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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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3.9 out of 5
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All Book Reviews

  • Mystery in a mystery

    Rules for Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson is my favorite mystery this year so far. This is a book lover’s dream book. Years ago, Malcolm Kershaw, owner of mystery bookstore Old Devils in Boston, wrote a blog listing eight books that he thought best represented unsolvable murders. The books were written by some of the most renowned mystery writers: Agatha Christie, Patricia Highsmith, Ira Levin, etc. Years later, Malcolm is notified by the FBI that they are conducting an investigation into murders that are being committed by someone who appears to be using his list of famous authors and books. It soon becomes apparent to Malcolm that the perpetrator must be someone he knows and he begins to suspect almost everyone in his life. This book will have you guessing all the way through. If you like old murder mysteries, you will love this new one. Highly recommended. Thank you to Faber and Faber Ltd. and NetGalley for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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    8 person found this review helpful

    8 people found this review helpful

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • A nice intro to classic mysteries.

    Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson was a soft read for me. I don’t know a better word to use. I kept reading because I was enjoying it and finished it quickly, but I wasn’t rushing to find out what was going to happen next like in some suspense and a lot of thrillers. In a way this felt like an ode to Swanson’s love for mysteries. I think if people are also fans of the classic mysteries and authors that Swanson includes in his list then the mystery in Eight Perfect Murders should be easy for them to figure out early on. I felt like Swanson had joined me with a glass of brandy next to a roaring fire and he was telling me a story of his past, not worried about the consequences when the reveal happened. He does give away the endings to the mysteries in his list, so if you haven’t read them and are planning to do so, you may want to read them before Eight Perfect Murders. This didn’t bother me too much because I had read most of them already and the ones that I hadn’t, I already knew the endings either because I had watched the movie or I was told the endings before because people refer to them so much while making lists and writing articles. The one thing that really stuck out to me and I felt was odd, not really needing to be in the book, was the way his partner’s wife was coming on to him at the end. It just felt like it was meant for a different story. I don’t see how it added anything and it didn’t need to happen for the reveal. I was a bit sad that it wasn’t a situation where he was being messed with by one of the other characters. I really thought it would have been a cool hook and I do love a female serial killer. This is the first book I’ve read by Peter Swanson, but I’ve heard great things about his other books so someday I’ll get to some of them. Life is too short and there are way too many books!

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    7 person found this review helpful

    7 people found this review helpful

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • The "Perfect" Thriller!

    It starts out almost like a cozy mystery with an unassuming, likable bookseller being drawn into a murder case. The murderer seems to be recreating “perfect” murders from classic mysteries. The FBI agent investigating the case goes to our main character Malcolm as an expert on classic literary murders because he owns and works in a bookstore specializing in mystery and crime novels. In the past he even wrote a blog post for the bookstore titled “Eight Perfect Murders” which the murder seems to be following. The FBI going to Malcolm for help seemed a bit tenuous and unlikely but I was willing to go with it as it made for a great setup. Turns out the FBI has good reason to go to Malcolm and as they investigate further it becomes clear that some of the victims had a connection to Malcolm. This is where things get really juicy! Malcolm is entirely pleasant if a bit introverted. He loves his cat Nero who lives in the bookstore and has a nice, quiet life. It’s all a bit quaint and familiar but hold on to your hats because something is coming that upends everything. The story takes a sharp turn that had my mouth hanging open in shock. I won’t give even a hint about what happened but holy crow it blew my mind! For me this truly was the “perfect” thriller. The literary premise leading to an absolutely shocking twist was just so darn good. I was lulled by the benign, almost cozy beginning then the rug was pulled out from under my assumptions pretty early on and the story only got better from there. I could not have predicted where this story was going to go. From beginning to end, “Rules for “Perfect Murders” was a fantastic and brilliant book and I can’t recommend it highly enough! Thank you to Faber & Faber for providing an Electronic Advance Reader Copy via NetGalley for review.

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    6 person found this review helpful

    6 people found this review helpful

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Eight Perfect Murders

    Book started off with an interesting plot with a lot of potential as to where the story could go but thought the writer could not finish the plot and took an easy out to the story in the end.

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    3 person found this review helpful

    3 people found this review helpful

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Disappointing

    I like Swanson generally, but this was a hard miss for me. It seemed contrived and the main character unlikeable and boring. Nothing particularly clever about this book. Glad I got it on sale as I would have been more disappointed if I ended up paying full price.

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    2 person found this review helpful

    2 people found this review helpful

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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