I can't believe I've never mentioned Laura Lippman when talking about wonderful writers you should read. LL gets better with every book and she's at her absolute fabulous best these days. I sauntered over the the Mercantile Library to stock up on books for the subway strike and picked up By A Spider's Thread.
If you write mysteries, you should study this book closely. Her characters are compelling, she uses detail to reveal character (show not tell) and she writes so cleanly it's like drinking from a Rocky Mountain stream.
One thing I noticed is that one of her police characters says of another "she's good police". Not "she's a good cop, she's a good officer, she's a good policewoman" but "she's good police". The ONLY other place I've seen that construction is The Wire, the HBO series set in..you got it...Baltimore.
Add it to your reading list. If you don't love her work, you need a tune up to get your synapses firing properly again.