Gage, Leighton
Emerging seemingly from nowhere, the widely-traveled Leighton Gage has drawn on his wife's homeland of Brazil to pen a series of taut, gripping crime novels featuring Chief Inspector Mario Silva of the federal police.   His debut novel in the series, Blood of the Wicked , follows Silva as he attempts to solve the assassination of a Catholic Bishop gunned down while consecrating a newly-built church.   Silva finds himself enmeshed in a lethal mix of drug-dealing, child-prostitution and land wars, and he struggles to stay alive long enough to solve the case.   An informed, compelling account of some of the endemic problems confronting the nation of Brazil, the novel was followed by Buried Strangers , an equally-intense tale of mass murders in the city of Sao Paulo.   A talented writer with the ability to disturb.
Galbraith, Gillian (Scottish, 1957- )
(Police Procedurals)
The Scottish-born former Advocate sets her well-crafted tales featuring DS Alice Rice in Edinburgh.  Topical and atmospheric, the layered stories include engrossing sub-plots, and readers in search of a good puzzle built around complex yet believable characters will not come away disappointed.  Rapidly morphing from emerging author to established, with a growing fan base, Galbraith is an author to watch.

Gardner, Lisa (Alicia Scott) (American)
The author of more than two dozen successful works of crime fiction, Gardner has two major series going.   The first features PI Rainie Conner, aided by her husband and ex-FBI profiler, Pierce Quincy, as they are drawn into a series of dark and disturbing crimes in a small town in Oregon.   The second turns on the exploits of Detective Sergeant D. D. Warren as she struggles with equally unsettling crimes and twisted killers in the Boston region.   Both are fine series, well-paced and intense, with complex undercurrents that will keep you firmly in your seat.

George, Elizabeth (American, 1949- )
(Psychological Suspense, Police Procedurals)
American author Elizabeth George first appeared on the literary scene in 1988, with A Great Deliverance, which introduced crime readers to Thomas Lynley, the Oxford-educated 8th Earl of Asherton and an Inspector with the Metropolitan Police.  Together with his working-class sidekick, Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers, this crime-fighting odd-couple provide lively sub-plots as they take on baffling crimes throughout Britain and, latterly, abroad.  A Great Deliverance earned George both Anthony and Agatha Best First Novel Awards, and subsequently she has been awarded France’s Grand Prix de Littérature Policière, and Germany’s prestigious MIMI Award.  Her Inspector Lynley novels have been filmed by the BBC, and achieved sufficient popularity that when the broadcast network announced plans to cancel the series in 2007 fans mounted a campaign to save it.  In addition to short stories and numerous essays George has also authored a highly instructive non-fiction book on her creative writing process, titled Write Away.
Ghelfi, Brent (American)
Attorney Brent Ghelfi has carved out a niche with his series of action thrillers set mostly in contemporary Russia.   The protagonist, Alexei Volkovoy, a shadowy figure known to most only as Volk, has alliances, if not allegiances with two powerful kingpins, one a psychotic Azeri with ties to the Russian Mafia, the other known only as the General.   Together with his female partner Valya, Volk steers a tenuous path among powerful players with their own agendas.   Fast-paced action combined with international intrigue.
Gillen, Geri Newell
Goddard, Robert (British, 1954- )
(Thrillers, Historical Mysteries)
Those who question whether crime fiction can possibly attain the heights of mainstream literary fiction should have a look at the works of Robert Goddard.   Master of the triple-cross, the Cambridge-educated author pens erudite, layered tales that combine Evelyn Waugh-like characters with subtlety convoluted plots.   His Harry Barnet series follows the exploits of a dissolute ex-RAF man who, over the course of several novels, seeks to extricate himself from a charge of murder, discovers he has a son he didn't know about, now lying in a diabetic coma (possibly deliberately induced), and is summoned to a military reunion where two of his comrades very shortly die.   As good as these stories are, they are eclipsed by his standalones.   If you can read only one, try Beyond Recall , nominated for an Edgar Award for Best Novel in 1999; but I predict you will want to read the others.
Gores, Joe (American, 1931- )
(Hard-boiled, Historical Mysteries, Thrillers)
A former private eye himself, and the author of dozens of novels, screenplays, and television scripts for such series as Mike Hammer, Columbo, Kojak, and Magnum, P. I. , Joe Gores has created a series of hard-boiled tales featuring San Francisco-based PI Dan Kearny and his eccentric staff.   In the tradition of hard-boileds, Kearny is not above bending the rules to achieve results. Twice nominated for Edgars for Best Novel.   The Kearny stories are definitely my favourites among his works, but don't overlook his standalone thrillers.
Grabenstein, Chris (American)
(Thrillers, Humourous Mysteries, Young Readers)
Quirky and off-the-wall, Chris Grabenstein's John Ceepak series of fast-paced novels laden with humour chronicle the exploits of an ex-Marine and by-the-book uniformed officer and his partner Danny Boyle, a part-time summer cop who is wet behind the ears.   Before turning to crime fiction Grabenstein was an improv comedian, and it shows.   He also writes thrillers for younger readers...


Graham, Caroline (British, 1931- )
Best known for her television series Midsomer Murders featuring Chief Inspector Barnaby, Graham's first novel in the series, The Killings at Badger's Drift, was picked by the British-based Crime Writers Association as one of the top 100 Crime Novels of All Time.   Heady company indeed.   Graham combines the insular village atmosphere of a vintage Agatha Christie tale with a more contemporary police procedural featuring a pair of amiable CID officers.
Granger , Ann (British, 1939- )
(Police Procedurals, Historical Cozies)
After penning two very successful series, the Mitchell and Markby novels and the Fran Varady tales, Ann Granger branched out and has, in the space of three years, begun two more series, the first featuring Lizzie Martin , and set in Victorian London, and the Campbell and Carter stories, set in the English Cotswolds.   A master at her craft, her novels are always well-written and always entertaining.
Graves, Sarah
Gray, Alex
Greeley, Andrew (American. 1928)
Chicago-based Father Andrew Greeley is a sociologist and accomplished author of dozens of novels, including a series about a crime-solving priest, Father Blackie Ryan , that have earned him a devoted following.   Not surprisingly, for he has a Celtic talent for spinning a good yarn, and a strong Irish theme runs through his tales.
Greene, Graham (British, 1904-1991)
(Noir Crime Fiction, and Political and Spy Thrillers)
Drawing on his experience during WW II working for MI6 (directly, as it turned out, under double agent Kim Philby), Green is known for his lean, realistic prose, focusing on the internal lives of his characters.   He harboured a lifelong preoccupation with such moral themes as evil, sin and redemption, which can be traced to his conversion to Catholicism.   Among Greene's best crime novels are A Gun for Sale (made into the film noir classic This Gun for Hire ), The Third Man (also filmed) The Quiet American , and the slyly humourous Our Man in Havana .
Griggs, T.D. (British, 1948- )
Born in London, Tim Griggs studied at Leeds University and at University College London, graduating in English and Archaeology.  His father was a writer, and Griggs was drawn to writing at an early age.  Holding a variety of jobs before becoming a journalist, eventually he moved on to work in corporate communications on several continents.  While in Australia Griggs met his future wife, Jenny.  In 2001 he debuted with his first thriller, Redemption Blues; in the following decade it sold over one million copies in six languages.  The author of many short stories and four novels, Griggs and his wife live in Oxford.

Griffiths, Elly (Domenica de Rosa) (British, 1963- )
(Police Procedurals, Thrillers)
Having read English at King's College London, followed by several years in the publishing world, Griffiths turned out three non-crime novels under her own name before venturing into the world of crime fiction.   Drawing on her husband's expertise as an archeologist, she made her protagonist, Ruth Galloway, a forensic archeologist and paired her with a brusque police detective named Harry Nelson to good effect.   But it is not the accuracy of detail, nor even the interplay between the lead characters, that make Griffiths' stories especially gripping; it is her original plots, combined with a fine sense of place, and the ability to imbue her settings with dramatic tension, that keeps her readers enthralled.   Griffiths' debut crime novel, The Crossing Places , is set on the desolate Norfolk coast, and was longlisted for the Theakston's Old Peculiar Crime Novel of the Year, and the second in the series, The Janus Stone , is similarly set in the Norfolk countryside.   If it is anywhere near as good as her preceding novels, Griffiths' third work, The House at Sea's End , due out in May of 2011, should firmly cement her place among the best of the rising new crime writers on the British scene.

Grimes, Martha (American, 1931- )
(Police Procedurals, Cozies)
American-born Martha Grimes' series of police procedurals featuring Detective Inspector (later Superintendent) Richard Jury and British ex-aristocrat Melrose Plant is well known to fans of that genre.   The titles being taken from the names of British pubs, the novels owe their popularity to the fact that both Jury and the stories are like old friends with whom we can be entirely at ease, secure in the knowledge that although there will be deaths, the gore will be kept to a minimum.   Firmly in the tradition of country-house cozies, Grimes' novels continue to do well decades after their release, and book twenty-two in the series, The Black Cat , is slated for publication in 2010.

Grindle, Lucretia (American)
(Psychological Thrillers, Historicals, Police Procedurals)
Born in America, Lucretia Grindle spent her childhood in both the US and the UK.   In addition to a career of writing scripts for television and theatre, as well as newspapers and magazines, she has published two novels in the Inspector Ross series, The Killing of Ellis Martin (1993), and So Little to Die For the following year.   Beginning in 2003 she penned three standalone novels ( The Nightspinners , The Faces of Angels, and The Villa Triste , and has contributed to an anthology of short stories.   Her novel The Nightspinners was shortlisted for the CWA's Sliver Dagger Award and The Faces of Angels was selected by the BBC's   Front Row as one of the six best thrillers of the year.   The Villa Triste makes for compelling reading, an evocative, nuanced, and layered account of how the consequences of war spill over for generations to come.

Grisham, John (American, 1955- )
Author of nearly two dozen novels, including bestsellers (later made into feature films) A Time to Kill, The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client , The Chamber , and The Runaway Jury , to name a few, John Grisham is almost singlehandedly responsible for the surge in legal thrillers during the past two decades.   Essentially standalones, each of his tales feature distinct protagonists in taut, fast-paced stories of people caught up in events larger than their lives.   His later books have been somewhat uneven, but his best tales are as good as anything around.
Hall, Tarquin
Halliday, Brett (Robert Terrall) (American, 1914-2009)
Robert Terrall was largely responsible for more than two dozen of the quintessentially American Mike Shayne novels, taking over the series when their creator, David Dresser, stopped writing as Brett Halliday.   Classic hard-boiled tales, the covers are lurid, the prose is purple, and the bodies stack up like cordwood.   Terrall's tales will appeal to fans of hard-drinking, two-fisted PI's and the women who love, and sometimes leave, them.   Not politically correct, and many are out of print, but worth looking for if you're a fan of this genre.
Hamilton, Lyn
Hammett, Dashiell (American, 1894-1961
What can you say about a legend?   Drawing on his own experience as a Pinkerton agent, Hammett gave us classics like The Thin Man Series, The Maltese Falcon, Red Harvest, The Glass Key and The Dain Curse .   In the process he defined the very nature of the uniquely American hard-boiled crime novel: happening on the mean streets and in bars and alleyways, and featuring a protagonist who is essentially a loner and an outsider, willing to break the rules, but answering to his own very demanding moral code.   The world knows him as the creator of Sam Spade , and his influence can be seen today in the novels of James Ellroy, Sara Paretsky, and Robert B. Parker.
Harasymchuk, Rob
Harlick, R. J.   (Canadian)
In a refreshing change of pace, Robin Harlick's protagonist Meg Harris , fleeing the big city and a failed marriage, moves to the wilderness outside Ottawa, Canada, in a cabin bequeathed to her by her grandmother, while she sets about rebuilding her life.   But despite the fact that human company is rather thin on the ground, the amateur sleuth manages to stumble across more than her fair share of bodies.   Harlick pens well-researched, socially-relevant tales that take her readers out of the mainstream of contemporary urban crime fiction.   Try Death's Golden Whisper, The River Runs Orange, and Arctic Blue Death .
Harris, Gardiner
Harris, Robert
Harrod-Eagles, Cynthia (British, 1948- )
(Police Procedurals)
A prolific author of novels in several genres including historical and romance fiction, Cynthia Harrod-Eagles is also responsible for an underappreciated series of crime novels featuring London-based Detective Inspector Bill Slider , as he wrestles to restore order in the streets and find some measure of happiness in his private life.   A fine series, combining a nuanced protagonist with engaging plots, by a master of her craft.
Hart, Carolyn (American, 1936- )
Possibly the best-known, most-widely-read cozy author alive, Carolyn Hart has two main series: her Death on Demand novels feature mystery bookshop owner Annie Laurence and her partner, Max Darling, who manage to encounter more than their share of crime on the South Carolina island of Broward's Rock.   Her Henrie O stories showcase retired reporter and amateur sleuth Henrietta O'Dwyer Collins.   Hart has won three Agatha Awards for Best Novel, and received another six nominations, as well as winning a Macavity Award, also for Best Novel.
Harvey, John (British, 1938- )
(Thrillers, Police Procedurals)
A middle-aged Detective Inspector with the Nottingham CID, Charlie Resnick wrestles unsuccessfully to keep crime from his door.   But it intrudes into his private life, with disastrous results.   The first Resnick novel, Lonely Hearts , was named by The Times as one of the hundred most notable crime novels of the 20 th century, and since then novels in this sumptuous series have gone on to be shortlisted for, or win, three Dagger Awards, a Barry Award for Best British Crime Novel of 2004, and the Grand Prix du Roman Noir du Cognac.   In 2007 Harvey was awarded the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger for Sustained Excellence in Crime Writing.   His plots are multi-layered, evocative tales and his books are a must-read.
Hauka, Donald J. (Canadian)
(Humourous Thrillers)
Canadian journalist Donald J. Hauka enjoyed earlier success when his first crime novel, Mr. Jinnah; Securities was adapted for television and broadcast on the CBC in 2003.  His follow-up tale, Jinnah on Crime: Pizza 911 was nominated for a Gemini Best Movie Award, but She Demons (2010) may be his best yet.  The series features a Vancouver-based crime reporter perpetually in quest of an exclusive story, and who must wrestle with police, ambitious TV journalists, heavy-handed editors and an assortment of colourful villains that is unique to Canada’s counter-culture capitol.  It all makes for delightfully dark humour and a fast-paced, engrossing read.
Hawley, Noah
Hiaasen, Carl (American, 1953- )
(Thrillers, Humourous Mysteries)
Who says crime novels have to be grim?  For decades Florida-based author Carl Hiaasen has successfully combined mayhem and mirth in his Mick Stranahan series and his send-up standalones including Strip Tease (made into a film starring Demi Moore and Burt Reynolds), Naked Came the Manatee, Basket Case, Nature Girl, and Star Island.  But If your taste runs to darker tales, you could do worse than try Hiaasen’s Skink series or his Black Lizard stories (co-written with William D. Montalbano).  Fast-paced, with over-the-top characters and off-beat humour, Hiaasen’s books have earned him a loyal following among readers who seek criminally funny, original tales.  Did I mention that he writes equally engaging (and Newberry Award-winning) tales for young adults?
Higgins, Jack (Harry Patterson) (British, 1929- )
Immensely popular author of such action thrillers as The Eagle Has Landed , Higgins' novels have been translated into fifty-five languages and have sold over 250 million copies.   He has four series of tales, as well as more than a dozen standalones.   His Sean Dillon novels feature a paid assassin as the protagonist, as his action-packed plots are rooted in history or torn from today's headlines.
Hill, Reginald (British, 1936- )
(Police Procedurals, Humourous Mysteries)
Best known for his popular and bestselling series featuring Dalziel and Pascoe , Yorkshire-based police detectives who are very much the odd couple of contemporary British detective fiction.   Superintendent Andy Dalziel ('Fat Andy' to his colleagues, but only behind his back) is gruff, rude, and raises political incorrectness to a high art form; his long-suffering subordinate, Inspector Peter Pascoe, is university-educated, much more by-the-book, and spends much of his time trying to deal with Dalziel's collateral damage.   The result is a highly original and entertaining series of more than two dozen tales that balance interesting puzzles with sub-plots centering on the protagonists' personal lives.   Arguably the most interesting pair of crime-fighting sleuths to appear in years, the novels have spawned an equally fine television series.   If by some chance you've missed these tales, do yourself a favour and seek them out.   You'll be richly rewarded.
Hill, Susan

In a career spanning over fifty years Susan Hill has written over thirty novels, including nine in the DC Simon Serraillier series. She has been awarded the Whitbread Prize, as well as the John Llewlellyn Rhys and Somerset Maugham prizes. Her characters are nuanced, and her layered stories probe the complexities of human relationships.
Hillerman, Tony
Himes, Chester (American, 1909-1984)
Perhaps best known for his novels Cotton Comes to Harlem and A Rage in Harlem , both of which were made into films, African-American author Chester Himes penned a series of crime novels describing the black experience in New York City.   Featuring Harlem police detectives Coffin Ed Johnson  and Grave Digger Jones , his stories earned Himes France's Grand Prix de Littérature Policière , and foreshadowed the West Coast crime novels of Walter Mosely.   An expatriate living for a time in Paris, Himes moved in the same circle as fellow exiles James Baldwin and Ralph Ellison.   Himes also authored several standalone novels that graphically describe the black experience in America.
Holdsworth, David.

David Holdsworth is a retired senior civil servant who makes his home in Ottawa with his wife Nicole.  His debut novel, The Ambassador’s Camel, lampooned the machinations in the Canadian Department of External Affairs.  Tough on Crime is his second novel.
Huang, Christopher.
Hughes, Declan (Irish)
(Thrillers, Hard-boiled)
Irish director and playwright Declan Hughes garnered a Shamus Award in 2007 for his debut novel, The Wrong Kind of Blood , and followed that up with Macavity and Edgar nominations in 2009 for Best Novel for The Dying Breed.   Hughes's novels center on PI Ed Loy , a man who has returned to Dublin to bury his mother.   But after twenty years in L.A. he's a fish out of water, utterly at odds with the city of his birth.   Not a good thing when Loy is called upon to solve a series of mysteries which drag him into the seamy side of the Emerald City.   Hughe's novels are intense, but well worth reading.

Humpreys, C.C.


Hurley, Graham (British, 1946- )
(Police Procedurals)
DI Joe Faraday works out of the Portsmouth CID, where as a member of the Major Crimes Unit he works to unravel some of the Channel port's nastiest crimes.   Faraday is assisted by DC Paul Winter, who harbours secrets he shares with no one, including his boss.   Hurley's richly-textured prose reveals complex, damaged people caught up in situations not of their making, and his literate, engrossing tales are a fine addition to the genre.

Hurwitz, Gregg (American, 1973- )
This American author first made his mark with a series of action-based standalones; but it is in his edgy psychological thrillers that Hurwitz has truly found his métier.   His books have been nominated for several international awards, including the CWA's Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, and Best Novel of the Year by the International Thriller Writers.   A graduate of both Harvard and Oxford universities, Hurwitz has penned a novel per year over the past decade, all the while discharging the duties of his day job as scriptwriter and consulting producer for a number of television and film companies.   While admiring his industry, and standing in awe of his talent, we cordially dislike him.

Hyland, Adrian

Indriðason, Arnaldur (Icelandic, 1961- )
(Thrillers, Police Procedurals, Noir Crime Fiction)
Although set in Iceland, Indri ð ason's chilling crime novels are sometimes grouped with others under the loose heading of Scandinavian Noir .   His protagonists, Detectives Erlendur and Sigurdur Oli , work out of the Reykjavik Police Department.   His nuanced novels have been nominated for Macavity Awards and Barry Awards for Best Novel, and in 2005 he won the CWA Gold Dagger for his novel Silence of the Grave .
Innes, Roy (Canadian)
(Police Procedurals)
The author of three mysteries set in British Columbia, Roy Innes builds his tales around Paul Blakemore and Mark Coswell, two RCMP officers whose personalities nicely play off of one another.  The stories are informed by the author’s own considerable wilderness experience, lending a sense of authenticity to well-plotted tales built around believable characters.
James, P. D.   (British, 1920- )
(Cozies, Police Procedurals)
What do you say about a legend?   Since 1962 P. D. James has been not merely writing, but redefining, the contemporary crime novel, giving us first Adam Dalgleish , a police detective who writes poetry, and ten years later Cordelia Gray , the first modern female private detective (and a model in various ways for all who followed her).   Although her plots closely follow the structure of the traditional mysteries (a closed circle of suspects, the puzzle as primary), James blazed the way in contemporary detective fiction by introducing nuanced, three-dimensional characters and elevating the genre to the level of mainstream literary fiction.   If you seek writing to be savoured, rather than devoured, you simply cannot do better.
James, Peter (British, 1948- )
Thrillers, Police Procedurals)
Peter James shows that it is possible to scare readers out of their wits without spilling a drop of blood.   His first novel in the Roy Grace series, Dead Simple, features a Detective Superintendent based in the south of England.   It is a tour de force of suspense, about a man buried alive when a prank by his mates goes awry.   The sequels are no less gripping, as James develops his protagonist to wrestles with demons of his own.   His seven novels in the series to date are supplemented by another nineteen standalones that showcase James's skills as one of Britain's most talented crime writers.
Jance, J. A.   (American, 1944- )
Author of the mostly Seattle-based mysteries featuring homicide detective J. P. Beaumont , as well as the more nuanced Joanna Brady novels set in the American Southwest, Jance has a loyal following of readers for her more than thirty novels to date.   Many of her tales deal with contemporary themes, and a few bring the two protagonists together.
Jardine, Quintin (Scottish)
(Thrillers, Police Procedurals)
Edinburgh-based DCC Bob Skinner is the protagonist in nineteen gritty crime novels that are as good as anything out there.   Skinner tries to cope with a failed marriage and a close death, even as he faces a world populated by organized thugs, copycat killers, stalkers, and serial killers.   It's all been done before, of course, but never better.   The bestselling author's Oz Blackstone series features a PI with a talent for getting in over his head.   Set against a host of exotic settings, trouble always seems to catch up with Oz.   The more recent Primavera Blackstone series picks up from the point of Oz's death, and features his widow.
Jennings, Maureen (British/Canadian)
(Historical Mysteries, Forensics Thrillers)
Canadian Maureen Jennings is well established as the author of a series of novels set at the turn of the twentieth century, and featuring the likeable, if sometimes socially challenged, Toronto police detective, William Murdoch .   The series has been filmed for television, and has won the author many new fans.   Since 2006 she has also penned the first two novels in a series of contemporary thrillers featuring Ontario-based forensic profiler Christine Morris .   Jennings' work has been nominated for Arthur Ellis Awards for Best Novel, as well as Anthony, Macavity, and Barry Awards.   A talented writer who scrupulously researches her tales, Jennings' books stake out original territory.   In 2011 Maureen launched Season of Darkness, the first in a new historical trilogy that is based in England and takes place during the Second World War. 
Johnson, Deborah
Joss, Morag (Scottish)
Winner of the 2003 Dagger for Best Novel for Half Broken Things , and nominated for an Edgar in 2009 for The Night Following , Joss has been justly compared to P. D. James and Ruth Rendell for weaving together compassion and tension to produce finely crafted novels of psychological suspense.   Her work now includes three series novels featuring cellist Sara Selkirk , and an equal number of standalones that mark her as a maturing writer to watch.
Jungstedt, Mari (Swedish, 1962- )
A rising star in Scandanavian crime fiction, Mari Jungstedt has authored dark, chilling tales that will appeal to readers of Henning Mankell and Karin Fossum.   Inspector (later Detective Superintendent) Anders Knutas is responsible for keeping the peace and solving crimes on Gotland, an island in the Baltic sea belonging to Sweden.   The third volume in her series, The Inner Circle, draws on Scanadanavian mythology to heighten the atmospheric tale.   For readers who like their stories graphic and intense, definitely a writer to watch.