I love a mystery. That’s a good thing because there are so many terrific ones to enjoy. I’m not just talking about fiction; there are plenty of true crime books so creepy that they can cause a reader to lose sleep (I have). That supports the old proverb “Truth is stranger than fiction.” But, I’d rather read a mystery novel than a true crime story because I won’t already know the ending . . . at least not usually. More recently I’ve come to realize that as a veteran mystery reader, it’s often not a challenge to determine the identity of the culprit, even before the detective or mystery solver has figured it out. Nevertheless, I continue to read mysteries for sheer pleasure.
One of my favorite mystery writers is Nevada Barr. Her stories are set in national parks throughout the US (the parks are hotbeds of murder whenever Anna Pigeon, the protagonist, is around). Elizabeth George is another favorite. She writes complicated characters who often have disturbing inclinations. More recently, I’ve started exploring the books of S.J. Bolton, having read Now You See Me, and now I’m hooked. Her protagonist, Lacy Flint, is a troubled woman with a difficult past. I love the brooding types. For me, they are much more interesting than the mentally healthier characters like Qwill in the Cat Who mysteries. I like my mysteries dark.