A real toughie this, but if you had to name only one writer (of crime fiction) that you think was the best--who would you name?

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i'm ashamed to say i'm not familiar with that author. shows me up, huh? well I will check. love your little character. did you draw it? IT'S NOT A PHOTO IS IT?!, Just kidding!xxxx
R.D.Wingfield is right. Best police procedural I know also. (Though Stuart runs a close second).
Wingfield has a new one out (KILLING FROST). Alas, it's posthumous. Available hc in the UK (I have my copy), and soon in paper in this country.
sorry, I didn't see your reply.
Interesting about Hammett being your great influence--what a writer and timeless. I'm sure you do him justice.
I agree about James Ellroy. I think he redefined the genre really. I think he has been my greatest influence--but with a dash of James M. Cain! listen to me--what chutzpah, where do I get off--?! but still, even I'm entitled to hero worship the greats, right?!
Seriously, your books sound terrific and I've got them on my must read pile! Honest!
Jack,

You stole my thunder. "Don't write the words they don't read." Characterization & dialogue, a master.

Okay, seeing that pick is gone. I'm going with Lee Child. Reacher is a trip to town. Pure escapism.
Going to read those two. haven't yet. thanks
Yes, I loved that, "to leave out the words they don't read."
I often read books like that. books that have people doing things that are so boring!
thanks Dennis--3 discussion replies!
what a guy!
I'm surprised no one's mentioned Bill Pronzini (or maybe I missed it). I'm also a sucker for Benjamin Schutz, who I recently read passed away in January. Bummer that there won't be anymore Leo Haggerty stories. Anyway, Pronzini's the guy for me.
Yes, I agree. Excellent Pronzini.
Will have to read Schultz, don't think I have.
thanks for that.
I'll throw a new name in the mix - Simenon. Beautiful concise books and characterisation, and oh that French atmosphere.
ooh love French atmosphere.
will try that, thanks so much.
OK, I'm scavenging through this room, looking for writer recommendations, and couldn't resist stopping in here to add my favorite, even though this thread is probably long dead: Ruth Rendell. I wept when I realized I'd read everything she'd written. Then I found Margaret Millar, which helped balm the wound. Then along came Megan Abbott, whose next book I'm awaiting with 'bated breath.

MK
www.minervakoenig.com
I'm rarely on here now--but I did want to answer.
Ruth Rendell's thrillers (not Wexford) are still my favorites.
I love reading in-depth characters as she writes them.
Love Megan Abbott too.
Margaret Millar, thanks for that--I'll have to check out!
Glad to see you back on the boards. I'm assuming you are asking who the best is besides you and I. I think Chandler has got to be my top selection at this moment, followed closely by Hammett and Elmore Leonard. It will probably change next week. I read Devil with a Blue Dress the other day and want to read the other Easy Rawlins series. Great characters and a hell of a plot. LA right after the war. Great read an didn't require a lot of deep thinking. My meds are kicking in so I'm fading. 'see ya manana toots.
I also want to read some of Jack Bludis's work. I suspect I will like his stuff.
T/

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