Sunday, March 8, 2020

Sixteen of the most perfect murders in crime fiction

Peter Swanson's new novel is Eight Perfect Murders.

The murders of title refer to a list of the genre’s most unsolvable murders compiled years ago by bookseller and mystery aficionado Malcolm Kershaw, those that are almost impossible to crack—which he titled “Eight Perfect Murders”—chosen from among the best of the best including Agatha Christie’s A. B. C. Murders, Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train, Ira Levin’s Death Trap, A. A. Milne's Red House Mystery, Anthony Berkeley Cox's Malice Aforethought, James M. Cain's Double Indemnity, John D. Macdonald's The Drowner, and Donna Tartt's A Secret History.

At CrimeReads, Swanson tagged eight more books which nearly made the original list, including:
Deep Water (1957) by Patricia Highsmith

Much happens in this artful Highsmith portrait of a suburban couple, but an early murder, enacted in a swimming pool, is what made me pick this book. Drowning by murder seems like the type of act that would easily be mistaken as an accident. And drowning by murder at a drunken cocktail party makes it even better.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue