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Eight Detectives (2020)

by Alex Pavesi

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4082851,971 (3.29)41
PRE-ORDER THE GRIPPING, SENSATIONALLY ORIGINAL THRILLER THAT WILL HAVE YOU GUESSING UNTIL THE VERY LAST PAGE 'When did you last read a genuinely original thriller? The wait is over' A. J. FINN, bestselling author of The Woman in the Window 'I couldn't put Eight Detectives down . . . I genuinely wanted to applaud at the end' ALEX NORTH, bestselling author of The Whisper Man 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 thirty 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, probing inside it. But as she reads the stories, Julia is unsettled to realise that there are parts that don't make sense. Intricate clues that seem to reference a real murder. One that's remained unsolved for thirty years . . . If Julia wants answers, she must triumph in a battle of wits with a dangerously clever adversary. But she must tread carefully: she knows there's a mystery, but she doesn't yet realise there's already been a murder . . . 'So, so clever. Agatha Christie would take her hat off to this one - bravo!' Sarah Pinborough, author of Behind Her Eyes 'An absolute triumph of a novel. I read it in two greedy gulps. Intelligent and compelling storytelling. Utterly brilliant' Ali Land, author of Good Me Bad Me 'I have never read a book quite like this . . . Original, clever and compelling' Rachel Abbott… (more)
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» See also 41 mentions

English (27)  French (1)  All languages (28)
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
This is a very clever book, likely to appeal to fans of Anthony Horowitz or Peter Swanson (in his Eight Perfect Murders mode). Lots of misdirection, and, well, cleverness.

I enjoyed the writing style and was definitely entertained, but not as much as by Horowitz or Swanson. One of those books where I can’t point to anything bad about it, but it just didn’t sweep me off my feet. I’m going to refrain from my normal practice of rounding a 3.5 up, and leave it at a 3. ( )
  BarbKBooks | Aug 15, 2022 |
Metafiction about mystery stories. Publisher goes to a remote island to visit the author of a small run, out-of-print collection of mystery stories that demonstrate mathematical characteristics of such. Mostly sets, subsets, variations on. Each story they read & discuss illustrates a variation: eg suspects are all killers, only two killers, and so on.)

Contains some spoilers:
The book is a bit plodding but the pay-off is the ending where we find out that the publisher doesn’t believe that the man she is speaking to is the author and has verified this all along by changing the endings of the stories. She then provides the originals. It’s very interesting to see more than one possible solution to a set of circumstances. Shades of Anthony Berkeley Cox! There is an additional extra twist as to the authorship of the stories.

Pg. 263 "'The craft, then, is the misdirection: in picking the solution that in some ways seems most unsuitable to the story you’ve written, but in other ways fits perfectly.'
'Yes', Grant said. 'And that is what differentiates a murder mystery from any other story with a surprise at the end. The possibilities are presented to the reader up front. The ending just comes back and points to one of them.'" ( )
  ParadisePorch | Jul 2, 2022 |
Full of twist and turns. An author who hasn't written in 20 years after his famous White Murder. Moved to a quite away island, finds a male lover, dies and his lover takes his identy. He can't answer questions on his other books creating doubt in the reascher who is actually the real authors daughter. Very good read ( )
  BryceV | Mar 6, 2022 |
Somehow I never really connected with this book, and am struggling to understand why it has received so many dazzling reviews.

The book takes the form of a series of exchanges between a literary editor and the writer of a selection of short mystery stories which he had written several decades earlier. The writer had composed his stories to demonstrate the different fundamental plotlines in the whodunit genre, which he had identified through a forensic, almost mathematical study. The editor had found a copy of the book and was considering what scope there might be to issue a new edition.

To be honest, none of the sample stories struck me as having any merit at all (nor even the consolatory quality of conciseness), and I found it very difficult to summon any empathy for, or even interest in, the characters.

This proved to be one of those instances where my optimism proved sadly misplaced, and my decision to keep pressing on because it might get better was sadly awry. ( )
  Eyejaybee | Feb 25, 2022 |
Was very disappointed. The individual stories at the heart of this book were mostly unpleasant, and none of them were clever. Most of the mysteries taking place in the framing story were hinted at so clearly that only one of the final reveals was in any way surprising. This book was trying to be intricate, but ended up a mess. Even the title failed to scan. ( )
  quartzite | Feb 15, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alex Pavesiprimary authorall editionscalculated
Fox, EmiliaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The two suspects sat on mismatched furniture in the white and almost featureless lounge, waiting for something to happen.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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PRE-ORDER THE GRIPPING, SENSATIONALLY ORIGINAL THRILLER THAT WILL HAVE YOU GUESSING UNTIL THE VERY LAST PAGE 'When did you last read a genuinely original thriller? The wait is over' A. J. FINN, bestselling author of The Woman in the Window 'I couldn't put Eight Detectives down . . . I genuinely wanted to applaud at the end' ALEX NORTH, bestselling author of The Whisper Man 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 thirty 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, probing inside it. But as she reads the stories, Julia is unsettled to realise that there are parts that don't make sense. Intricate clues that seem to reference a real murder. One that's remained unsolved for thirty years . . . If Julia wants answers, she must triumph in a battle of wits with a dangerously clever adversary. But she must tread carefully: she knows there's a mystery, but she doesn't yet realise there's already been a murder . . . 'So, so clever. Agatha Christie would take her hat off to this one - bravo!' Sarah Pinborough, author of Behind Her Eyes 'An absolute triumph of a novel. I read it in two greedy gulps. Intelligent and compelling storytelling. Utterly brilliant' Ali Land, author of Good Me Bad Me 'I have never read a book quite like this . . . Original, clever and compelling' Rachel Abbott

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