Do you have a favorite murder mystery book?
I will always favor the queen Agatha Christie, and I was pleasantly surprised that Eight Perfect Murders definitely has a lot of those vibes! This was my first Swanson and I’ve been told he is a must read author for thrillers.
“Swanson rips us from one startling plot twist to the next… A true tour de force.” —Lisa Gardner
Eight Perfect murders follows a bookstore owner named Malcolm who wrote a post on the bookstore blog – all in fun, of course – that listed his eight favorite and most ingenious murders in literature. Many years later, an FBI agent shows up to question Malcolm about the post… it appears there is a similarity to recent unsolved murders and his list.
Curiosity peaked, and for fear of his own secrets being exposed, Malcolm instigates his own investigation – suspicious of everyone and eventually causing a chain of unexpected twists and ominous turns.
I was hoping for a little bit more of a thriller element in this one – but the cleverness of plot and mystery was definitely a super unique premise that I enjoyed. It read a bit slow for me and didn’t really captivate my interest how I usually like my thrillers – a bit clunky and stale in parts – but I can certainly praise Swanson for such a unique story that would make a fantastic movie!
“Fiendish good fun.” —Anthony Horowitz
This is definitely the ultimate homage to murder mystery fans. Although if you haven’t read a lot of the classics – and intend to – be prepared for lots of spoilers.
It’s also a great read for book lovers – although I’m still a bit baffled about a bookstore owner that doesn’t really read books… but hey, fiction right?
I’m thrilled to have finally read a Swanson book, and I’m looking forward to checking out some of the fan favorites of his including The Kind Worth Killing which I hear is his best!
- Series: Malcolm Kershaw
- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: William Morrow (March 3, 2020)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062838202
- ISBN-13: 978-0062838209
About the Book:
From the hugely talented author of Before She Knew Him comes 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 Bookstore 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. There is 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.
About the Author:
Peter Swanson is the author of five 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, Before She Knew Him. 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. He lives outside of Boston, where he is at work on his next novel.