October 12th, 2011 / 3:18 pm

How to End a Mystery

“Oh,” said the warden. “I see.” Then through the phone. “Let the fifth man go. He’s all right.”


Blue Murder had never been shod. –Wilbur Daniel Steele

I often wish I had. Maybe she left me a note. –James M. Cain

And in the south, always. –Dennis Lehane

They made little splashes and the seagulls rose off the water and swooped at the splashes. –Raymond Chandler

“Well,” said the inspector, “if you are so sure, I’m inclined to agree. You’ve never made a mistake.”

But why kill him, Warren? What for? –Henry Slesar

“Gave her a good look at my face. My face is important to me.” –Joyce Carol Oates

The sheriff threw it open, and upon the floor, sprawling in a smear of blood, lay Simon Kilrail, with a dueling pistol in his hand. –Melville Davidson Post

Mr. Osterweil had gone up to the hundred-and-second floor and jumped from the observation deck. –Jerome Weidman

Comb it wet or dry? –Ring Lardner

Ellery grinned and began to chop down the cherry tree. -Ellery Queen

“You ought to have known I’d do it!” My voice sounded harsh and savage and like a stranger’s in my ears. “Didn’t I steal a crutch from a cripple?”


  1. Anonymous

      Terrific. How about these?
      “Gold stars. Alone with his dead.” — James Ellroy”I just kind of stopped all over.” — Jim Thompson”He had no idea where he was going and he didn’t care.” — David Goodis”The last I saw of  him, he was hurrying out of Rosie’s place, stumbling over Fireball’s grave.” — James Crumley”I’d say no dawns ever did break right over her and me again.” — Daniel Woodrell

  2. Jay-r

       Charles Willeford’s _Pick-Up_. What an ending.

  3. jesusangelgarcia

      And in the south, always. – LOVE

  4. deadgod

      For[tinbras].  Let foure Captaines
      Beare Hamlet like a Soldier to the Stage,
      For he was likely, had he beene put on
      To haue prou’d most royally:
      And for his passage,
      The Souldiours Musicke, and the rites of Warre
      Speake lowdly for him.
      Take vp the body; Such a sight as this
      Becomes the Field, but heere shewes much amis.
      Go, bid the Souldiers shoote. –Shakespeare

  5. Doug

      a personal favorite: “They didn’t fool the Old Man. He gave me merry hell.”