3 Star Friday - or Try a Perfect Murder (0326) - Jo-Ann Carson

3 Star Friday – or Try a Perfect Murder (0326)

1 – Reading

This week I read a mystery, Peter Swanson’s, Eight Perfect Murders. The prose is deliciously smooth. The plot is well-paced and twisted in all the right ways. As Lisa Gardner wrote, “Swanson rips us from one startling plot twist to the next… A true tour de force.”  

“Years ago, bookseller and mystery aficionado Malcolm Kershaw compiled a list of the genre’s most unsolvable murders, 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 Deathtrap, A. A. Milne’s The 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 The Secret History.” (back blurb)

When dead bodies begin to fall the FBI contact Kershaw to find out if there’s a link between his blog post about eight perfect murders, and the recently deceased. The book is captivating. I really liked the first-person narration, and I found myself swept away by the story.

In the end, I felt sad. Just plain sad, as I a do after a noir. But if you don’t mind darker endings, go for it. It’s a really good mystery.

2 – Listening

This week I’m shouting out 2 podcasts and 1 audiobook. 

  1. Walter Isaacson on Crispr, Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing and the Future of the Human Race (Tim Ferris podcast, #503). A fascinating interview. I love the way Ferris engages his guests in deep discussions about humanity. You know how much the microchip has changed our world. According to Isaacson, “The molecule is going to become the new microchip.” Well worth a listen.
  2. Joanna Penn on Taking the Long View to Create a Life you Enjoy Around Your Writing (Wish I’d Known Then … for Writers podcast #059, with Jami Albright and Sara Rosett) This is a practical and inspiring episode for writers full of tips and insights on how to settle into a creative life that makes sense for you.
  3. I finished listening to the highly acclaimed audiobook, The Art of Memoir, by Mary Karr, author of The Liar’s Club. It covers a lot of information about creating
    memoirs, but her advice also applies to writing in general. One tip that sticks with me is to anchor (my word) your story around real objects, such as the ring your mother gave you on your sixteenth birthday. Karr believes in writing the real stuff (my words), from the bones as others might say. You can’t hide behind walls.Throughout the book she refers to well-known memoirs.

3 – Thinking (or at least trying to)

“At some crucial tipping point, the best fictional worlds become collaborative acts. By way of collective effort and belief, a fantasy achieves a kind of mental sovereignty. It becomes not just a book or a movie or a television show in which people happily spend a few spare hours a week, but a universe that people never have to leave, one they prefer to reality.”

Charles Yu, Reality After Trump, The Atlantic, February 2021.


Every day is a blank page waiting for you to write the story,

Namaste, my friends,


P.S. My husband has a vaccine appointment!!! My heart is dancing and I hear violins.