I've been busy this morning filling my extra hour with many little tasks in the kitchen, as well as giving my cats some well-earned extra attention. But now they’ve gone off to have cat naps in their favourite spots and I’ve got a steaming cup of chai and a delicious Date Bar, as well as a slice of freshly baked Date Bread, to warm me up on this chilly, rainy morning.
I read a really interesting book this past week, Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson. I don’t remember how I heard about it, but I’m so glad I did! Malcolm Kershaw is a middle-aged widower who owns a used bookstore in Boston, and each day is much like the next, until one snowy afternoon when an FBI agent shows up at his door asking him about a blog post he wrote nearly two decades before, a post he called “Eight Perfect Murders”. This post listed what then-mystery-fiction-reader Malcolm considered the eight best, cleverest, and most “unsolvable” murders in fiction, including Agatha Christie’s The A B C Murders, James M Cain’s Double Indemnity, Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train and Donna Tartt’s The Secret History. Now Agent Gwen Mulvaney thinks that someone has discovered this list and is re-enacting these murders, but in real life. Malcolm is more than willing to help uncover any links to these possible crimes, but things become more complicated as further details about the backgrounds and histories of various characters are revealed. I don’t want to give away anything more, as I don’t want to spoil it if you decide to read it, but suffice it to say that I will try never to assume anything about anyone ever again, especially used bookstore owners! At first it seemed a simple, straightforward, darkly funny, yet “light” mystery, but the more I read, the darker and more complex the story became, this twisting, turning, metafiction page-turner that moved so fast I had to stop and catch my breath before reaching a relatively satisfying conclusion. It began as a “Canadian Tire” book but quickly turned into a “Lee Valley” read that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys dark, complex psychological thrillers.
That’s it for today. Enjoy your extra hour, whatever you do, and remember to make time to read!Bye for now…