One of my favourite things about reading mysteries is trying to figure out the culprit. To me, looking for the hidden, and sometimes not so hidden clues, and trying to outwit the writer by seizing on the killer's identity before the end of the book, is fun and exhilirating. It whets my appetite and stimulates my curiosity button into overdrive.
If my 'killer deduction' method works, I pat, thump, and preen my reader ego until my right hand tires. That's how it always was until my detecting skills collided with the ingenious plotting of those writers who can outwit me with one hand behind their back.
I'll only mention two - yes, there are many more. Agatha Christie's novel, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, knocked me down a notch or two and, more recently, Hakan Nesser's, Borkmanns Point, stimulated my curiousity button to the nth, however, I had the culprit. And then, an intelligent single, devious sentence, made me doubt myself. It was a clever gottcha and I loved it!
How about you? Ever been fooled?