Skip to main content

Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson Book Review

Reason for Reading This Book:

Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson was recommended to me by my mother. She was reading this book at the time and asked if I was in need of a recommendation and I was. She said it was not a fantastic book but would be a good filler book while I wait for other books I was on the waitlist for. Before I checked it out my mom did give me a short description of the book and it seemed interesting. I also love when we read the same book because then we can talk about them once we both finish. Around the time I started the book my mom texted me to tell me she stayed up later to finish it. This gave me an idea that the plot was captivating.


Content of This Book:

Malcom Kershaw is a mystery book seller and owner of Old Devils Bookstore in Boston. Years ago when he first started at the bookstore he complied a list of eight books that in his opinion depict 'perfect' murders. The unsolvable murders are those that are almost impossible to solve. Malcom's list includes Agatha Christie’s A. B. C. Murders, Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train, Ira Levin’s Deathtrap, A. A. Milne's The 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 The Secret History. When presented with the idea that his list is being replicated in real life murders by an FBI agent, he is thrust into a criminal investigation and an investigation of his own. Mal toys with the idea that the murderer is someone he knows and that they wants him to solve the murders to unveil the murderer. 


What I Liked About This Book:

Something my mom really enjoyed and something that I did too was the constant reference to the books on the Eight Perfect Murders blog post list written by Mal. I have only read a few of the books mentioned on this list, but had heard of others. It has been years since I read some of the books on the list so it was enjoyable to relive them in a different way through the plot of this book. As a book blogger I found it interesting to have a narrator who did the same thing. I have never constructed a list of book recommendations or created a list on a specific topic, but I have referenced lists like this when looking for recommendation for what to read next. The plot was not the most thrilling thriller or mystery/crime book I have ever read, but it was interesting enough to keep me reading and thinking about it when I was not actively reading it. I found the telling or explanations behind the crimes/murders to be the more interesting part of the plot.  


What I Disliked About This Book:

I have said this to other readers and have possibly mentioned it in a review before, but I do not like most books written by males and told from the point of view of a male narrator. I know I am not alone in this opinion as I have heard it from other female readers. Something that really bothers me about this book was the focus on drinking. I am by no means opposed to drinking, I do it occasionally myself, but the amount of focus this book put on it was excessive and in my opinion unnecessary. I would have been fine with it if the author just mentioned it on occasion, but that was not the case for this book. The whole time I was expecting the reveal of the murders to have something to do with drinking to give reason for why it was a main focus and spoiler alert, it had next to nothing to do with the murders. I found the narrator to be very unlikeable. I could never follow his thinking which just led to frustration. There were parts or explanations in the plots that were so quickly spoken about or briefly mentioned that I found myself confused when I did not take as much time to truly let the details sink in. When discussing this book with my mom we both felt the same and were double-checking details about the murders with one another. In my opinion the writing style and choice of what to include in which chapter made the reading chunky. There were times when the murder or pieces to the overall plot could have and should have been solved or realized a lot sooner. The ending was quite predictable but there was an underlying feeling that Mal might be an unreliable narrator. 


Would I Recommend This Book?

As I said in the reasons for reading this book, I was looking for a filler or distraction book to read. I agree with my choice and to categorize this book as a filler book and distraction book. This is not the best or most compelling thriller that I have ever read, yet it is an interesting read if you are a big reader or have any experience in reading famous crime books like those on Malcom's list. Overall I enjoyed the plot and would recommend it to reader who also enjoy thrillers. 

Check out my book reviews for 2023!!

Horse by Geraldine Brooks  
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger
Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll
Hester by Laurie Pico Albanese
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
Environmental and Sustainability Book Reviews 2022
Self-Improvement Book Reviews 2022
American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
Know My Name by Chanel Miller
The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley
Not All Diamonds and Rosé by Dave Quinn
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Golden Girl by Elin Hilderbrand
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton
A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham 
Girls With Bright Futures by Tracy Dobmeier and Wendy Katzman
Run, Rose, Run by James Patterson and Dolly Parton
The Summer Series by Jenny Han
A Stolen Life: A Memoir by Jaycee Dugard
The Housewives: The Real Story Behind the Real Housewives by Brian Moylan
Verity by Colleen Hoover
All Rhodes Lead Here by Mariana Zapata
Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
Our Country Friends by Gary Shteyngart 
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Majesty: American Royals 2 by Kathrine McGree
Every Last Secret by A.R. Torre

Check out my book reviews for 2021!!

2021 Book Rankings

Beach Read By Emily Henry
People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
Maybe In Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Educated by Tara Westover
The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig 
The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan
Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins 
We Are the Brennans by Tracey Lange
Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins 
We Are the Brennans by Tracey Lange
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Klara and the Sun 
The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner
American Duchess by Karen Harper 
Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters
Girl With No Job by Claudia Oshry
Down the Habit Hole by Holly Madison Book Review
My Story by Elizabeth Smart
Layla by Colleen Hoover

Check out my book reviews for 2020!!

Check out my book reviews for 2019!!

Check out my book reviews from 2018!!

Don't forget to stay up to date on my blog by following my social media accounts!
Instagram: @whenishouldbestudying


Popular posts from this blog

Reasonable Dorm Room Cleaning Schedule

Reasonable Dorm Room Cleaning Schedule After my first semester of college I have developed a cleaning routine that I have been able to keep up with. You can read my previous blog post about What I Learned In My First Semester of College . Over the past few months I have experimented and I am confident in the routine that I have created.  Personalize When it comes to personalizing the schedule you could add or take out the different chores. For example I also wash my retainers weekly and monthly my roommate and I decorate the marker board on the outside of our door. We also only clean our mirrors when needed since we have found that they do not seem to become too dirty regularly. Something that I would make sure you sanitize every week would be the surfaces that you are constantly touching. That means light switches, door handles, and your desk. By doing this I managed to avoid getting sick when my roommate and other floor mates go sick. Another task that you could add to y

Bullet Journal Fitness and Workout Spread Ideas

If you want to purchase some of these spreads you can buy the digital bundle from my Etsy shop: Simply Paperless .  I had created six different bullet journal fitness and workout trackers/spreads. These spreads were made in my digital bullet journal using the GoodNotes App.   I highly recommend to use a stylus when using GoodNotes as a digital bullet journal. For this project I used the Adonit Dash 3 Stylus , which I highly recommend. I also recommend the Bargain Depot Stylus 2 Pack  from Amazon. Daily Workout Plan This first spread can be used to plan out what exercises you plan to workout each day of the week. I would recommend this spread for those who are just starting to workout. I did not created the workout that is used as the example for the content of this spread. The workout is from Pintrest Workout Plan .  Workout Tracker This next tracker is in the format of a monthly calendar. In order to track the different workouts accomplished throughout

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus Book Review

Reasons For Reading This Book: Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus was Jackie's choice for the month of October. Jackie is the host of The Readheads Podcast Book Club. This is a monthly podcast book club that I have been apart of since it was established in 2020. I love getting to hear the thoughts of the hosts each month.  Content of the Book: Elizabeth Zott is a chemist but is much more than meets the eye. She is not only beautiful but also extremely smart, confident, strong, and not afraid to beat to her own drum. Elizabeth is one of the only female chemists working at Hastings Research Institute. She is viewed as different by everyone there. It's there that she meet Nobel-Prize nominated chemist Calvin Evans. Calvin who falls in love with Elizabeth is described as a loner, grudge holder, and extremely brilliant. Fast forward a few years and Elizabeth is now a single-mother working as the host of the most watched cooking show, Supper at Six . With Elizabeth's ways of