I am always thinking about the new types of books I would like to see. Most writers out there have very distinctive ideas for what type of book they'd like to write - who their characters will be - and where they will set the story.
But for anyone who wants to write a mystery and is looking for ideas, I thought I would share some ideas that I think will sell. Don't take this as gospel, as this is only one man's opinion, and I return to my mantra that everything in this industry is subjective. But if the following types of manuscripts were to come my way, I would give them serious consideration.
1. I would love a mystery set in a zoo. Mystery readers are often animal people. I would love a zookeeper / zoologist hero or heroine, and I'd love a setting modeled on one of the country's great zoos, such as the San Diego.
2. The world needs a Latina heroine / investigator. There is a growing Latino/Latina market, and the rich Latino culture provides superb material for great characters. Luis Mendoza in Dell Shannon's series was a good character, but I think it's time for a female.
3. I'd like a book that features magic. Paranormal mysteries are tough to do, but I think the right writer could find a way to write a realistic mystery that just happens to feature magic. If you are wondering why I would like a book like this, you haven't been watching the best-seller lists for the last several years....
4. Along the same lines, I wouldn't mind having a look at mysteries that just happen to feature a vampire sleuth. The possibilities are endless for a sleuth who can work only at night...
5. Finally, I would love a female protagonist whose main personality trait is not "sassy."
Of course, it goes without saying that the execution of any idea is as important as the idea itself.