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Eight Detectives

Narrated by: Emilia Fox
Length: 11 hrs and 16 mins
4.1 out of 5 stars (51 ratings)

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Summary

All murder mysteries follow a simple set of rules. Grant McAllister, an author of crime fiction and professor of mathematics, once sat down and worked them all out.

But that was 30 years ago. Now he's living a life of seclusion on a quiet Mediterranean island - until Julia Hart, a sharp, ambitious editor, knocks on his door. His early work is being republished, and together the two of them must revisit those old stories: an author hiding from his past and an editor keen to understand it.

But as she reads, Julia is unsettled to realise that there are things in the stories that don't make sense. Intricate clues that seem to reference a real murder, one that's remained unsolved for 30 years.

Julia realises she's unwittingly entered a battle of wits where there can be only one winner. But Grant will soon realise that he underestimates her at his peril.... 

©2020 Alex Pavesi (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"When did you last read a genuinely original thriller? The wait is over." (A. J. Finn, best-selling author of The Woman in the Window)

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great listen highly recommend

This was a really unusual debut and I really enjoyed it. Is is essentially seven short detective stories linked together by the narrative of a writer trying to solve a further murder. They were all great stories and I enjoyed them all individually, there is a really clever twist in the last third of the novel which took it off into a different direction altogether along with the twist at the end. I would recommend this very different thriller.

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Just a series of short stories...

The book is a series of short stories tying together different forms of the detective genre, with a loose overarching storyline to link them together. Overall, the common thread is tenuous and the short stories necessarily lack depth. Maybe enjoyable for diehard fans of murder mysteries but perhaps give it a miss if you looking for a good story!

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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It was ok

It was quite clever, some of the individual stories were better than others. Why was chess mentioned in most of them but it was never explained. When I finish a really good book I am left wanting more. In this case I am left feeling a bit irritated.

1 person found this helpful

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Dreary

Disappointed in the stories and the outcome Had a underlying dreariness about the whole story.

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An interesting premise

I liked this book, and it's novel idea. I found the mini stories interesting and captivating, each proving a mathematical premise. But I found the ending, where Julia challenged Grant, a little confusing, as she flipped all the stories on their head. The narration was smooth, crisp and clean. A pleasure to listen to. All in all, a good listen.

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Nasty versions of Christie tales

I wanted to like this book but I really didn’t. The premise of an editor dissecting a tale to find the solution to a contemporary mystery is familiar from Anthony Horowitz’s Magpie Murders, and more recent Moonflower Murders. But this book is unnecessarily convoluted, and very drawn out. It’s more about the author being clever than writing a good story. Moreover, the Golden Age murder mysteries are far more gruesome than the Christie ones they copy. The details are needlessly nasty and the stories are curiously dull and flat. The book becomes tiresome after a while as there are no likeable characters in any of the stories, and the whole book is cold and clinical. The 1960s setting is ill-defined and unconvincing plus the feisty female ‘editor’ is too young to be sent on any such assignment. In addition, the language grates (a 30s starlet would have been called an actress not an actor) and the lumpy metaphors are too numerous to mention. Rules for Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson is much better.