Book Thirty-Seven: Dearly Devoted Dexter

Yes, another cheesy mystery. It has just been that kind of week, what with foul grey skies and dull weather and all. I actually finished this book yesterday afternoon, but I didn’t really know what to say about it, so I just mustered the will to write about it. I mean, there’s not that much to say about a cheesy mystery. It’s not like this book provided any deep or interesting insights into the human condition.

However, it does give me a chance to rant about one of my pet peeves, which is abuse of library books.

This book stank like someone smoked a cigarette with every other page and then vomited perfume on it. I can’t decide if it was the same person, or two different people. If it was the same person, why do people think that two bad smells will cancel each other out? You can still smell the reek of tobacco stench, skulking behind the overwhelmingly foul floral and alcoholic notes of the perfume.

Normally, I smell library books when I check them out, to make sure that they don’t stink. But this was a book on hold, and I’m not really sure what the etiquette is there. I guess I should start smelling books and then just wordlessly handing them to the librarian with my lip curled.

The thing is, when I bring a stinky book home, it makes my life stinky. My bookbag stinks like this book. I washed my hands after reading it, and my hands still stink like this book, let alone the spot on my sheets where I rested it while reading. I mean, I object to stenches on general principles, but this offensive foulness has permeated my house in the course of just a few short days. It’s personal now. I’m tempted to hang the book on the fence to de-stink, except the library gets riled up about water damage.

I’m also not sure what the etiquette is in terms of reporting it. When I read a book with obvious damage (or underlining! WHO UNDERLINES LIBRARY BOOKS?!) I usually report it to the librarian. Partly because I don’t want to be accused of causing the damage, and partly because it’s annoying, and I think they should know about it. And I want the last patron to get reamed.

But stench isn’t as clear cut, in terms of damage. I doubt they¬† would retire the book for circulation or replace it if I complained about the stench. Maybe I should set up a trust fund for the replacement of stinky books.


Dearly Devoted Dexter, by Jeff Lindsay. Published 2005, 292 pages. Fiction.