- Deborah Crombie - I've already raved about her because I love her books so much. She writes a series of mysteries starring New Scotland Yard Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and his Sergeant/love interest Gemma James. I love Kincaid's methodical approach to crime, and how the fiery Gemma balances him in both his work and personal life.
- Robin Hobb - She isn't technically on my auto-buy list yet, because I discovered her kind of late and I'm still catching up on her books - she's very prolific. They're absorbing high fantasy novels set in the Kingdom of the Six Duchies. Be warned: once you start reading them you won't be able to stop.
- Elizabeth George - I like to tell people she's the Russian author of British mysteries. As you can see, her books are massively long, but every page is wonderful. I love how she fleshes out every character, no matter how minor, and the interplay between the handsome, upper class Inspector Thomas Lynley (who also happens to be an Earl) and his frumpy lower-class sergeant is genius.
- Jacqueline Winspear - I discovered the Maisie Dobbs series for the first time last year, and fell hard for the intrepid detective. I also love the 1930s English setting, and the way Maisie has of quietly, compassionately getting to the bottom of every crime.
- Arnaldur Indridason - Erlendur is a pretty typical detective: semi-alcoholic, divorced, a loner. He also happens to be a brilliant (if somewhat unorthodox) crime-solver, who does his best to catch Icelandic killers, even while constantly haunted by the childhood death of his own brother.
- Donna Leon - I've been eagerly reading every new Leon for several years now. And, Venice is #1 on the list of places-I-want-to-go thanks to her detailed rendering of that city, and Commissario Guido Brunetti. Brunetti and his wife Paola have a great relationship, and their family life adds a nice counterbalance to the depressingly endemic corruption of Italian society.
- C.S. Harris - Sebastian, Viscount Devlin, is the heir to an earldom, but chooses to solve murders; often hindered by his enemy/love interest/wife Hero Jarvis, and sometimes assisted by his mistress/possible half-sister Kat Boleyn. The complicated relationship between Devlin and Hero and Kat, and Harris's accurate portrayal of dark side of the Regency world that Georgette Heyer does so well, make this series irresistible, which is why When Maidens Mourn is part of the Quirky Bookworm Summer Reading Club.
- A.J. Jacobs - Jacobs's stunt memoirs are so much fun. First he read the whole Encyclopedia Britannica, then he tried to follow every Biblical law for a year, then he tried to become the healthiest man alive. He always make me laugh, teaches me neat facts, and gives me a sincere respect for his wife Julie. That's why Jacobs's most recent book is also part of the Summer Reading Club.
- Bill Bryson - I can't recommend Bryson's books enough. I adore his travelogues and memoirs, am fascinated by his language books, and devoured At Home - a history of the home throughout the centuries. They're the perfect sort of read - entertaining but informative at the same time.
Who are your auto-buy authors?
Do you agree/disagree with my list?