All murder mysteries follow a simple set of rules.
In the 1930s, Grant McAllister, a mathematics professor turned author, worked them out, hiding their secrets in a book of crime stories.
Then Grant disappeared.
Thirty years later, ambitious editor Julia Hart arrives on a secluded island. She intends to republish these mysteries, and she’s finally tracked Grant down.
But there’s something curious about his seven murderous tales.
The stories’ secrets seem to offer clues to a real crime – a mystery that’s remained unsolved for thirty years.
Julia’s come looking for answers. But now she’s locked in a battle of wits with a dangerously clever adversary who wrote the book on murder…
Firstly a huge thank you to Ellie and Jen at Michael Joseph for inviting me to be involved in the marketing of this mighty debut. I was sent a stunning proof in a slipcase as well as a finished copy of the book and I took part in a brilliant murder mystery event via Zoom – wine included. It was all such fun and I have loved being involved and now here we are, publication day for Eight Detectives. Congratulation to Alex Pavesi.
All murder mysteries follow a simple set of rules:
1. Two or more suspects
2. One or more victims
3. An optional detective, or detectives
4. A murderer
So, a lesson in solving a murder, deliciously presented as seven murder mysteries, add a mathematical formula for murder, plus a real murder in a murder story and welcome to Eight Detectives.
The book begins with a murder, one body and two suspects and this is the first murder in the book White Murders by Grant McAllister. Grant and editor Julia Hart review the story together and then unpick the mystery, applying the formula for a murder mystery as devised by Grant. This format continues through the book each story evidencing the application of the formula and subsequently discussed in a conversation between Grant and Julia.
Thus there are seven murder mysteries presented, therefore plenty in this book to keep any sleuth busy. I won’t tell you how many I solved but suffice to say I won’t be embarking on a career change to investigator any time soon. The writing and indeed the mysteries take the form of the classic murder mystery, the clues are there waiting to be solved. The summing up at the end reveals all and the effect is gleeful.
But add another layer to all of this, the fictional book is called The White Murders, innocuos enough but actually the unsolved murder of Elizabeth White is known as The White Murder, could there be a link? And as we near conclusion another twist that adds food for thought but fear not, as with any classic murder mystery all is explained in the grand finale and this book stays true to course.
This book was a highly entertaining read, I love the concept of murder mysteries and enjoy them immensely, this despite being useless at solving them, but for a more enquiring mind there are clues aplenty and one story even advises the reader to stop and take stock, solve the mystery, who could have done it and how?
Highly recommended for all, but I think there is enough mystery here for fans of The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, right through to fans of crime fiction and traditional murder mysteries – love Agatha Christie? – this if for you!
About the Author
Alex Pavesi lives in London, where he writes full time. He previously works as a software engineer and before that studied mathematics to PhD level, during which time he worked as a part-time bookseller. Eight Detectives is his first novel.