Malcolm Kershaw owns The Old Devils Bookstore, a bookstore in Boston specializing in mysteries, even though he no longer likes to read mysteries. These days he prefers history and poetry. Not that he tells his customers that. Or Agent Mulvey, the FBI agent who enlists his help looking into a string of murders tied to a list he once wrote: a list of eight perfect murders drawn from eight classic mysteries that includes Strangers on a Train, The A.B.C. Murders, and Deathtrap. Malcolm's not a murder suspect, yet, but he does have some terrible secrets he wants to keep hidden. And if these murders are truly tied to that list he wrote, then the killer might be targeting Malcolm next.
There's a lot to like about Peter Swanson's Eight Perfect Murders. The mystery itself is clever, with good suspense and some unexpected twists along the way. And it revolves around books, something I always like. I'd read several of the mystery novels mentioned in this one, which made it even more fun. There's an awesome bookstore cat named Nero. And Malcolm is a likable narrator and, with all his flaws, felt very human. I knew he was hiding something, but I wasn't sure what. It made me not quite trust him, and the reveal at the end left me feeling a little cold, but I still really liked this one. In fact, I thought it was as enjoyable as the Agatha Christie mysteries it references.