The Eighth Detective by Alex Pavesi
English | 2020 | Mystery/Thriller | ePUB | 2.7 MB
There are rules for murder mysteries. There must be a victim. A suspect. A detective.
Grant McAllister, a professor of mathematics, once sat down and worked all the rules out – and wrote seven perfect detective stories to demonstrate. But that was thirty years ago. Now Grant lives in seclusion on a remote Mediterranean island, counting the rest of his days.
Until Julia Hart, a brilliant, ambitious editor knocks on his door. Julia wishes to republish his book, and together they must revisit those old stories: an author hiding from his past and an editor keen to understand it.
But there are things in the stories that don’t add up. Inconsistencies left by Grant that a sharp-eyed editor begins to suspect are more than mistakes. They may be clues, and Julia finds herself with a mystery of her own to solve.
Alex Pavesi’s The Eighth Detective is a love letter to classic detective stories with a modern twist, where nothing is as it seems, and proof that the best mysteries break all the rules.
An argument had been building between them all afternoon, ever since Bunny had brought their lunch to a sudden end. The three of us need to have a conversation, away from Spanish eyes. Megan looked out of the window again and there it was, as inevitable as the weather: the impending argument, a black stain layered over the blue sky.
“Chess is all about rules and symmetry,” she continued, “but conflict is usually just cruel and dirty.”
Henry strummed the guitar as a way of changing the subject. “Do you know how to tune this thing?” He’d found it hanging on the wall above his chair. “I could play this if it was tuned.”
“No,” she said, and left the room.
He watched her walk deeper into the house: successively smaller versions of her framed by further doorways along the corridor. Then he lit another cigarette.
“When do you think he’ll wake up? I’d like to get some fresh air.”
She was back, the biggest version of her standing in the nearest doorway.
“Who knows,” said Henry. “Right now he’s sleeping the sleep of the just-had-lunch.” She didn’t smile. “You can go ahead and leave. I think anything he has to say can wait.”
Megan paused, her face as pristine and unreadable as it was in her publicity photos. She was an actor, by profession. “Do you know what he’s going to say to us?”
Henry hesitated. “I don’t think so.”
“Fine. I’m going outside, then.”
He nodded and watched her leave. The corridor led away from the lounge in the direction he was facing, and he saw her walk down it and through a door at the end; the stairs were to his left.
He continued toying with the guitar strings until one of them snapped and the flailing metal cut the back of his hand.
At that moment the room darkened, and he automatically turned to his right: Megan was at the window, looking in, the red hills behind giving her outline a demonic glow. She didn’t seem able to see him; maybe the day outside was too bright. But he felt like a creature in a zoo anyway, with the back of his hand held over his mouth as he sucked the slight cut and his fingers hanging from his chin.