There are soooo many mystery writers out there. It seems like there are more mystery writers than before, i.e., that the genre is burgeoning. It also seems like themed mysteries, e.g., involving animals (a recent dog favorite is the Chet and Bernie, a relatively new series by Spencer Quinn), desserts, antique books, needlecrafts (yes, I read those), bed & breakfasts, etc., are very popular now. I always enjoy a good British mystery, esp. if it's a series; that way I get to enjoy the characters for a good long time.
Right now I'm blazing through Martha Grimes's Richard Jury/Melrose Plant mysteries. One fun tidbit is that all the books are named after actual existing or, in some cases, no longer existing pubs. They have some odd pub names over there, e.g., I Am the Only Running Footman. Or: The Man With A Load of Mischief. Love those names. Love them. The characters are equally at home in a pub having a pint or in a teahouse having a cuppa. They go through a lot of pints and cuppas.
The Man... was the first in the series, pub. in 1981. Richard Jury is with New Scotland Yard. He meets Melrose Plant, a wealthy ex-Lord (he gave up his titles, Lord Ardry being just one of them), in the first novel. They solve mysteries together, with help from a supporting cast of characters, such as Sergeant Wiggins, Jury's health nut/hypochondriac sidekick.
There's also Plant's fellow villagers in Long Piddleton, oddballs all: Marshall Trueblood (wealthy antiques shop owner), Diane Demorney (wealthy...person), Aunt Agatha Ardry (Melrose's American aunt by marriage to his late uncle), Theo Wrenn Browne (odious proprietor of the village book shop, The Wrenn's Nest), Dick Scroggs (publican of The Jack and Hammer), etc.
And then there's Jury's neighbors: Mrs. Wasserman ('garden' or 'basement' apartment dweller; older woman; overly nervous of security due to having survived the Holocaust as a youngster), Carole-Anne Pulatski (top floor apartment dweller; younger woman of indeterminate age - 20? 25? works as Madame Zustra at The Starrdust; in Jury's eyes, the hottest woman he's ever met). Together, this older woman and this younger woman mother and sister Jury and also occasionally assist in a case. There's also a guitar player who recently moved into the long empty second floor apartment; I can't remember his name at the moment. But his dog's name is Stone and he visits Jury and appears in the novels more often than his person does.
Although they're called Richard Jury Mysteries, Plant figures largely in many of them. Grimes seems to be getting away from featuring Plant so much in the later books, two of which I read before I decided to go back and read them in order; also seems to be de-emphasizing the side characters; I prefer them emphasized. Anyway, Jury's a very good character, but so is Plant. Jury's thoughtful, sensitive, private, intelligent, etc. Plant's a lighter character: he's easygoing, intelligent, not as pensive as Jury, sociable, etc. While I wish I knew a Jury IRL, I might prefer to know and hang out with a Plant IRL. While both Jury and Plant can be humorous, Jury is funny while Plant is witty.
I think I'd like the series to make it to film, say, as a tv series like Masterpiece Mystery.
I've read all but 3 of the 22 books in the series. They're easy reads so I'll need to find my next sleuth soon. I think I'll try Ed McBain's 87th precinct novels. I read his Matthew Hope series, but stayed away from reading his 87th precinct bc I just wasn't ready to think about starting a series that has so many books in it. If I like the first in the series, I'll have, potentially (unless I find I don't like the series at some point), that many books to read. Bottom line is, I have a fear of commitment. Another series I'd like to read is the Inspector Morse series. I've read one of those, but really enjoyed it. The PBS series was also great, which makes me want to read the books; I'm sure there'll be so much more to the books.