Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson

Murder by the Books 

“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.”

― Peter Swanson, Eight Perfect Murders


Is the owner of a bookstore specializing in mysteries, helping or hindering the FBI in their investigation of murders linked to a blog that he wrote?


Malcolm Kershaw is questioned in the investigation of numerous murders because his blog post listing eight novels that described the “perfect murder,” appear to be the inspiration for a spree of murders. What connection does the list have with the victims? Are the victims related to his ex-wife? How is the bookish Kershaw involved?

Kershaw’s first person narration adds tension to the novel’s edgy tone. The references to numerous mystery novels and trivia about them, may further entice lovers of this genre to give this twisty story a try.

Here is the list of mysteries in said blog. It might be better to read or refresh your memory of the books on the list before you read Eight Perfect Murders, so you aren’t inundated by spoilers if you are interested in reading any of the titles.

The list of books featured in this intricate plot are: 

The Red House Mystery (1922)- A.A. Milne

Malice Aforethought (1931)- Francis Iles

The A.B.C. Murders (1936)- Agatha Christie

Double Indemnity (1943)- James Cain

Strangers on a Train (1950)- Patricia Highsmith

The Drowner (1963)- John MacDonald

Deathtrap (1978)- Ira Levin

The Secret History (1992)- Donna Tartt

If you enjoy mysteries, you might also like:

Crooked River by Preston and Child:

The Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas:

Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman: