Thought I'd take a moment to share what the mystery genre has taught me over the last 30 years or so.
HERCULE POIROT taught me that if you think you're the smartest person in the room, everyone else will, too -- as long as you don't give them reason to think otherwise. (Agatha Christie)
MISS JANE MARPLE taught me that the best way to learn something is to keep your mouth shut and listen while people give themselves away. (Agatha Christie)
SMILLA JASPERSEN taught me that you don't have to be strong, you just have to be fast. (Peter Hoeg)
LISBETH SALANDER taught me that the best way to turn the tables is with a taser. (Stieg Larsson)
CHARLOTTE ARMSTRONG taught me that you don't need a crime to have suspense. (A Dram of Poison, 1956)
AMELIA SACHS taught me that there's a big difference between driving a computer and driving a car. (Jeffery Deaver, The Broken Window, 2008)
EVA WYLIE taught me that only unhealthy people stink when they sweat. (Liza Cody, Bucket Nut, 1992)
ANDREW VACHSS taught me that sometimes bad people are also good.
THOMAS HARRIS taught me that it's fundamentally wrong to ask your readers to root for a homicidal psychopath. (Hannibal, 1999)
PRECIOUS RAMOTSWE taught me that when you want an answer, you should come right out and ask the question. (Alexander McCall Smith)
ROBIN ANDERS taught me to never wear flipflops in New York City, lest the "feces and urine of a million dogs and cats flow like the waters of the Hudson" onto my feet when it rains. (Androgynous Murder House Party, 2009)
CRIME FICTION in general has taught me that being a busybody or a blackmailer is the best way to get oneself murdered.
MINETTE WALTERS taught me that it is possible to not write the same book 16 times.
MARTIN AMIS taught me that sometimes the best mysteries can have completely incomprehensible motives underlying them. (Night Train, 1997)
MARGARET MILLAR taught me that life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans. (Beyond This Point Are Monsters, 1970)
MARGARET YORKE taught me to never trust anyone, under any circumstances.
SARAH CAUDWELL taught me that a Campari and soda makes everything better.