Cover Image: Eight Perfect Murders

Eight Perfect Murders

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Member Reviews

I was immediately intrigued by the premise of this book and once I started reading it I couldn't put it down. There were more than enough twists and turns to keep me guessing, and I appreciated the loving homage to various mysteries. A thoroughly enjoyable read! I'll definitely be picking up Swanson's other novels.
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After reading Swanson’s last novel (and really enjoying it), I was eager to pick up his latest. I enjoyed “Eight Perfect Murders” but I didn’t love it. The premise is a new one and it was well written. The problem was that I found some plot lines farfetched and didn’t love the big reveal. That being said, I really enjoyed Malcolm as a character and genuinely cared what happened to him, regardless of some of his choices. I’d give this book 3.5 stars out of 5. It was an enjoyable read, but like some of the books mentioned, not entirely memorable.
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I thoroughly enjoyed The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson.  This book was right up there with it! I loved the character development, the pacing was on point, and the plot was extremely interesting.  Peter Swanson keeps you guessing with who is the bad guy, right up until the end. I always try to guess who is going to be the bad guy and I'm never right and I LOVE that! I look forward to reading more books by Peter Swanson in the future.
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Wow! Twisted thrillers I have to admit are my favorite kind of book. I read this while my 5 -year-old grandson was visiting from Colorado. I needed something that I could read in little sips because I knew there would be plenty of interruptions. This was the perfect book. When I wasn’t reading the story, it was swirling around in my head. The main character is a bookstore owner who specializes in mysteries. Years previously, he had created a blog post that listed eight murder mysteries that exemplified a perfect murder. Now unfortunately, someone is using the list to knock off unsuspecting victims. Mwahaha!
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When the FBI contacts him about a blog post he wrote fifteen years ago called “eight perfect murders,” mystery bookstore owner Malcolm Kershaw is asked to revisit each book title and compare the hauntingly similar murders that have occurred in real life. But Malcolm has his own secrets and suspects that someone may be framing him.

A clever and entertaining premise that is a treat for avid mystery readers. Guaranteed to keep you guessing.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an early copy of this book. Pub date March 3, 2020.
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This was such a fun mystery, with just the right amount of murder, and just a bit of unreliable narrator. When Mal is approached by the FBI regarding a series of recent murders that may relate to a blog post he once wrote called “Eight Perfect Murders,” the case seems fairly clean-cut. Mal will tell the FBI agent what he knows about the books on his list, and the investigation will carry on without him. However, it may not be so simple. Does Mal know more than he is letting on? Is the killer using Mal’s list to try to reach out to Mal himself? This book gives homage to the old mystery classics, such as Agatha Christie, and I really enjoyed reading it and following along with the investigation.
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My copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to the the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review it.

This was a fun who-dun-it set in a charming Boston bookstore. Since the author obviously knows his way around the mystery section, the reader doesn’t really need to. Throughout the story he graciously explains the plots of the eight books on the main character’s list of novels containing the perfect murder. 

The story begins when Malcolm Kershaw, owner of Old Devils Bookshop, is approached by an FBI agent who believes someone is using the list Malcolm wrote years ago to copy the methods of murder found in the books. As the murders are investigated, we learn more about Malcolm and what a tangled web his life really is. Through fast paced writing, compelling characters and an unreliable narrator, an intriguing story emerges. 

This is a book that will appeal to many readers:-  mystery fans, ones wanting to see if their favorite book is mentioned, others looking for suggestions for their next read, and some simply looking for an enjoyable, fast book. All will be happy with this one.
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Right from the beginning, this book hooked me. I had to know what was going to happen. There were some unexpected turns and definitely keeps you guessing until the end. 

I thought the narrator was a little dry, and sometimes he could be boring or repetitive, but I think that worked in the books favor to give little away! I would recommend this to fans of classic mysteries or a good whodunit.
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There's nothing like settling in with a new Peter Swanson story. In Eight Perfect Murders, Swanson takes you on a clever, winding ride. An ultimately unsettling tale of murder and relationship, Eight Perfect Murders will leave you guessing until the very last page.
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Perfect title as the main character has written a blog listíng eight books that have eight different ways of committing murder without getting caught. Someone is following the list and committing a copycat murder for each one. The main character, Mal, is contacted by the FBI, because of the connection to the blog. As he narrates in his notes, he tells the story of the murders of his own life in regards to the killings. Who is committing these acts?  Keeps you guessing until the end
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Our narrator, Malcolm, is a bookseller who no longer reads, a widower with difficulty connecting to people he cares about, and the owner of a bookstore that sells only mysteries. He becomes involved in an FBI investigation into a series of seemingly unrelated murders which correspond to a list of 'perfect murders' Malcolm had once posted to the bookstore's blog. It becomes apparent that the murderer has a personal interest in Malcolm's life, and might be using the murders as a way to lead the authorities to Malcolm.

"Eight Perfect Murders" is not what I expected it to be. It is a love story to the classic mysteries, and if you're a fan of Agatha Christie or Patricia Highsmith you might find yourself anticipating the book's many twists. That doesn't mean that you won't enjoy the read. It's fun to be in Mal's head as more and more relevant details become revealed, and as each new suspect is closer and closer to Mal's own life. In chapter 10 Mal tells us "I don't trust narrators any more than I trust the actual people in my life," and a careful reader will do the same.

The description for this book ends with the somewhat exaggerated "the noose around Mal’s neck grows so tight he might never escape," but I didn't feel like there was much at stake as I was reading. There's the FBI with the ever-present threat that they might someday consider Mal to be a suspect, but they are there to move the plot forward more than anything else. While I will not recommend this to my patrons looking for a police thriller, I will definitely be giving it a spot on the New Mysteries shelf.
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I absolutely love Peter Swanson’s books, he is amazing. I enjoyed this story and would recommend. I was engaged and connected with the main character. While there are many other novels referred to in the story, which could be confusing, Swanson did a great job of making this story understandable and not overwhelming. The plot is very well thought out & brilliant. Great job!

I would like to thank NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.
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YES yes yes to this novel. This is the PERFECT read for crime-fiction readers... references to old favorites are one thing I never get tired of, but coupled with a great plot of it's own is perfection. Great read!
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The beginning and first third of this book was great. The premise was wonderful, there were all the mentions of great murder mysteries, and books, we were told narrators are not always to be believed, and I was excited to read where this was going. Then it stopped.  The writing seemed choppy, Too many new characters were added, I stopped caring about the narrator, the murderer was a letdown, the  ending so-so, and what started out great crashed.
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I wanted to read this book because I'm a fan of the author.  It had been a while since I read a mystery, and this book made me wonder why I got out of the habit.  Lots of plot twists and turns I didn't see coming and fast pacing that kept me turning the pages--it felt like I read this book in no time at all!  Plus I loved the mystery literary references the author used to structure the plot.
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In an homage to classic mysteries, Swanson creates an artful tale of murder. Malcolm is part owner of a bookstore that specializes in mysteries. When a FBI agent reaches out to him about an old blog post he wrote about 8 books with what would seem to define the perfect murder,  Malcolm finds himself in a web of his own making. Who is testing his theory by mimicking in essence the perfect murder in the eight novels?
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Loved this! Lots of red herrings along the way that kept me guessing. Stayed up late to finish. Twisty but not over the top. Definitely recommend!!
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This murder mystery was written for avid murder mystery readers, for those of us who always know what book the movie was based on and exactly how it differs from the novel. The narrator, Malcolm, is a book store owner and a lifelong mystery reader. Years ago, on his bookstore blog, he listed eight mystery novels with "perfect murders." Each of the murders was different and each was almost impossible for the police to detect or to prove.
As Eight Perfect Murders begins, a young FBI agent enters the bookstore during a Boston blizzard and announces that someone is using Malcolm's list to commit "perfect" murders throughout New England. She enlists Malcolm's help in her investigation, and despite his deep reservations, he agrees to travel with her to the scene of one.

It's easy to get distracted by all the old mystery titles and plots the two read and discuss, to run to your bookshelf to scan an Agatha Christie, or refresh your memory of Strangers on a Train. This is a fun read, especially is you love old mysteries.
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I really enjoyed this story of a lonely bookstore owner who is drawn into a murder investigation as a result of an old blog post listing perfect murders from various mystery novels. As a librarian, I loved how the characters spent a lot of time discussing books. It made me want to track down some Patricia Highsmith and Agatha Christie titles. It turns out that the murders are connected to the main character and he has to come to terms with something in his past to find the killer. I thought the ending wasn't as exciting as it could have been, but otherwise I liked it.
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The book is an introspective of many of the great murder mystery novels of the past 80 to 90 years.  Peter Swanson is obviously a fan of the genre and exhibits a deep knowledge of those books that have been accepted as classics in the field. Malcolm Kershaw, the principal protagonist and the first person narrator of the events has grown up with a deep love of mystery stories and over his life has read most of those considered classics.  He has worked in the bookstore trade since he started working and currently is the working partner in a two owner book store called the "Old Devil"  The store has a reputation and makes a living in a field that has narrowed over the years with the advent of competition like "Amazon".  One of Malcolm's projects was to compile a list of eight fictional murders which he  termed "Eight Perfect Murders" as they all were not solvable with the list developing interest in the store.
     Malcolm did get married but his luck did not carry outside of the bookstore he worked at.  He found that his wife was cheating on him but did not know how to handle the situation.  Fate intervened when his wife left a pot party drunk and was killed in a one car accident while driving home.  Malcolm in thinking about the accident placed the blame on the man that was her escort and possibly her lover.  The problem was, of course, that if her escort was murdered as Malcolm dreamed of the police would automatically put the blame on him.  His solution was one that was written about by Patricia Highsmith in her 1951  book, "Strangers on a Train".  The novel postulated two men meeting accidentally on a train they were both on.  Each had a person that he wanted to kill but not to take any blame for it.  The solution arrived at was that each, at different times, would kill the person the other man wanted dead while the first one set up an alibi completely away from the murder location.
     Entranced with the idea Malcolm went on a web site and broached the idea for anyone needing help and familiar with the novel.  The query was answered by someone and the murder pact agreed to.  On the date that his wife's lover was killed Malcolm was away from the area with an iron clad alibi . Than in doing his part he found that the act was far from disagreeable.  Consumed with curiosity Malcolm began trying to locate and talk to the man that had killed his wife's lover.
     While the action involving Malcolm was playing out a series of murders started to occur which seemed to follow the crimes committed in the books shown on the "Eight Perfect Murders" list.  Malcolm was made aware of this when an agent with the FBI visited him claiming she had noted the similarity to those described in the books and asked Malcolm if he would help her.  He jumped in and became fascinated with the situation.
     The novel is a draw with the added attraction that it produces an education into the leading books written within the Murder Crime genre and for those readers wanting to take their interest in that direction a superb guide.  If the lists of books are not important Peter Swanson has presented an excellent trip into another world with a glance into twisted minds and a definite all nighter.
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