Very good advice....another book that can ONLY be told by the narrator (who, sort of, cheats) is Christie's classic Roger Ackroyd And then there is Barbara Paul's First Gravedigger.
As for books by men, in addition to Francis, whose stuff I like very much, one of my favorite books is Peter Dickinson's King and Joker which is both a mystery and a fascinating exercise in alternative reality. And has a very winsome heroine from whose viewpoint the story is pretty much (3rd person) related.
As for identifying with the character--back to Francis. I've never been on a horse in my life!