Readers often ask me who my favourite mystery authors and/or influences are. It's actually a pretty short list.
Generally, when it comes to crime fiction, I like North American writers. British detective novels, with a few exceptions, just aren't my cup of tea.
I love the Spenser novels by Robert B. Parker. I wasn't much of a fan of his others series (Jesse Stone and Sunny Randall).
I am also a big fan of Lawrence Block, both the Scudder novels and "The Burglar Who..." series.
My overall favourite writer, though, is Janet Evanovich and the "Stephanie Plum" series. I laugh my head off when I read them, and find them impossible to put down!
Another favourite woman in crime fiction is Sue Grafton. I've read up to the letter R, I think.
And that's about it. Those four are favourites; they grab me with their characters and their plots. Books by these authors are ones that I keep on my shelf and re-read from time to time.
This doesn't mean I don't read other authors, nor does it mean that I lovelovelove every single thing about every single book by these four. But, in the end, thses are the writers I'd like to emulate, and these are the books I go back to time and again.