Most readers that like westerns seem also to be avid readers of mystery novels. My favorite reads are books that have great elements of mystery but are set as westerns in the old or new/modern west. It is not always easy to find this type of western as most seem more to lean toward crime fiction, historical fiction or western romance. Seems like there are a lot of modern westerns, Tony Hillerman’s stuff comes to mind, that have sold a ton of books twisting great mysteries in a western setting but not as many set in the old west.
Mysteries with a red herring or two thrown in can’t be beat in my estimation. I am constantly searching for new authors to read and try to find writers who write both mystery and westerns. This is the way I found Elmore Leonard, long ago, before the internet.
Some writes seem to write great characters that fit well into the new west but really are not meant to be westerns, Lee Child’s, Jack Reacher comes to mind. (I have really enjoyed this series of books). Two other authors of modern westerns, C.J. Box and Craig Johnson (I may be prejudiced here as they are both Wyoming writers) write great modern western mysteries and are well worth the read. Johnson’s ongoing character, Walt Longmire, has been made into a very good A&E television program-LONGMIRE (airing every Sunday evening)
Happy Reading, enjoy the twists and turns of a great western mystery.