Posted on December 18, 2008 at 5:03pm EST. More.

A detective novel mystery

This morning I finished re-reading a detective novel that I previously read in high school. I picked it up because I remembered the ending — specifically the unusual motive of the killer — but couldn’t remember exactly who the killer was and how it all came about. You might think it would be pretty boring to read a mystery novel where you know the ending, but plenty of intrigue came from trying to fit the ending to a story that didn’t quite match up.

As I said, this morning I arrived at the end of the book, and the ending I had remembered was nowhere to be found! So, like any good detective story, the book turned out to be a red herring, and this line of investigation has only turned up more questions: What is the book I am thinking of? Is the ending to be found in another Dashiell Hammett novel? Or was it a product of my imagination?