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  • Very Clever

    **This book is also known as Eight Perfect Murders** Any book-blogging, list-making lovers might want to reconsider, if they are thinking about devising a top ten of their favourite crime fiction novels! Unreliable narrator and bookseller Malcolm Kershaw runs and part owns The Old Devil's Bookstore specialising in crime fiction, in Boston, Massachusetts. Way back in 2004, Malcolm, now an introverted widower, came up with eight book titles, after quite an agonising ordeal, even going so far as include a couple that he hadn't actually read but had researched the plots, that he included in his blog. These books represented a personal list of the eight perfect murders in crime fiction and they are: 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 (1950) Patricia Highsmith The Drowner (1963) John D. MacDonald Deathtrap (1978) Ira Levin The Secret History (1992) Donna Tartt One wintry day, FBI Special Agent Gwen Mulvey shows up at Old Devil's Bookstore and begins to question him about several murders, which could, or not be related to his list. Gwen believes that Malcolm's list is slowly seeping into reality, with a killer progressing their way through it, being guided into committing the perfect murders in actuality. Malcolm becomes embroiled into the investigation, partly to aid the FBI and also maybe as a suspect, and it's fair do's to say he has secrets of his own. Malcolm makes the perfect single narrator; he controls every aspect of the story and I was completely caught up in his tale, eagerly scrolling through the pages to see where I would be taken to next. He incorporates a breadth of knowledge of the mystery genre, and chucks in a number of red herrings, whilst gradually leaking his secrets. For me, Rules for Perfect Murders (aka Eight Perfect Murders) was a celebration and an appreciation of the mystery genre. Keeping pace with Malcolm as he tried to make sense of events and happenings was quite a feat. I had a lot of fun trying to unravel Malcolm’s secrets and figure out the enigma of the eight perfect murders. I loved this clever book and I think those who have a true love for the craft will love Rules for Perfect Murders. I absolutely adored the author's book, 'Before She Knew Him'. Rules for Perfect Murders has made me a fan of Peter Swanson, all over again! Thank you to Peter Swanson, Pigeonhole, Faber and Faber, and NetGalley for the complimentary copy and the opportunity to read this book. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

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    4 person found this review helpful

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    4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Rules for the perfect murder

    Definitely worth a read. I will be reading another ones of Peter Swansons books

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    2 person found this review helpful

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    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • thoroughly entertaining and enrapturing read

    Originally published in 2020 by Faber & Faber as Rules for Perfect Murders in the United Kingdom, it was titled Eight Perfect Murders by Harper Collins in the United States. This sixth book by Peter Swanson uses classic mystery novels to detail local murders using similar methodology. The narrator is Malcolm Kershaw, a joint owner of the Old Devils Bookshop in Boston and a crime thriller aficionado. He teams up with FBI Special Agent Gwen Mulvey to help solve a number of murders connected via famous crime story murders. It seems the killer knows Malcolm too well and the investigation reveals more links to him, placing his life in danger. Having read a couple of Peter’s previous books, this is by far his best with its inspired basis of using crime book references as clues. A thoroughly entertaining and enrapturing read if you are a bibliophile, making for a four-and-a-half-star rating. Note: the second of the two titles is the far more accurate one in capturing the essence of this murder mystery, an ode to Agatha Christie and co.

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  • great!

    Great setup, clear plot, amazing twists and unexpected reveals, this book is just amazing, would reccommend to 14+

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    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Mybe its just me.

    Enjoyed this book but found some parts a little confusing. Eg. When did and how did Steven Clifton die? Maybe its just me.

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