Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What Kind of Mysteries are your Favorites?

Lately I've been receiving free books from Simon and Schusters--and I'm not sure why.

The last two--and the ones I'm reading now--are by Swedish female authors. Frankly, they aren't books I would've picked out on my own. I am enjoying them, but the big thing I've noticed about both is that include way more back story about each character--even insignificant ones that don't make another appearance in the story. Of course this makes for a "big" book.

I've received others that are odd and full of language--not the kind I usually read, but with an intriguing story.

Because I feel obligated because I'm receiving the books free, I not only read them, I write reviews--reviews I put on Amazon and on my own blog. I only write positive reviews, though I might say that because of the language or on stage violence etc. I wouldn't have picked that particular book myself.

Right now I have another I'm half way through and have two more on my TBR pile.

So, you might ask, what type mysteries are your favorites?

First, I'll say I don't care much for silly cozies. I like animals in books, but I don't like to know what they are thinking and saying or how they solved the crime. I like a cozy if it's not contrived. By that, I mean reaching too hard to make it funny or a particular hobby to fit.

I also don't like books that describe violence or sex crimes done to children or women. That doesn't mean a book about either--I just don't want to read all the gory details. I feel the same about horror movies--I do like scary, I don't like slash and gushing blood.

A story that drags--if the events don't move along, I may stop reading.

Okay, so here's what I do like:

A good puzzle.

A hero or heroine I can like. A few flaws are okay, but I'm not fond of drunken sleuths, or ones who can't speak without uttering a cuss word.

Books set in different places, places I've never been including made-up locations that still reflect the area where they are supposed to be located. Or another way of saying it--a place that has the "flavor" of the part of the country where the fictional setting is located.

Suspense. It doesn't have to have non-stop action, but there is enough suspense to keep me turning the pages.

Enough clues that I can follow along and even make some educated guesses as to who the perpetrator is--but I don't have to be right, though sometimes I am.

Surprise endings are fun--but there doesn't have to be one.

An ending that ties up the crime. The bad guy found out. If it's a series, it's okay to have some of the minor threads still untied--but they better be picked up in the next book.

I also like thrillers--ones that keep me turning pages.

In fact, there are few mysteries that I don't like.

What are your favorites?



Clarissa Draper said...

I'm kinda picky with my mystery reads as well. I'm not a fan of cosies but I will read them for fellow bloggers. My favourite are crime fiction from the UK. For instance, Val McDermid, Lynda La Plante, Deborah Crombie, Elizabeth George, and so on...

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

I like those books too, but not as well as some others. I'm a fan of Jan Burke and Wm. Kent Krueger, but also like a lot of authors from small presses.

Morgan Mandel said...

Puzzles are fine, but can't stand the complex ones.

Also can't stand info dumps.

Love suspense and characterization.

Morgan Mandel