For his first blog post on his bookstore’s website, bookseller Malcom Kershaw compiled a list of the eight most perfect murders in fiction. Nearly ten years later, FBI Special Agent Gwen Mulvey steps into his mystery bookstore, Old Devil’s Bookstore, looking for information on a series of unsolved murders that are strikingly similar to the list of “perfect” murders he compiled all those years ago. Mal agrees to help Agent Mulvey, but the killer is out there, watching, and knows far more about Mal and what he keeps secret than the does the FBI.
Eight Perfect Murders begins with the disclaimer: “A Memoir,” the first hint that all may not be what it seems.
“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.” — The Drowner by John D. MacDonald
Part old-fashioned mystery novel, part appreciation of popular contemporary mystery tropes, part celebration of some of the best crime and mystery novels of the genre. This is a book for those who love mysteries and appreciate the thrill of the chase and the many twists and turns that arise.
Eight Perfect Murders is a puzzle, ideal for a lazy day stuck inside. It’s such a quick and exciting read, you’ll devour it in one sitting.
For fans of Julie Murphy’s Dumplin’ comes this young adult novel about two sixteen year olds conquering their external and internal demons…
Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven is a book told from the two main characters’ perspectives (Jack and Libby). Jack and Libby are high school juniors who attend Martin Van Buren High School in Amos, Indiana. Both characters have personal struggles that accompany them throughout their daily lives.
Jack has Prosopagnosia, a neurological disorder where people cannot recognize other people’s faces, even those of close loved ones. Jack has not confessed his condition to anyone until he meets Libby their junior year of high school. In addition to this, Jack is very angry with his dad’s poor choices and how they affect his family.
Libby is returning to school for the first time since fifth grade. She stopped attending after being bullied about her weight. Then her mother passed away suddenly. Libby gained a significant amount of weight following her mother’s death which ultimately resulted in her having to be cut out of her home and becoming an unwanted viral story. Through therapy, a strict meal plan, the help of various professionals, and encouragement from her father she makes a lot of strides and feels ready to return to school her junior year.
Libby dreams of joining the school’s dance team, the Damsels, since she loves to dance. Jack wants to fit in with his peers, but in his free time he creates things. Throughout the book Jack is working on a robot for his youngest brother, Dusty. Early on, Libby and Jack are brought together by an unfortunate encounter. They quickly learn new things about each other and begin to develop feelings. Will their relationship last? Will Jack come to terms with his disorder and tell others about it? Will Libby’s dancing moves wow the Damsels? You’ll have to read to find out!
I was in Topeka recently for a meeting. I finished my audiobook on the drive there. I wanted to start a new one on the drive back and this was on my list.
Like the main character Adam, I participated in debate and forensics in high school in Kansas. In fact, I was an assistant coach during some of the years the story takes place. Many of the places and people in the book are real and that added to the pleasure of listening. Except for Fred Phelps and his church. It’s hard to really enjoy anything about them, but it did add to the realism.
I did have some trouble with this book. The story does jump around in time and space and Adam is not the only perspective character. Having multiple narrators helped me keep track of that, but even so, it was difficult at times to discern what was going on. That sometimes happens to me in audiobooks as I listen while I drive, but the story and transitions felt stilted at times.
I do not regret listening to this one, but I will not recommend it to everyone. It helps to have an in built identification with one of the perspective characters. If you know high school debate and forensics and Topeka give it a try. Otherwise, you might not want to spend 10 ½ hours listening to the book.
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