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Publisher's 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)

What listeners say about Eight Detectives

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

sense of familiarity

loved the narrator. Emilia Fox easily drew me into the story ......the individual stores were ok ...but had a feeling it was nothing new .....similar to Ellery Queen, Agatha Christie etc.....in the last one third I felt the author tried too much to give us twists nad unfortunately it did not appeal to me.....wanted everything in a bow and contrived. overall average ...but could have been great :(

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A breath of fresh air

A unique book in every way (well almost). The ending was a bit predictable but overall, I enjoyed it a lot. The narration was excellent. She really made the characters come alive.

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  • Anna Nairn
  • 30-06-21

clever book

Every murder mystery was a treat. It was crammed full of twists and turns. Very enjoyable

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  • 02-09-20

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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  • Sararara
  • 26-09-20

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.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 30-10-20

Eight Detectives: absolutely original

Even one of these stories and subsequent conversations between the presumed author and acting publisher would have stood out as a most satisfying and thought-provoking book but the full book offers a rich, multi-layered ingenious treat.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Alexander Johnston
  • 28-09-20

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!

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  • Suzanne Poole
  • 22-08-20

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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  • eric.rayner@btinternet.com
  • 21-06-21

A collection of whodunnits with a twist

A modern book with a whiff of Agatha Christie.

I didn't guess the ending, it was a complete surprise.

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  • Tasmeena
  • 02-06-21

Abysmal

This book started off promisingly enough, but soon became very tedious and formulaic and it became apparent that the two dimensional characters were not going to be brought to life in any way. It was hard going but I stuck with it on the promise that it was all building to an interesting ending. Unfortunately it just sort of fizzled out and the hours of unenjoyable listening weren’t redeemed by the unsatisfying ending. It was an interesting premise but very poorly executed. If you want a book within a book, you’ll be better off with Death is the Word by Anthony Horowitz. This was dismal.

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  • Nic
  • 26-01-21

Shame about the ending

A lovely listen up to about the last two hours. Unfortunately the author then goes off on a bit of a power trip and start adding in details that the reader just doesn’t care about. But still worth a listen.

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  • AndyT
  • 12-12-20

Page turner

This book kept me guessing until the very end. A riveting story, start to finish.

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  • Gill
  • 06-12-20

Bad short stories

If you enjoy short stories you might like this book, I personally found it terrible - I would have returned it but we had no internet for about a week so I stuck with it hoping it would get better. Several stories were so bad I fast forwarded to the last couple of minutes just to hear the solutions.