...and why they are my favourites
by Vonnie Hughes
Lee Child (Thrillers)
Who doesn’t like Jack Reacher? Improbable thrillers about an always victorious man who is rarely injured and always prethinks a situation with accuracy. Loved by a disparate bunch of people.
Anne Gracie (Regencies)
Australian Regency author with the bedroom door closed. Sweet, often totally misunderstood heroines with grit – real grit, not the trumped up stuff e.g. Gallant Waif is still my favourite because the protagonists had so much to lose; the sign of an author who understands conflict. Without conflict there is no book.
Lisa Gardner (Often lumped in as Romantic Suspense author but she really should simply be called a Suspense author because nobody can do Suspense like Lisa Gardner)
Look, if you don’t set out intentionally to write a romance, then I don’t think it should be termed a romance.
She gives acknowledgments at the end of each book, and boy, does she spend hours doing research. Her books are convoluted and the police personnel and investigators in them are very flawed.
My favourites are Live to Tell and The Survivors’ Club.
James McGee (Historical Suspense)
Writes about an investigator called Hawkwood – Regency/Victorian. Book titles: The Ratcatcher and The Resurrectionist. “You don’t send a gentleman to catch vermin. You send Hawkwood.” Love it. Want to see more of the same.
Georgette Heyer (Regency)
If you are a history buff, make sure you read An Infamous Army which is “fiction” about the British and its allies at Waterloo. Until very recently it was still used as a reference book to discuss tactics and alliances at the Sandhurst Military Academy in England. No ordinary “romance” writer. She is the rock on which the Regency genre was founded.
Amanda Quick (Regency, and Regency and Victorian/paranormal)
Jayne Ann Krentz Contemporary
Jayne Castle Paranormal
For pure enjoyment, not-so-convoluted plots but with brilliant characterisation, I quite simply adore JAK’s writing. Quirky characters with peculiar hang-ups – love ‘em.
Her futuristic series involving a tough but fragile woman cop hits all the high spots. The world building is impressive because it’s constructed by deft brushstrokes, not laid on with a trowel as in so many speculative fiction otherworlds.
Lisa Jackson (Suspense)
Creepy perpetrators in creepy circumstances. A disused asylum comes to mind.
Karen Rose (Romantic Suspense) Her research is brilliant, and you can expect a not-always-easy read from Ms Rose. Her murderers are definitely not the sort you want to meet.
Gayle Wilson (Romantic Suspense) Lighter than some, but still with hidden depths, I enjoy Ms Wilson’s southern settings such as New Orleans and Mississippi.
Dick Francis (Can anyone tell me how you’d classify DF?) Readable, clear conflict. Heroes are misunderstood, likeable but by no means perfect. When he died, we lost a thoroughly decent, well-researched author.