He was sick of the excuses and the lies. He was tired of the evasions and the untruths, of people refusing to stand up and speak the truth and take responsibility for their own actions. It seemed to him like yet another symptom of the decline of Western civilization; of chaos; and climate change; and environmental disaster; and war; disease; famine; oppression; the eternal slow slide down and down and down. It was entropy, nemesis, apotheosis, imminent apocalypse and sheer bad manners rolled all into one.
People were not returning their library books on time.
–the opening paragraphs of Mr. Dixon Disappears, by Ian Sansom (Harper), book two in the Mobile Library Mystery series