I am truly hooked on detective stories. I'm a genre junkie! I don't know if it's the summer or a reaction to everything else going on around me. For example, my wife has done a stint of jury service recently and the mess that is the real criminal case can't equal the excitement of a really good whodunit.
With the exception of the master, Sherlock Holmes (I am enjoying his American adventures by Larry Millett), I find most English detective fiction anodyne and bland. For me, continental Europe produces the best writing. Without doubt, Italy heads the list with Donna Leon, Andrea Camilleri, and Gianrico Carofiglio, as I've mentioned before.
I also think of southern Europe as containing Engrenages (Spiral), the French policier recently shown on BBC4. (Which was ended in such a way as to ensure series two.)
Northern Europe--all rectitude and hidden subversion--is creating marvellous characters such as Kurt Wallander in Sweden (Henning Mankell) and Detective Erlendur in Iceland (Arnaldur Indridason). And I am about to start the Amsterdam Cops series by Janwillem de Wetering.
But now others are entering the dark crevices of my mind. Pre-revolutionary Russia in the guise of Erast Fandorin by Boris Akunin--a beautifully nurtured character who grows and evolves with each volume.
While it's sunny and warm outside in our baking summer, it will be dark and cold in my heart as I wend my way through the more rebarbative side of our natures.