You probably won't figure out what a "traditional mystery" is by reading EIGHT OF SWORDS. I wholeheartedly recommend this fine debut novel by David Skibbins, but please drop all your assumptions. Because if you try to fit this Berkeley-based mystery into the "cozy" Miss Marple category, your head will explode.
I spent years in Berkeley and loved it there. I loved it often for the weirdness that makes others sneer and mock. As a (pretty much former) political activist, and someone who knows the city fairly well --- at least Warren Ritter's part of the city --- there was a lot to get right. It