I’ve seen this gag a hundred times and it never works. Books don’t work that way! Mystery novels don’t end like…
his eyes finally fell upon Lady Penelope, whose face was immediately flushed with affrontage.
"Nor," said Inspector Goopsing, "was it you, Lady Penelope. Certainly you hated Mr Corpse, and no-one could blame you, what with all the shocking things he did that I found out about merely incidentally while investigating this murder, such is my observational and deductive genius. But no. In fact, the murderer was…"
Here the Inspector whirled around and pointed an accusing finger at Col. Windpipe, with an air of certainty and conclusiveness. A surprised puff of smoke escaped from the colonel’s pipe like an ejector seat.
"…Col. Windpipe’s brother, Dave!"
"It’s a fair cop," said Dave.
The mystery isn’t solved on the last page! The detective has to explain why and how the murderer did it, then the other characters react, then there’s gotta be a denouement, even a brief one. And after that there might be a couple of pages advertising other books from the publisher’s catalogue — almost definitely, in fact, in a cheap paperback like most mystery novels are.
Even when I was a little kid, this joke never worked for me. I could try to suspend my disbelief, but I had read any book before.
Gag writers, I know it seems like a funny idea for a joke; truly I do. BUT GIVE IT UP.
There is a simple solution to this. Jon is reading Encyclopedia Brown.