I like these mysteries so much that I've started to ration them for prescriptive reading. (Prescriptive reading? Books read with the intention of changing one's mood, attitude, or perspective, selected on the basis of their being considered likely to induce a desired change. I have all sorts of prescriptive books for all sorts of ailments: books to read when I have a cold, books for depression, for anger, for heart-sickness and inappropriate detachment. And then there are books for seasons, situations, and times of life. It isn't easy to match a book to an ailment, since personal tastes differ, but imagine if this was a valued skill. Every library or coffeehouse could have its own resident bibliognost available for consultation: 'I'm thinking of having an affair although I am financially and emotionally dependent upon my husband, can you recommend a book?' 'Come back to see me after you've read Madam Bovary
,' replies the bibliognost and she does and then starts a separate checking account. See? It makes a lot of sense to me.) The next book in this series is going to help me through a cold.