Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Eight Perfect Murders (Malcolm Kershaw, #1)” as Want to Read:
Eight Perfect Murders (Malcolm Kershaw, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Eight Perfect Murders

(Malcolm Kershaw #1)

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  11,887 ratings  ·  2,494 reviews
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 unso
Hardcover, 270 pages
Published March 3rd 2020 by William Morrow
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Eight Perfect Murders, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
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 thou…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 th…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)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.65  · 
Rating details
 ·  11,887 ratings  ·  2,494 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Eight Perfect Murders (Malcolm Kershaw, #1)
Emily May
Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 "1
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 genius...Ma
Sep 27, 2019 rated it liked it
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 ta
Oct 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: edelweiss

“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 b
Nilufer Ozmekik
Mar 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 watchin
Mary Beth
Oct 26, 2019 rated it liked it
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 on
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
Guess who got the ARC?! Me!

Can't wait to read this one ASAP...
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
I have no idea how to rate this book...
Chelsea Humphrey

"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 Chris
Aug 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 peop
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
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
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 Dea ...more

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 mo
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 w
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)

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 o
Lindsay - Traveling Sister
4+ stars!

A refreshingly unique, suspenseful, clever and addictive mystery!

This was my first Peter Swanson book and I loved it! I connected with the writing, characters and storyline immediately and that connection remained strong throughout.

Malcolm owns a small bookstore with a loyal customer base. Years ago, he started a blog for the store and his first blog post outlined his list of eight of the most cleverly written murder mysteries. Years later, Malcolm is approached by the FBI who are inve
Dec 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. Milne
Malice Aforethought (1931) Anthony Berkeley Cox
The A.B.C. Murders (1936) Agatha Christie
Double Indemnity (1943) James M. Cain
Strangers on a Tra
Lala BooksandLala
Mar 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 s
Will Byrnes
Feb 23, 2020 rated it liked it
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
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:

-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 cri
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 ca
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Mar 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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,
Susanne  Strong
Dec 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 h
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 auth
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, list
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
Larry H
Apr 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars.

Is there really such a thing as a “perfect murder”?

Malcolm Kershaw leads a fairly quiet life. He co-owns a mystery bookstore in Boston, and apart from his employees and the occasional friend, he mostly spends his evenings alone, listening to music and reading, ever since his wife died a few years ago.

One snowy day he gets a visit from an FBI agent about a series of murders which seem to replicate those committed in Agatha Christie’s A.B.C. Murders , as well as one that might be patt
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.. 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 l
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Lantern Men (Ruth Galloway, #12)
  • The Deep
  • Everything My Mother Taught Me
  • You Are Not Alone
  • The Other Mrs.
  • The Book of Lost Friends
  • The Stranger's Wife
  • Docile
  • A Conspiracy of Bones (Temperance Brennan, #19)
  • Highfire
  • A Window Breaks
  • The Neighbours
  • Almost Just Friends (Wildstone, #4)
  • The Third to Die
  • Three Hours
  • The Glittering Hour
  • The Poison Garden
  • Run Me to Earth
See similar books…
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, Th ...more

Articles featuring this book

When you work at Goodreads, it's pretty tough to keep that Want to Read shelf under control. (And let's be honest, most of us don't even t...
120 likes · 28 comments
“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.” 13 likes
“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.” 1 likes
More quotes…