There was a thread recently which asked people to name their all time top author. This was, as it happens, incredibly difficult. So I'm now going to make it easier (or is it even harder?) by asking for a top 10. I have an ulterior motive because I am always looking for new authors to try (heaven only knows why, since I already have a TBR pile the size of a small European country) and I know that if someone lists several authors they like and they match my favourites, then there's a pretty good chance that I will like the others on their list.

So, who are your 10 very favourite authors and, if you like, a brief idea of why you particularly like them.

Here's my list, in no particular order. And it was too bloody hard, so I have left out the classics (otherwise Chandler and Cain would have been in there) just so I have more room (plus I also got to mention Chandler and Cain...how sneaky am I?!)

Daniel Woodrell (memorable characters and stunning writing)
Ken Bruen (funny, stylish, strong characters you either love or love to hate)
Eddie Muller (wonderful sense of place and time, wonderful film noir style, characters)
Joe Lansdale (funny, sad, atmospheric, characters that grab your heart)
Charles Willeford (hard-boiled, sardonic, slice of life)
Charlie Williams (insane, funny, quirky)
Al Guthrie (dark, violent and hilarious)
Barbara Seranella (those heart grabbing characters again, touching and funny)
Megan Abbott (stylish writing, noir atmosphere)

That's 9. I'm struggling to narrow my choice down for the tenth author for the list. Do I pick someone who has several books out but I've only read a couple? Do I pick someone with only a couple of books out so far? How do I choose out of Ray Banks, Kevin Wignall, Declan Burke, Duane Swierczynski, Stuart Pawson, Bill Fitzhugh, Steve Brewer, Colin Cotterill, David Corbett, Reed Farrel Coleman, Mark Haskell Smith? All of them are writers whose books I buy as soon as they come out.

Will I remember others I should have included as soon as I have sent this post? Definitely. Have I already cheated by naming about 20 writers I love? Errrr...yes :o) Do I care? Not a jot.

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Martyn Waites is excellent, and I'm about to take delivery of my first Cathi Unsworth. And it's far too long since the last Donald Harstad book. Thanks for reminding me of him!
You don't do the simple questions, do you, hen? Not to mention the fact I'll be potentially bankrupt by the time I've added all the good sounding stuff that gets listed on this thread to the pages of my little book of things to buy!

Okay, here goes... my top ten right now (subject to change and don't anyone be reading anything into it if you aren't on it - just means I'm either such a ditz that I haven't read your stuff yet, or you're too obvious to list, or you're my fave every other day - yesterday and tomorrow - which is almost a top eighties US band).

In no particular order, and no clues because I'm lazy:

1. Paul Gallico
2. Christopher Brookmyre
3. James Herbert
4. Stephen King
5. Charlie Williams
6. Iain Banks
7. People I have actually spoken to and whose stories I love: Donna Moore/Ray Banks/Al Guthrie/Stuart MacBride/John Rickards
8. Irvine Welsh
9. Colin Bateman
10. Oh feck, I'm at no.10 - Sara Gran/Boston Teran/Carl Hiaasen/Mo Hayder/Ethan Black/Delphine leCompte/James Hawes/Michael Ridpath/Charles Bukowski/Frank Delaney/ J.D. Rhoades/Victor Gischler/John King/Sandra Ruttan/Patricia Highsmith/Charles Bukowski/Ian Rankin... and many more! And I am not as widely read as most of you lot!

Aw, shucks... and I forgot to mention... ;-)
Julie...your answer to number 7 is just brilliant...and I could include tons more people if I had thought of this!
It would likely be a much longer list for you, Patricia - I don't get out much! Of course, Like everyone else, no doubt, I have a bunch of folk I can't believe I didn't think of and so didn't find a way to wheedle in...
Oh, see I KNEW I would miss out one of my all time faves - Brookmyre - how on earth did I do that? I've never read Delphine LeComte or Ethan Black so we can be bankrupt together :o)
The only thing I have ever been tempted to steal was a book. I didn't, but I wanted to. If push comes to shove, you misdirect the staff and I'll clear the shelves! We will have those books!
ooooo Donnamath - top 10 with multiple choice as the last one - I can live with that!

My top 10 always and forever are:
Reginald Hill
Colin Watson
Shane Maloney
Henning Mankell
Jo Nesbo
Leigh Redhead
Christopher Brookmyre
Peter Temple
Stuart MacBride
Maj Sjowall & Per Wahloo

My top 10 for this current hour are:

Liz Evans
Paul Cleave
Tana French
Andrew Wilson
Michael Robotham
Adrian Hyland
Colin Cotterill
Jenni Mills
Karin Alvtegen
Arnaldur Indridason

The others (well let's not pretend I can count - or stop):
Denise Mina
Danuta Reah
Katherine Howell
Colin Bateman
Chris Niles
Jan Costin Wagner
Frances Fyfield

and on and on and on and on..... and on.....
Karen it is scary how close we are in reading DNA
LOL - mind you - you come to Australia and I've got a ready made library for you. I go to Canada - and I might just drop in :)
That works for me! and I must say that my tastes for Australian authors is growing by leaps and bounds...my copy of Stiff (Shane Maloney) came in last week...
Excellent - I'll be really interested to see what you think - I was just ruminating last night on the likelihood of more books and where he'd go (I really need to get out more). Sucked In was the one that came out this year and it was, IMNSHOIO the best of the bunch.
Another one who follows a similar reading path to you :). Now my copy of Diamond Dove has arrived, "The Cleaner" by Paul Cleave is the next aussie one on my wish list.

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