Originally Posted by Teresa Edgerton
I think we need to make a distinction between books that are badly written and books that are not to our personal taste.
As for the Agatha Raisin books, again, I read one and was not entertained, but they bring pleasure to so many, many readers, I can't call that a mistake on the part of the publishers either.
Wandering a bit off the original topic -
I like MC Beaton when he writes Hamish MacBeth, but I tried one of his Agatha Raisin ones and just didn't like the characters or the premise. So yes, again saying a matter of taste. (Found the same thing with Alexander McCall Smith, love No1 Ladies Detective Agency, don't like his books set in Scotland. Usually I like all books by an author I like, so does show they have noticeable differences in style and character.)
I do tend to read by author, I might select by publisher, but most of all by reading the first few pages. A thing I find useful on Amazon is the bit about what other people who bought the book I am looking at also bought. I've wombled off onto some good books that way. And recommendations from here.