I think the death knell for a mystery is to have unintelligent writing. You can get away with bizarre plots and unlikeable characters, but the writing has to be smart. It has to stay at least one step ahead of the viewer, otherwise the brilliance of the detective extraordinaire will be for naught.
To be blunt, the first case for Gosick was very underwhelming. Grevil is apparently the worst’s most incompetent detective (but with a hair drill that will pierce the heavens!). Kazuya apparently graduated from the Japanese school of inoffensive, spineless harem leads (joke’s on him, there’s no harem here!). And Victorique… hmm, are her detective skills any good? It’s nice that she solved the ridiculously obvious case of the dead Fortune Teller, but honestly now. A grade schooler could’ve figured that out. It’s hard to sell us on the brilliance of her detective skills when the first challenge she encounters is so ridiculously simple. How can we take her seriously?
Actually, I think Gosick is really just a vehicle to promote Victorique’s moeness. She’s so tiny and cute, like a little porcelain doll! Stick some nekomimi on her and she’d fit right in with Kuroneko’s ~nyan nyan~ dance routine.
The vibe I get from Gosick is a similar vibe I got from Kuroshitsuji. Which may not be surprising, because the anime writer behind Gosick also handled both seasons of Kuroshitsuji. This is not a good comparison. Kuroshitsuji, at least the first season I watched, was built around hare-brained “mysteries” and suffered from a schizophrenic tone. Add the gothic dress and the old-school Europe setting and all that’s missing here is a certain supernatural butler.
I want my mysteries to be smart and creative, and I want the situations to have weight and consequence, like Death Note, Higurashi/Umineko or even Eden of the East. I don’t want to sell Gosick short on just one episode, but I don’t think it’s ever going to be what I want it to be. Well, whatever, maybe I’ll watch for the next couple episodes just for the Victorique moe.