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Rules for Perfect Murders

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3.69  ·  Rating details ·  5,407 ratings  ·  1,412 reviews
From a master of suspense...

Eight classic murders.
A single crime obsessive.
Countless thrilling twists.

A 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
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Published March 3rd 2020 by Faber & Faber
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Susan No. I think it would add to it but I hadn't read any of the books referred to and I still loved it! It does kind of spoil those classic mysteries…moreNo. I think it would add to it but I hadn't read any of the books referred to and I still loved it! It does kind of spoil those classic mysteries though as Malcolm reveals the killer and how they did it for several of the books. So if you don't want the classics spoiled then read them first.(less)
Karen It doesn't spoil all of the books listed in Eight Perfect Murders. I haven't read all of them, but some of the ones I haven't read are described as…moreIt doesn't spoil all of the books listed in Eight Perfect Murders. I haven't read all of them, but some of the ones I haven't read are described as the reader possibly knowing what is happening from the beginning, so the mystery may be more of whether they are caught. This book definitely spoils The Secret History and Deathtrap (both on the list), and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd and And Then There Were None (both not on the list). It spoils some of the mystery, but not who did it, of the A.B.C Murders and The Red House Mystery. I've read Strangers on A Train, and you pretty much know what is going on in that one from the beginning, so it is not spoiled. This may also be true for Double Indemnity, Malice Aforethought and The Drowner, as I have not read these but this book rather describes them that way.(less)
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Emily May
Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill
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
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Meredith
Oct 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweiss
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
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Dita
Sep 27, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible
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
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Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
Guess who got the ARC?! Me!

Can't wait to read this one ASAP...
Nilufer Ozmekik
Mar 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Chelsea Humphrey
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
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Holly  B
This one was a page turner from the beginning. (for me)

What a bookish tale!

A bookish narrator- Malcolm Kershaw

A bookish setting - Old Devils Bookstore

A 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
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Debra
Aug 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweiss
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
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Mary Beth
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
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Paromjit
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
I have no idea how to rate this book...
JanB
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
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Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
***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
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Beata
Mar 24, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was fun to read as the plot revolves around well-known murder mysteries, published over decades, and books. The narrator is the co-owner of a bookshop, and being a little less enthusiastic about reading, reviewing and blogging than in the past, he tries to do business but not at all cost. One day he is approached by an FBI agent who seeks his assistance with solving some unexplained murders, and this is when the ride begins.
Malcolm is an unreliable narrator (my favourite kind!), and
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Jayme
Dec 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. Milne
Malice Aforethought (1931) Anthony Berkeley Cox
The A.B.C. Murders (1936) Agatha Christie
Double Indemnity (1943) James M. Cain
Strangers on a Train
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Will Byrnes
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
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Kaceey
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
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Lala BooksandLala
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
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Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
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,
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Marialyce
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
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Susanne  Strong
Dec 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweiss, buddy-read
3.5 Stars

A 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
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Gabby
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
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marilyn
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,
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Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
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
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Ceecee
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Danielle (The Blonde Likes Books)
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
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Faith
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, edelweiss
...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
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Berit☀️✨
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 ...more
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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 Asimovs Science Fiction, The ...more

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