Peter Swanson: Rules For Perfect Murders

This review is written with thanks to Pigeonhole for the opportunity to read and review Rules For Perfect Murders.


If you want to get away with murder, play by the rules

A series of unsolved murders with one thing in common: each of the deaths bears an eerie resemblance to the crimes depicted in classic mystery novels.

The deaths lead FBI Agent Gwen Mulvey to mystery bookshop Old Devils. Owner Malcolm Kershaw had once posted online an article titled ‘My Eight Favourite Murders,’ and there seems to be a deadly link between the deaths and his list – which includes Agatha Christie’s The ABC Murders, Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train and Donna Tartt’s The Secret History.

Can the killer be stopped before all eight of these perfect murders have been re-enacted?


I’ve never read anything by Peter Swanson before but I enjoyed his writing style and the journey through which he guided the reader in order to find the killer. Rules For Perfect Murders is very cleverly written and I loved trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together.

Malcolm Kershaw is one of the most unreliable narrators I have ever come across and at times, it was impossible to work out what the truth was. He wasn’t a particularly likeable character but he was well drawn and I was intrigued by his life.

Malcolm works in a book shop and I enjoyed the references to well known crime novels. These added to the air of mystery throughout the novel and gave me a frame of reference to guess what was happening.

Rules For Perfect Murders is something of a slow burn, and at times, reading in staves was quite frustrating as it meant that it could sometimes take a few days for things to become clear. However, I really enjoyed the way it came together as the novel reached its conclusion.

Rules For Perfect Murders is available from Amazon. 

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