Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency sorta falls into this category, although it's a little more comedy than I have in mind. Barbara Michaels books and Lillian Stewart Carl's Ashes to Ashes are also good choices -- except that after two or three Barbara Michaels books, you start to feel like you've read them all. I'd try Stephen King, except that I can't take his seamy prose style for very long without wanting to read some Wodehouse just to wash my brain out.
Any suggestions, LJ brain trust? :)
PS: Wanna see something really scary? In the '80s, people actually looked like this. I even knew some. 0.o