Book Review: Eight Perfect Murders


Eight Perfect Murders

By: Peter Swanson

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 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 History.

But no one is more 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 wife.

To 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 more victims dead—and the noose around Mal’s neck grows so tight he might never escape.


Genre: Mystery

Rating: ⭐⭐

Bookish tip: Be prepared for eight original mysteries to be spoiled.

This review will be short but not so sweet. I actually despise the fact I have to rate this one so low. It is NOT in my nature to do so. Yet…here we are…

I read Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson for April’s #threefriendsbookclub pick. If it was not for my own co-hosting book club, I probably would have not finished it.

Why? I was absolutely miserable throughout the entire novel. It is extremely slow moving. I got bored. It also spoils the plot to eight original mystery novels including Agatha Christie’s ABC Murders. I am not sure if this book is suppose to pay homage to the OG mystery novels or if it is just a rip off. Either way, it fell flat.

Honestly, I wanted to throw the entire book across the room once completed. The ending made me so mad…..I get fired up just thinking about it.

Recommendation: Sad to say..this book was not for me. Readers Beware.

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Other Book Recommendations

If you’re a fan of a good mystery, try these novels. I just finished Lucy Foley’s The Guest List and really enjoyed it. A full review is coming soon but why not enjoy it now? The others are on my TBR.

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Did you read Eight Perfect Murders? Did you love it? Hate it? Let me know!

2 comments on “Book Review: Eight Perfect Murders”

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