I am in general a sci-fi guy. I would guess I read 70% sci-fi, 10% fantasy, 10% non-fiction, and 10% other. If you don’t count Sherlock Holmes, this is the first Mystery novel I have ever read.
What I really like about sci-fi is the ideas. I love when sci-fi gives me some new thought or viewpoint. I also think I probably enjoy sci-fi because of my desire for awe. Billions of stars, millions of aliens, a galaxy spanning civilization, those sort of things. So, given all this, what is there for me in the world of Mystery novels?
I guess there is cerebral pursuit. It is hard for me to tell. Can I really predict what is going to happen? Whodunit and how will it go down? Not really. In Science Fiction, you often don’t know what is going to happen because ANYTHING could happen. In mystery, the universe of possibilities is much more constrained, but it is still infinite. Does my ability to guess which of the 7 character is the murderer indicate my high deductive skill (as I would like to believe) or simply my familiarity with the author’s style? Mysteries have a reputation for being cerebral, but I don’t really think it is deserved. This isn’t to say that they are dumb, simply that I suspect your deductive skills have more to do with author/trope familiarity and less to do with actual reasoning.
I would like to know of any detective books where it is possible to deduce the resolution before the big reveal without ambiguity. Something that is airtight and closed in resolution. Maybe I have to go back and read things repeatedly, but if I hold it all in mind, and use my facts properly, I end up with the right answer.
Anyway, “Best of Families” was a pretty good book. I have no real basis of comparison, it kept me pretty entertained, the last 3rd of the novel was pretty interesting. I would recommend this book for a flight with a layover. I think it would probably be best consumed in a minimal number of sittings.