Lawyers enjoy a little mystery

19 December 2014

Lawyers enjoy a little mystery, you know. Why, if everybody came forward and told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth straight out, we should all retire to the workhouse.

Dorothy L. Sayers

An archaeologist

18 December 2014

An archaeologist is the best husband a woman can have. The older she gets the more interested he is in her.

Agatha Christie

I have never felt the slightest inclination to apologize for my tastes

17 December 2014

I have never felt the slightest inclination to apologize for my tastes; nor to shrink from declaring that a mystery or detective novel boldly upholds the principle, in defiance of contemporary sentiment, that infinite Mystery, beyond that of the finite, may yield to human ratiocination: that truth will “out”: that happiness is possible once Evil is banished: and that God, though, it seems, withdrawn at the present time from both Nature and History, is yet a living presence in the world,—an unblinking eye that sees all, absorbs all, comprehends all, each and every baffling clue; and binds all multifariousness together in a divine unity….thus, in emulation of God, the detective aspires to invent that which already exists, in order to see what is there before his (and our) eyes. He is the very emblem of our souls, a sort of mortal savior, not only espying but isolating, and conquering, Evil; in his triumph is our triumph.

Joyce Carol Oates

The criminal

16 December 2014

The criminal is the creative artist; the detective only the critic.

G.K. Chesterton

It’s a damn good story

15 December 2014

It’s a damn good story. If you have any comments, write them on the back of a check.

Earl Stanley Gardner

There really must be a murder

14 December 2014

There really must be a murder, or at least a major felony — otherwise, what’s the point? Who’s ripping off the hand towels at the Dorchester Hotel is hardly the business of a mystery novel.

Howard Haycraft

The conventional view of mysteries

13 December 2014

The conventional view of mysteries…is as an essentially conservative genre. A crime disturbs the status quo; we readers get to enjoy the transgressive thrill, then observe approvingly as the detective, agent of social order, sets things right at the end. We finish our coca and tuck ourselves in, safe and sound….But what this theory fails to take into account is the next book, the next murder, and the next. When you line up all the Poirots, all the Maigrets, all the Lew Archers and Matt Scudders, what you get is something far stranger and more familiar: a world where mysterious destructive forces are constantly erupting and where all solutions are temporary, slight pauses during which we take a breath before the next case.

David Gordon

Nobody reads a mystery

12 December 2014

Nobody reads a mystery to get to the middle. They read it to get to the end. If it’s a letdown, they won’t buy anymore. The first page sells that book. The last page sells your next book.

Mickey Spillane

The best work

10 December 2014

The best work that anybody ever writes is the work that is on the verge of embarrassing him, always.

Arthur Miller

Books are delightful society

9 December 2014

Books are delightful society. If you go into a room and find it full of books – even without taking them from the shelves they seem to speak to you, to bid you welcome.

William Ewart Gladstone

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