but a well thought out, refreshing, murder mystery. A nod two classic mysteries of the past. Malcolm Kershaw owns the Old Devils Bookshop in Boston. He is an expert on all things Mystery books, even though he’s not reading them anymore. Mal is approached by an FBI agent who believes that a serial murder is using a list he posted on his blog years ago to commit murders. The blog post was about the eight perfect murders committed in literature. Perfect meaning the killer was almost guaranteed to get away with it. Mal is sucked up into the investigation not only to find out who is using his list, but also to prove his innocence. Tense and addictive I was completely hooked! Graham Halstead does an exceptional job of narrating this audiobook. He really brought the perfect voice to Mal. His steller delivery and perfect pacing added some extra tension to this already engaging story. I loved all the literary references in this book. The story unfolded so well the perfect amount of twists, turns, and misdirection. I have seen other reviews mention that this book does spoil all the books on the perfect murder list and I suppose it does, but I also think it probably sparked some interest for those books as well. Mal was such a sympathetic yet quirky character who I didn’t quite trust, bu I was definitely rooting for. The secondary characters were all equally interesting and I cannot forget the cat Nero. Another winner from this exceptional author.this book in emojis. 🔎 📚 ✍🏻 🧩 🐱 *** Big thank you to William Morrow & Harper Audio for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***
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  • DJ Sakata
    January 1, 1970
    Favorite Quotes:Books are time travel. True readers all know this. But books dont just take you back to the time in which they were written; they can take you back to different versions of yourself.The thing is, and maybe Im biased by all those years Ive spent in fictional realms built on deceit, I dont trust narrators any more than I trust the actual people in my life. We never get the whole truth, not from anybody. When we first meet someone, before words are ever spoken, there are already Favorite Quotes: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.The thing is, and maybe I’m biased by all those years I’ve spent in fictional realms built on deceit, I don’t trust narrators any more than I trust the actual people in my life. We never get the whole truth, not from anybody. When we first meet someone, before words are ever spoken, there are already lies and half-truths. The clothes we wear cover the truth of our bodies, but they also present who we want to be to the world. They are fabrications, figuratively and literally. Fiction is so much better than reality. I know. I’ve been alive a long time. My Review:Peter Swanson is a devilishly clever and diabolically talented evil genius. I feel comforted by the fact I live far, far away from his neck of the woods as he scares me, and more than just a bit. This multi-layered, complicated, absorbing, and smartly written book was laced with unforgettable and truly unlikable characters who were also inexplicably compelling and complex. The storylines were multifaceted, maddeningly paced, and deviously irresistible. I loved it and am eagerly looking forward to his next offering but would caution his neighbors to stay sharp and keep the noise down.
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