There are two ways to eat a book: literally (“she devours mystery novels”) and metaphorically (“she carried the coffee pot to the breakfast nook, where an Agatha Christie novel was sitting on the table, cover peeled back to expose the text. After a swing of coffee, she tore out the first leaf, mouthing the title page until the paper deflated and softened against her tongue. Another glug of coffee; with satisfaction, she consumed several chapters, relishing the crunch of each crispy, ragged edge. It was four years to the day since she had locked her husband in the attic. She poured him the last cup of coffee, placing it on a tray with a boiled egg, then hauled herself to the top flight to shove the tray through the cat door—but hesitated on the landing. Against her better judgement, after the tray, she tossed in half a mangled paperback. Did he even like mysteries these days?