"The best men are not consistent in good—why should the worst men be consistent in evil?"
—Walter Hartright, The Woman in White, 1861, by Wilkie Collins
"Of course I despise money when I haven’t got any. It’s the only dignified thing to do."
—Cedric Crackenthorpe, 4:50 from Paddington, 1957, by Agatha Christie
"Human life is a sort of target—misfortune is always firing at it, and always hitting the mark."
—Sergeant Cuff to Mr. Betteredge, The Moonstone, 1868, by Wilkie Collins
"Let a fool be made serviceable according to his folly."
—Razumov, Under Western Eyes, 1911, by Joseph Conrad
"Quoting, like smoking, is a dirty habit to which I am devoted."
—Professor Kate Fansler, Sweet Death, Kind Death, 1984, by Amanda Cross
"Youth endures all things...Everything but time."
—C.W. Sughrue, The Last Good Kiss, 1978, by James Crumley
Man Robs, Then Kills Himself
—Headline in Vancouver Province, June 21, 1978
"Early on, I discovered the sometimes remarkable distinction between public appearances and private tastes."
—Kinsey Millhone, "C" Is for Corpse, 1986, by Sue Grafton
"The air coming in at the window made you gasp for more when what you really wanted was less."
—Archie Goodwin, Where There's a Will, 1940, by Rex Stout
"You see, but you do not observe."
—Sherlock Holmes to Watson, "A Scandal in Bohemia," The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, 1892, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
"The tragedy of marriage is that while all women marry thinking that their man will change, all men marry believing their wives will never change. Both are invariably disappointed."
—Bernie Sampson, London Match, 1985, by Len Deighton
"It is really a very hard life. Men will not be nice to you if you are not good-looking and women will not be nice to you if you are."
—Anne Beddingfeld, The Man in the Brown Suit, 1924, by Agatha Christie
"Stick to the alleybi. Nothing like an alleybi, nothing."
—The elder Mr. Weller’s advice, The Pickwick Papers, 1837, by Charles Dickens
"He had the kind of face that said ‘hate me’ and I wasn’t arguing."
—Mallory, No Cure for Death, 1987, by Max Allan Collins
"They say that genius is an infinite capacity for taking pains. It is a very bad definition, but it does apply to detective work."
—Sherlock Holmes to Watson, A Study in Scarlet, 1888, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
"Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent."
—Sherlock Holmes to Watson, "A Case of Identity," The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, 1892, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
"A man always finds it hard to realize that he may have finally lost a woman’s love, however badly he may have treated her."
—Sherlock Holmes to Watson, "The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual," The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, 1894, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
"He always has an alibi and one or two to spare."
—"Macavity: The Mystery Cat," Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, 1939, T.S. Eliot
"At gambling, the deadly sin is to mistake bad play for bad luck."
—Casino Royale, 1953, Ian Fleming
"There is no detective in England equal to a spinster lady of uncertain age with plenty of time on her hands."
—Reverend Leonard Clement, The Murder at the Vicarage, 1930, by Agatha Christie
—Philip Nore, Reflex, 1980, by Dick Francis
"Infatuation means ‘A love that it is inconvenient to go on with.’"
—Uncle Paul, 1959, by Celia Fremlin
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