I love a good mystery. I have to admit though that the books I like have to be of a certain kind since I truly hate gore, and certainly don't want to know the personal details of the character's love life. I have over the years devoured mysteries such as the Cadfael series by Ellis Peters, and of course the wonderful Miss Jane Marple by Agatha Christie.
After many years the number of mysteries that can still fill my personal criteria has dwindled since I've read a goodly number of them already. So this summer has been the time to look for a lighter fare to read, or what everyone seems to call a summer read. My personal reading list this summer has included the Evan Evans series by Rhys Bowen, and a whole catalog of Torie O'Shea mysteries by Rett MacPherson.
My personal criteria for any good mystery even in the summer begins with great characters, and of course an interesting story line. Some good first books in a series can sometimes end up being way too formulaic if an author continues to stay safe by using or even replicating part of the original story lines. This fixed sort of book seems way too prevalent on the market today and you have to be very discerning to discover new authors who actually create great stories and great characters too.
One way might to discover what you're looking for is to pick the brains of your friends who just might have a similar tastes in books as you. Another avenue might be to frequent sites online like Stop You're Killing Me (http://www.stopyourekillingme.com/) or Cozy Mysteries. List (http://www.cozy-mystery.com/). Both sites offer interesting sleuths who work in a wide range of places and centuries. Another place to look online, though not an exclusively mystery driven site, is Fantastic Fiction (http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/). I found my own personal favorite author Candace Robb there.
If you're looking for good medieval mysteries you can't match Ellis Peters books (The pen name for Edith Pargeter) which are centered around a12th century Welsh monk called Cadfael. Another great character is the 13th century Roger the Chapman who can be found in the books by Kate Sedley. These two are just a taste of the mysteries and writers available today.
So, how do you find that just right book to read? Whether it's a a fluffy summer read, or that intensely dark mystery for those dark days of winter don't guess at what might be a good read but take a little time to find the exact one to fit the bill!