Rules For Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson – Review

Title: Rules For Perfect Murders

Author: Peter Swanson

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Publisher: Faber & Faber

Publication Date: 5th March 2020

Rating: 4.5/5



Eight classic murders. One killer thriller fan…

The gripping new thriller from the master of psychological suspense.

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?


There is something about Peter Swanson’s books in that they always manage to pull the rug out from under you in the best way possible. They genuinely feel unpredictable and have a darkness to them that I just love. Rules For Perfect Murders has a really fun premise. It follows Malcolm Kershaw, a bookseller, who once wrote a blog post about his ‘eight perfect murders’ in mystery fiction. Things get strange when someone starts committing a string of murders using the methods or philosophy of the ones on Malcolm’s list.

This book is honestly the perfect choice for anyone who loves books. Even if you haven’t read all the books mentioned on Malcolm’s list (I had only read three) it really doesn’t take any enjoyment away from the story which weaves the details of each book in so beautifully to the narrative. Book bloggers and frankly most people seem to love lists so the whole idea of Rules For Perfect Murders is brilliantly witty. In fact, the book is fantastically meta without ever taking it that bit too far. Mystery and crime lovers will have so much fun reading this – I certainly did. Equally, fans of classic literature and of movies in the mystery genre will be thoroughly entertained by the twists and turns of the story. Swanson has a tone to his writing that is immediately identifiable as his and also deliciously addictive. I can’t wait to read whatever he comes up with next.


I received this e-arc through Netgalley. My review is my own honest opinion.

3 thoughts on “Rules For Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson – Review

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