As long as I can remember I've loved everything British -- from the folk music, countryside and villages to the 15th-17th century history and of course English mysteries! I grew up reading Nancy Drew, Sherlock Holmes and the Golden Age mystery authors. The more history I read of Britain, the more I wanted to learn about the people. When I discovered what I considered 'odd' customs such as Guy Fawkes Day or Turning the Devil's Stone, I became more and more fascinated -- not only at the longevitiy of the continuing customs but also with the history behind them. I knew I had to incorporate them into my own mystery novels.
The great Golden Age mystery author Ngaio Marsh has probably influenced me the most. I love her characters and her sense of 'place.' That same sense is evident in other favorite authors of mine, such as duMaurier and the Bronte sisters. I think this feeling of place, nearly a character in itself, is evident in my books, too.
I like the controlled world of the novel, creating the village and characters and having the good guy win in the end. I like justice prevailing and the victim's friends and family at least feeling like the wrong-doer will be punished.
I am a lover of the classic style of mystery, fascinated with the knotty puzzle and watching the detective figure out whodunit. Because I like Ngaio Marsh novels so much, I also like the character-driven plot. Again, these elements have influenced my own writing.