[Reading] ➾ Eight Perfect Murders By Peter Swanson – Alwaysonltd.co.uk
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 premiseabsolute geniusMalcolm 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 interestedvery 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 badso 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 can you ask for I love a gorgeous cat with a historymy oh my if this cat could talk. 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 MurdersYears 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 HistoryBut No One Is 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 WifeTo 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 Victims Dead And The Noose Around Mal S Neck Grows So Tight He Might Never Escape CLEVERBooks 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 genreWhen 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 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. Guess who got the ARC Me Can t wait to read this one ASAP 3.5 STARSDo 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 MarchMany thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy. 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 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 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 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 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 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. 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 why1 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. 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 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 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 he gets to know someone the 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 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.