Eight Detectives by Alex Pavesi is his first novel.
Named The Sunday Times Crime Book of the Month, the City Adventurers were keen to read it.
The book concerns a book editor who wants to publish an obscure novel of short story mysteries.
The obscure novel, entitled The White Murders, was written years ago by mathematician-turned-novelist Grant McAllister. He intended to prove that all mysteries follow a mathematical formula. To that end, each short story adds something to the formula.
The book was not a success when first produced. Now Grant McAllister lives in seclusion on a Mediterranean island and barely remembers it. That is until a book editor called Julia Hart travels to the island to visit McAllister and talk about his book.
The book opens with the first short story. Set in 1930s Spain, Megan, Henry, and Bunny are alone in a house when Bunny is found stabbed to death…..
The story has been read by Julia Hart to Grant McAllister throughout chapter one. In the next chapter they discuss the story and its meaning. The book continues in this way, interspersing the short stories with the developing relationship between the book editor and the author.
The stories themselves are written in a different style to that of the overriding story. As the book goes on these stories get more gruesome. It raises questions about what was the author thinking of and why did he choose the title he did? There are also little plot details to spot in each short story that don’t appear to make sense. Or do they? Is Grant McAllister playing tricks on his reader?
And is he the only one playing tricks? Why, for example, is Julia Hart actually visiting the author at all?
It turns out that both are holding back secret motivations.
As such, Eight Detectives contains a lot of twists. A book that makes you want to find out what is really going on. It has a satisfying ending, with loose ends tied up nicely. An OK read but not one I’d rush back to read again.