The world is not breathless in anticipation of my next murder mystery.

I imagine those of you who are mystery writers have also received this memo.

Everyone is writing murder mysteries these days. There are mysteries that open an aperture into the world of dogs, of Boston gamblers, Icelandic housewives, Venetian art thieves, and even Polynesian fishermen. I haven’t read that particular series yet, but you know it is in publication.

 These days I read mostly non-blockbuster best sellers. The market will support and reward tried and true talents like James Patterson and Clive Custer. They will do very well without my purchases. If I want to read the latest Sue Grafton, and I always do; I confess, Sue, I’ll get it from the library.

 I look for up and coming writers like myself who have a few books out. A backlist of a couple of books is usually some assurance that the writer has taken the trouble to master the rules of grammar and spelling and has a grasp of story structure.  Perhaps the author has passed the novel through a critique group who are a little more honest than to react with ooohs and aaaahs of pleasure at every sentence.

 I was astonished when I did my taxes at how much money I spent on books last year. There is some dreadful writing, polishing, and editing out there. Many disappointments.

 I look back on it and remember a few choices that really thrilled me with the discovery of a delicious new talent. I’d like to share some of those and hope you’ll guide me to some new authors that thrilled you. Reviews aren’t much of an assurance, are they?

 Here’s a few: One-Eyed Jack by Christopher Lynch, Death on a High Floor by Charles Rosenberg, Hitman’s Guide to Housekeeping by Hallgrimur Helgason, and Big Lake by Nick Russell.

Who did you discover last year?

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