In the shadowy world of the mystery novel, nothing is ever quite what it appears to be, including the nature of justice itself. The justice on the surface of detective stories is earth-bound and human-centered. Fictional detectives mimic real-world investigators: their primary tools are science and psychology, not prayer or heavenly visions. You won’t find Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot conducting trials by ordeal, or P. D. James’s Adam Dalgliesh making suspects walk over hot coals to prove their innocence. Yet beneath the surface of every mystery lies a powerful, sustaining faith: that perfect justice is not only possible but inevitable. Truth and righteousness ultimately will prevail.