My mom is a big reader of mystery novels, so much so that even though I’m up for some mysterious happenings in my books I rarely read them because it seems more like a mom thing. (Also because it seems one so often runs into the trope of the dedicated policeman with disastrous personal life, which doesn’t really work for me. I mean I hope you catch the killer, but it’s hard for me to have much sympathy when I think your wife was right to leave you.)
Anyway, looking around for a reliable bus read, I picked up The ABC Murders by Agatha Christie. A serial killer is working his (or her) way through the alphabet, killing Alice Ascher in Andover, Betty Barnard in Bexhill, Carmichael Clarke in Churston and sending letters to Poirot about it. The most interesting thing about it for me is how all the characters are apparently used to investigating those cozy country house murders where there are obvious motives and obvious suspects. They are so perplexed and run around going “Madman! Random killings! What to do?” Unlike, say, me, who has watched enough cop shows that I think “Oh, another serial killer, here we go again.”
I shouldn’t talk about the end, I guess, but it was actually surprising. Excellent.