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Eight Perfect Murders

(Malcolm Kershaw #1)

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  57,852 ratings  ·  8,330 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
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Lisa The last line is, "It's nice to think I'll leave a mystery in my wake." I'd rather there not be a sequel and we are left wondering if he went through …moreThe last line is, "It's nice to think I'll leave a mystery in my wake." I'd rather there not be a sequel and we are left wondering if he went through with it, especially if his "body will never be found."(less)
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)

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Average rating 3.64  · 
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 ·  57,852 ratings  ·  8,330 reviews

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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
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
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
Meredith (Slowly Catching Up)
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
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)
I have no idea how to rate this book...
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
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
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
Guess who got the ARC?! Me!

Can't wait to read this one ASAP...
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
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
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
Lala BooksandLala
Mar 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller-mystery
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
Dorie  - Cats&Books :) (on hiatus until Oct 10)

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
JanB(on vacation till October)

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
David Putnam
Apr 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This one isn’t quite a wow, but I really enjoyed it just the same. What’s not to like a book about mysteries? Oddly the title is a misnomer, how can the murders be perfect if the suspects are all caught?
The story is told in first person which in this book really worked, though the author does do a little cheat by not telling use everything that the character knows. The plot is complicated but in the more than competent hands of Swanson I was never lost. The author does break the forth wall is s
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
May 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I listen to the audiobook of this book. This book is a psychological suspense thriller, and this is the first book in the Malcolm Kershaw series. I have been really been wanting to read this book. I got pulled into this book from the beginning. I enjoy listening to the audiobook so much. I have to say I did see some of the twist coming, but I also did not see some of them coming. I think me guessing the twist was part of why I enjoyed it so much. This is not like any other psychological suspense ...more
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
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
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
Sep 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson is a 2020 William Morrow publication.

A mystery lover’s delight!!

Malcom Kershaw is a bookstore owner whose main area of expertise happens to be crime fiction.

Several years back, Malcolm wrote a blog post in which he listed eight books he considered perfect fictional murders.

What books made the cut?

The Red House Mystery, Malice Aforethought, The A.B.C. Murders, Double Indemnity, Strangers on a Train, The Drowner, Deathtrap and The Secret History.

The bl
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
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,
May 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
for once in my life i'm glad i have the tendency to stockpile more books than i can read. this is my third date with peter swanson and he's fast becoming my author-version of that friend you can call up anytime and be guaranteed a fun night out on the town.

these days i am easily distracted and my brain feels like porridge most of the time, so even pleasure reading has been difficult for me. but this was a short, fast, one-day delight of a book that made me remember what it was like to not have
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
Jeffrey Keeten
Jun 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
”Even though I stopped reading crime novels myself--violent death loomed too large in them--I knew enough to help my customers. I was a bookseller, and I was good at it. That was enough.”

There are a lot of things Malcolm Kershaw doesn’t want to talk about. Life has thrown him some unexpected curveballs. The biggest one being his wife dying in a car accident. There is plenty of blame to go around, but Malcolm knows who is most responsible for his wife’s death.

Eric Atwell--drug dealer.

He isn’t s
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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Goodreads Librari...: Please combine 3 114 May 03, 2022 09:32AM  
Play Book Tag: Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson - 4 Stars 4 20 Dec 09, 2021 07:29PM  
What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Adult Fiction: Mystery that depends on seven classic mysteries. [s] 7 33 Oct 06, 2021 01:23PM  
same story? 2 19 Oct 02, 2021 11:13AM  
SB Indy Book Club: Enjoyed Discussion 1 9 Aug 12, 2021 04:04PM  

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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 Asimov’s Science Fiction, Th ...more

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