In last months newsletter I asked who your top 5 current authors are – authors who release new books on an almost annual basis.

Here are the responses:

Chris: There are only three authors whose new books are automatically on my ‘must buy’ list: Diana Gabaldon, Susan Wittig Albert and John Grisham. They don’t necessarily produce a book a year but they continue to write and turn out best sellers. Like other fans, I’m looking forward to Diana Gabaldon’s latest in the Outlander series coming out, hopefully, in 2020. Susan Wittig Albert’s most recent book in the China Bayles series came out last year, A Plain Vanilla Murder, but I’m sure another one will follow soon. And John Grisham’s latest is Camino Winds, which I know I will enjoy. These writers don’t let me down!

Tom: New member here. Thanks for the many ideas on new books to check out.

My top 5, in no order:
1) James Lee Burke (Dave and Clete)
2) Jo Nesbo (Harry Hole series)
3) Ace Atkins (Quinn Colson series)
4) Val McDermid (Tony Hill & Carol Jordan)
5) Michael Connelly (any/all)

I know you said 5, but I have to add Robert Crais for his Elvis Cole/Joe Pike books.

Judy: 5 favorite authors…Ann B. Ross, Sarah Paretsky, John Grisham, Michael Connelly, (all had new books out this spring/summer). Robert B. Parker/ this fall I think. The authors that carried on his work have done it well. Dick Francis is another I like. His son, Felix, took over his writing when he passed. Again,a great job in keeping the essesnce of the writing. Karen White is also one I recently discovered through a friend. I think she has a book coming out soon. Lastly, E. J. Copperman…ghost stories. I am a library patron and they don’t carry all of his books. I keep meaning to request that they buy the rest of them, but….

The county libraries opened up on a shortened schedule and they started their new book listings again so I was able to put 6 books on hold. I have since picked them up and read them. I’m happy and relieved.

Kenica: I have 5 authors whose new books I read immediately when they are released, but they don’t necessarily have a new book each year.

Daniel Silva (does have an annual book)
Ronald Balson (last three years has had a book annually)
Jane Thynne (usually annually; 4-year break recently; Philip Kerr’s widow–his health the reason?)
C. Alan Bradley (annually)
Felix Francis (annually)

Loretta: Hi Graeme:

My 5 Go To top authors:

David Baldacci

John Grisham

Jodi Picoult

Michael Connelly

Kyle Mills/Vince Flynn

I have to add Craig Johnson and Steven James. Whenever I discover a new book by Greg Iles or Jeffrey Archer, I definitely take another look and more than likely buy. There are many that I can add, as I am sure other readers can too, but I will stop at this point.

I just finished reading Kelly Rimmer’s Truths I Never Told You. The title caught my attention so I bought it. It was a good read. I will check her other books as well as John Mars.

Rhea: I will never miss a new book by Karin Slaughter, Lisa Gardner, Lisa Unger, Allison Brennan or Minka Kent.

Janet: I used to have a long list of must buys. They I got burned by Patricia Cornwall who changed her writing style and later by David Baldacci who introduced new characters/series I wasn’t fond of.

I am now down to the Stone Barrington series and I love that he has integrated the Will Lee, Holly Barker, Ed Eagle and Teddy Fay into the current story lines. I read him first in the early 80s and it doesn’t matter who is the main character since they are so different from each other.

Faye Kellerman, as long as it features Peter and Rina (Lazarus and Decker)or characters from that series. I wish she would write more.

Catherine Coulter’s FBI series with Savich and Sherlock.

Michael Connelly Bosch and Haller books.

Fern Michaels sisterhood series.

Jennifer Estep and Carrie Vaughn ended their series. And I was bummed.

So now I am not blindly buying.

Natalie: My top 5 authors that I automatically go to are

1. Linda Castillo-thriller/ mystery Kate Burkholder series

2. Anne Perry-multiple series

3. Clive Cussler-multiple series-so sad that he recently passed away!

4. David Baldacci

5. John Grisham

This is a great question to answer. It makes one think a bit!

Amy: Hi Graeme!

Thank you so much for this website. I’ve been following you for a couple years now. So I’m really interested as to why you don’t have Harlan Coben as one of your top go-tos. Maybe I missed where you talked about that. Asking because…here’s my list.

Harlan Coben. 😂 Been finding his books really interesting with some twists.
John Marrs. Love him! Takes some thing we take for granted and twists it all around.
Stephen King. My very first fav author.
Dean Koontz. Weird that I like both? Oh well. There’s really a light vs. dark about both.
Ruth Ware. Really have gotten into her books. Keep me reading.

So thanks again for all your hard work. Always look forward to your newsletters.

John: This is a tough one, at least limiting it to just 5. So I might go over.
James Patterson- I read so many of his books, it’s really hard to keep up.
David Baldacci- again I read almost everything he writes.
Michael Connelly- Bosch is still one of my favorite characters.
Jeffery Deaver- this is a recent addition to my top favorites with his new character Colter Shaw. This is a great new series. I definitely recommend this one.
John Sanford- I never get tired of Lucas Davenport or Virgil Flowers.
I have to cheat and list 3 more.
Allison Brennan, Linwood Barclay and Brian Freeman.
Honorable mentions to Rick Mofina and Preston & Child.
Actually I could probably keep going but I’ll stop there.
Thanks for your newsletter. I really love reading it. I think it also gives us all a feeling of being connected.

Cathi: My go-to authors are:

Martin Walker – Bruno is the best and I love both the history lessons and the meal descriptions.
Elizabeth George – Barbara Havers and Inspector Lynley, what else is there to say?
Craig Johnson – Sheriff Longmire and Henry Standing Bear…I
Louise Penny – This series with Gamache just continues to get better and better.
Martha Grimes – Richard Jury and Melrose Plant along with Ruthven equal mystery plus humor

Gerald: Hi Graeme

Like you, I have far more than 5 authors whose books I blindly read. However, the following are my favourites at the moment:

David Baldacci
Michael Connelly
Nick Oldham
David Rosenfelt
Lee Child

As a fairly new subscriber to your newsletter, I always read with interest the new authors and the top 10 series, I find it strange that I have never seen the Henry Christie series by Nick Oldham, mentioned.

I enjoy the DCI Alan Banks Series by Peter Robinson but really enjoy the Henry Christie series far more.

The first book in the series is A Time for Justice and was published in 1996 and his most recent is Wildfire published earlier this year.

In 2015, he started a new series featuring Steve Flynn an ex cop, but has so far only written 3 books. He has dovetailed the two characters in a couple of the Henry Christie novels.

I am sure you are well aware of Nick Oldham and have probably read his novels but, as I never see a mention thereof in the newsletters I have thus far received,. I thought I would include him in my e-mail.

Thanks for all the good work and for a most informative newsletter.

Bill: HI, Graeme

This is in response to this month’s question, that being my top 5 authors that currently release new books each year, “currently release new books each year” being the catch. I can’t say that my top 5 get a new one in each year but they’re close. Here they are from 5 down.

5. David Baldacci
4. Robert Crais
3. Harlan Coben
2. Ace Atkins
1. Greg Iles (this man can write). Don’t see much love for him on your site but he sure can keep you riveted to his books.

Honourable mention: Stephen Hunter

Keep up the good work, Graeme. I always enjoy reading your monthly and mid-month newsletters.

Shirley: Linda Castillo (The Kate Burkholder series}

Michael Connelly

Jodie Picoult

John Hart

John Sandford

Jonathan Kellerman used to be at the top of my list; however, his last 3 books have been so disappointing. I think his son must now be writing the Alex Delaware series.

Sharon: Cara Black – Her Aimee Leduc Parisian series is really good

Mark Pryor – So Paris. A new book is coming out this September – The French Widow

C.S. Harris – The Sebastian St. Cyr series

Laurie R. King – The Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes adventures are very interesting.

Shirley Rousseau Murphy — Although I didn’t feel like the last novel was written by her, I will still buy the next one.

Lee: OK, I ‘ok give this a try,but as you say, 5 is not easy to get down to.
Daniel Silva
Kyle Mills
Nick Pettis
Lee Child’s
Catherine Coulter

I notice, or better yet, don’t see any so-called “Westerns” in your lists. I will sometimes grab one for a quick change of pace. Like “Wm. W. Johnstone” .
I’m not one for writing e-mails, but I do enjoy your newsletters.

S P: Michael Connelly
John Sanford
John Grisham
James Lee Burke
Robert Crais
I could list many more but you said 5. I am retired and read about 60 to 70 books a year. Great past time.

Phoenix: Good morning Graeme,
I am always so happy to see OrderOfBooks come up in my email!
You’ve asked which authors I blindly buy, here are my tops:
Harriet Steele’s Nuala series, with Inspector de Silva. These take me to another time and place, Ceylon in the thirties, to be exact. I haven’t read her other books yet, but they’re on the list.
Karen Baugh Menuhin’s series with Heathcliff Lennox. Again, another time and place, England (usually) this time.
Joyce Lionarons. Now, I buy both her Matthew Cordwainer and her Gavin Rownt series. This time it’s medieval England, a particular favorite time period of mine.
And Alexander McCall Smith’s, No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. Off to Africa for this one. I couldn’t quite get into his other series.
I used to buy Margaret Frazer’s Sister Frivesse medieval mysteries and Ann Swinfen’s medieval mysteries, too, but both the authors have sadly passed away, so there will be no more.
Jan Karon could easily be on the list, but I think she’s done writing about Father Tim, unfortunately.
I used to buy Jutta Profijt’s Morgue Drawer books, but she hasn’t put out anything new in quite a while.
If I could, I would purchase all the Cadfael books, but at ten bucks a pop on my Kindle, they’re just out of reach for me.

Peter R.: Ben Aaronovitch
Stuart Woods
David Weber
Mercedes Lackey
W E B Griffin

Pat M: This is the best book newsletter that I get (because we have similar taste). I have found a half dozen new authors thanks to you!

So my 5 go-to authors are:

Michael Connelly
John Sandford
Jonathan Kellerman
Lee Child
CJ Box

I DO like the newer Harlan Coben series starting with “Wilde”. I hope he continues that character.

Martyna: Steve Berry
Elizabeth George
Louise Penny
Linda Castillo
Jo Nesbo

Marty: Graeme,
I also have about 25 to 30 authors that I automatically buy their new books, as they release them.
Top five is hard:
C.J. Box, Lee Child, Joseph Finder, John Grisham, Daniel Silva and Brad Thor. I know that is six, sorry. I would like to mention a few that I have given up on. John Lescroart and Stuart Woods have become too politically left. John Sanford with anything his wife has helped with.
I am going to take your advice and try Paul Doiron and Blake Crouch.
I always find your columns very interesting.

Mark: My top 5 are (really 7):

Michael Connelly
John Grisham
Nelson DeMille
Lee Child
Deon Meyer
John Sandford
Stephen Hunter

mailman: 5 authors….James Lee Burke. C.J. Box. John Sanford. Michael Connelly. And Stephen King.

Madeleine: My top 5 authors whose books I buy as soon as I can are:

1. Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series–for awhile some were not up to par, but she is back at it again. Laugh out loud.
2. Robert B. Parker’s Jesse Stone now by Reed Farrell Coleman
3. Robert B. Parker’s Spenser now by Ace Atkins
4. Robert B. Parker’s Sunny Randall now by Mike Lupica
5. David Rosenfelt’s Andy Carpenter series

Used to love Lawrence Block’s Matthew Scudder series

On audio tape we listen to every James Lee Burke’s Dave Robicheaux series on trips. We love the narrator Will Patton He is Dave Robicheaux.

There are more but these at this time in my life are the ones that I like the most.

Laurie: I have so many authors to choose from. My top two:
CJ Lyons – I get all her books blindly
DV Berkhom

Laurie A: MY TOP 5



LILAC GIRLS, Martha Hall Kelly

Kathryn: I read a lot (3-5 books a week) so I am concentrating my list on fantasy which is not something I see a lot of in your emails. I will list my top five author/series which I am willing to read more than once; a huge endorsement for me. I don’t usually read an author more than once because – so many books, so little time. Then a single paragraph with several other authors I would also recommend.

Anne Bishop: The Others – It’s strange, but I really only like her Others series, not so much the Black Jewels. I am a library person and rarely purchase books, but I absolutely love the Others and will always purchase her new book each year.

Patricia Briggs: I love everything she writes – PB puts out a new Mercy Thompson book each year, a new Alpha and Omega novel (same world as Mercy Thompson) every other year or so. I’m not crazy about short stories, but I will always read hers. She also has some older one and two book collections that are delightful, as well.

Shelly Laurenston: Hot and Badgered – SL has several shifter series revolving in the same world. Her current series with badgers are some of the best.

Nalini Singh: Psy-Changeling and now Psy-Changeling Trinity – Love, love, love these. I will read her other books, but the Psy-Changeling series are one of the few series I have read more than once.

Mercedes Lackey: The Valdemar World – ML has several sets and collections in this world and her current one is the Family Spies series. So wonderful. I’ve read them all.

Other Super-Wonderful Fantasy Authors that may not put a book out every year: Ann Aguirre, Audrey Faye, BR Kingsolver, Christine Feehan, Charlaine Harris, DD Barant, Diana Pharaoh Francis, Eileen Wilks, Faith Hunter, Hailey Edwards, Ilona Andrews, Jen Blood, Jennifer Estep, Kelley Armstrong, Laura Anne Gilman, Laurell Hamilton, Louise Luna, Maggie Shayne, Mercedes Lackey, Michelle Sagara West, Rachel Caine, Seanan McGuire, Shannon Mayer, Sharon Lee, , Stacia Kane, Tanya Huff, Yasmine Galenorn.

Kat: not in any order but i love:
stephanie plum series,
Sparks, Nicholas *

Evanovich, Janet *

sue grafton
lee child
McKevett, G.A. *

Evans, Richard Paul
Hart, Liliana *
Parks, Brad *
Duncan, Alice
Rosenfelt, David

Housewright, David *
Hamilton, Steve

Hurwitz, Gregg Andrew *
Bruns, Catherine *
Coben, Harlan *

Gross, Andrew *

sorry got carried away with more than 5!

Judy: Dana Stabenow
Laurie King

Joe: Bolton
Child (Lee)
Sandford (Lucas Davenport)
Adrian McKinty’s Dublin series – interrupted by The Chain
Brad Parks – early series
Mosley – anything and everything
La Pena – recently hooked

Used to, but have been disappointed in last few years:

Katy: Laura R. King – Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series
Colin Cotterill – Dr. Siri Palboun series – a reluctant Laos coroner
Tarquin Hall – Vish Puri Indian PI mystery series
Alan Bradley – Flavia de Luce series – a 13 year old investigator who knows chemistry
Jacqueline Winspear – Maisie Dobbs series – English investigator 1920s-WWII so far

Johanna: My top 5 are:
1: Camilla lackberg..2:Joanna Trollope..3: Elizabeth George…4: Anne Perry… 5: Patricia Cornwall

Jane: Robert Galbraith (Simply adore this series.)
Elizabeth George (Some of hers haven’t been that great for me, but some I’ve adored.)
Nick Petrie (Like you, last wasn’t great but very much looking forward to his next.)
Ann Cleeves (Vera series – always! Was sad to see the end of the Shetland series.)
Charles Todd (Both series.)
Have to add a sixth, Martha Grimes (Jury series.)
And when she was alive, Sue Grafton…

Dave: Daniel Silva

C J Box

Craig Johnson

Paul Dorian

Nick Petrie (thanks for turning me on to his books)

John Sanford

Mitch Rapp

Genevieve: I rarely watch television, so during this pandemic lock-down I binge read. I chose series that I did not know, acquired ALL those books, started with volume 1 in each series, and began reading. I finished, am in awe of the gifted writers I now feel are personal friends, but have no idea what to read next!!

These are not in order of preference, they are simply in a list. I could not choose a favorite out of these people. Each character is an individual with different strengths, each location is alive, and each plot is unusual and quite individual.

1. Gabriel Allon series, by Daniel Silva

2. Armand Gamache series, by Louise Penny

3. Joe Gunther series, by Archer Mayor

4. Maisie Dobbs series, by Jacqueline Winspear

5. There is a caveat here. I loved these characters, yes, really. BUT the violence is very, and the language could make a nice old lady blush and often does.

The Dublin Series, by Caimh McDonnell – and then the rest of his books, because he is one funny writer and I was enjoying the books.

Debbie: My top five authors would have to include J.D. Robb / Nora Roberts – writing as either, as soon as a new book is released I am on the library wait list for it. Jodi Picoult is another author i just love. Most of her books are the ones that make me really think about life situations. And of course, Debbie Macomber for those ‘feel good / no thought books’ And i would finish my top five with Iris Johansen and Nicholas Sparks.
Debbie Miller

Craig: There are some authors who easily make this list. It’s interesting also when I think of authors who used to be on this list, but fell out of it (like they did for you). My top 5 blind buys:

Stephen King is number 1. The Dark Tower series is my all-time favorite, and I’ve read everything before and since those books. He could write about mud drying and I’d probably buy it.

Mick Herron and the Slough House series. I see he has a new one coming out and it’s an automatic pre-order. Love the writing and the characters are great.

David Housewright has the McKenzie series that is always entertaining and an automatic buy for me.

John Connolly and the Charlie Parker series. One of my favorites.

Caimh McDonnell. He’s an author I discovered not too long ago and I have loved his writing.

I could add Craig Schaeffer, Paul Doiron, Cj Box, and a bunch of others; but that was my current top 5. Thanks,

Carol: Louise Penny
Ann Cleeves
Ellie Griffiths
William Kent Krueger

Bfredericks: Favorite authors are Stephen king, Charles Todd (either series), David baldacci, John grisham.

Barbara H: First I want to thank you again for the Amazon gift card. I hardly ever win anything so it was a real surprise.

Also thanks for the recommendation of Shari Lapena. I had already read and enjoyed The Couple Next Door, so I figured I would read the rest of her books. I just finished her latest, The End of Her. Loved it, but the ending was annoying. She leads up to it telling why 4 or 5 characters want this person dead. Then the epilogue is their obituary. So we still don’t know who did it. Geez!

Now, my 5 favorite authors that I buy blindly are actually 6.
Kendra Elliott
Brenda Novak
J. D. Robb
John Sanford
Stuart Woods
And #6 is Shari Lapena (you converted me)

I hate waiting a whole year for the next book of any author’s series. That is why I do like James Patterson’s collaboration with other authors to be able to publish large numbers of books every year. They are usually quick, easy reads so you can scatter them in with the real brain burners of psychological thrillers to give your brain a bit of a vacation occasionally.

Your web site is what drew me in to begin with because I printed out the lists of my favorite authors to keep track of which books I had already read so I wouldn’t buy books I had already read. I don’t always recognize the titles, but as soon as I read the first page I recognize the fact that it is familiar. I have a photographic memory so I always recognize that first page. Sometimes that memory comes in handy and sometimes it is a curse. I just wish it worked with people’s names.

Now, your bi-monthly column has drawn me in as well as your lists. I’m looking for new authors to try as I usually read about 100 books a year. So I will occasionally try an individual recommendation, but the newest “popular” books usually disappoint me. But your readers are more in line with my own thinking when it comes to recommendations.

I, too, have a list of about 30 authors I buy blindly, but cut it down to 6, just for you.

Barbara M: Authors I MUST read each year:

Jacqueline Winspear–Maisy Dobbs

Dorothy Simpson–Luke Thanet (I think she is dead but I am still reading her)

Peter Robinson–Inspector Ian Banks

Ben Aaronovitch–Rivers of London (amazing series!)

Laurie King–Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russel–GOOD Sherlock Holmes–and I am Holmsian so I know!

and one more:

Alexander McCall Smith but ONLY the Ladies’ #1 Detective Agency!

I actually don’t buy books or very rarely but still I wait for these from the library as soon as they are on order. And speaking of holding on on order, ONE MORE: Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden

Also, I could not read the Shetland books (Raven Black, etc) by Ann Cleeves but the TV show is WONDERFUL. I need the subtitles because the accepts are thick, but the scripts are great and the stories very good. Highly, recommended.

John: You asked for my current top five authors, they follow in order:
Mark Greaney – Gray Man series; David Baldacci – Amos Decker series; Brad Thor – Scot Harvath series; Nicholas Patrie – Peter Ash series; Michael Connelly – Bosh series.
This was a hard decision, but I had to drop two authors, Louise Penny and Keith McCafferty, from my current list.

Audrey: Hi! It’s always a pleasure (and a shocking reminder of time whizzing past) to receive your newsletter.

I enjoy your participatory surveys and this one struck a chord. There are few authors who inspire me to pay full price on the day their books arrive but there are a few:

Jo Nesbo, author of the Harry Hole police procedurals set in Norway. One of the best writers in any genre imo.

Tana French, who really let me down with her most recent, The Witch Elm, which is almost unreadable. I *still* haven’t finished it, though her others are brilliant. I’ll be slower to get the next one.

Harry Bingham, author of the amazing Fiona Griffiths series (they just keep getting better!), police procedurals set in Wales — but he has an unfortunate tendency to write nonfiction too, so I have to wait for Fiona. The nerve!

Jussi Adler-Olsen, who writes the superb Department Q police procedurals set in Sweden.

Paul Cleave, who writes wonderful police procedurals and everyman-in-an-extraordinary-circumstance novels set in New Zealand.

Linwood Barclay, who writes brilliant everyman-in-extraordinary-situation novels set in the US.

Ooops, is that six ;^D

Note: If Jane Austen or JRR Tolkien would come out with something posthumously I would also buy those new.

Pam: I was excited that Andrew Grant was writing books and hoped they’d be as good as Reacher. I was disappointed, but read a couple of them. He was okay, but no Lee Child. That will be painful. I hope it won’t be as annoying as Tom Cruise playing Jack Reacher is.

I blindly buy all the time. As you said there have been authors that I’d always buy, but now many of their books have been sitting there waiting for me to get to them since my tastes have changed. My friends tend to recommend books which is good, but I don’t really want more authors. Then I get your Newsletter and I’m getting hooked on someone new.

My bridge partner recommended Robert Galbraith’s Cuckoo’s Calling. I wasn’t going to read J K Rowling’s new offerings because I have plenty of other things to read, but Mary really knows her books so I ordered the book. It’s good, but I’m not buying more until I get through this one.

There are books I buy and then there are books I request from the library – those are books that none of my friends are going to want to read on my Kindle. They also have to be read faster than my Kindle collection since I have to get them back to the library in a timely fashion.

Library Purchase
Wilbur Smith Donna Andrews (Meg Langslow series)
Craig Johnson (Longmire) Ilona Andrews (Kate Daniels seres – my friends supply the other series)
Michael Connelly (Bosch) C J Box (Joe Pickett series)
Victoria Thomspon (Gaslight series) Patricia Briggs (Alpha and Omega – Mercy Thompson series)
Ace Atkins (Quinn Colson) Jim Butcher (Dresden and Aeronaut series)
M C Beaton (Hamish and Agatha) John Conroe (Demon Accords)
C S Harris (St. Cyr series) Diana Gabladon (Outlander)

Well, I could go on, but this is already way past the five you wanted. I do still buy many authors whose books are piled up waiting to be read, but I am now reading the newest in the series and then the earliest from the not read pile so hopefully the piles will decrease. Not holding my breath since you mentioned a couple I’m going to check out from the newsletter.

Keep on keeping on. Always a must read when your newsletter appears in my mail.

Malsie: Hi Graeme,
Thanks for all of your work on Order of Books which I rely upon for finding new authors and interesting tidbits, such as Lee Child’s retirement. Although faced with trepidation, like you, I’ll keep an open mind. I also agree with you on Kyle Mills taking over Mitch Rapp.
Which brings me to my point of listing my five favorite authors, in no particular order.
1. Lee Child
2. Kyle Mills
3. Mathew Betley (can’t wait for his next book). Logan West series.
4. Kathleen Woodiwiss (who is deceased)
5. Johanna Lindsay (who just passed last October, but it wasn’t public until December b/c her family was so devastated.
I love the time traveling romances, Dee Davis, as well as historical romances and just discovered Eloisa James who writes in a similar style to Johanna.

AJ: I probably have 40 or so authors I buy everything of, but my top 5 would be: Daniel Silva – Gabriel Allon series, Estelle Ryan – Genevive Lennard series, Randy Wayne White – Doc Ford series (haven’t read the other series yet), Joanna Brady – love all 3 of her series, and Allison Brennan – Lucy Kincaid series. Wow, it was hard to pick just five, but I think these are the top. Lee Child and Patricia Cornwall used to be on that list, but their series have been uneven lately so while I do buy them they are no longer at the top.
Thanks for always having a great newsletter, I love it!

William: Hi, great topic. Here are mine

Robert Crais – Love his Elvis Cole and Joe Pike series, great reads. He does not put out books at the rate of most authors so when he has a new one I buy it right away.

Mike Lawson – His Joe DeMarco books are page turners, can’t wait for when his new books come out.

Brad Taylor – He churns out great books at a high rate. Pike Logan and his team are a great group of characters.

John Gilstrap – Riveting books about Jonathan Graves and Boxer, quality book after book.

Michael Connelly – As a retired FBI Agent I can’t get enough of the Harry Bosch series, one of the best authors in his genre.

Max: Hi Graeme,

A super-good newsletter this month! I enjoyed it very much. You must be extra busy, but keep up the good work. I really love what you’ve done with Connelly’s “Bosch universe” compendium. A couple of my other favorite series could benefit with a similar arrangement. Your request for favorite “series” authors hit the right spot with me because I’ve recently been thinking along these same lines. So here are my top five book series. All of them are in the crime/mystery genre. All of them feature sophisticated, mostly literary writing that doesn’t have a lot of explanatory “filler” — no run-of-the-mill potboilers here. (And I’m cheating only slightly because a couple of these don’t come out with a new book every single year, but they are regular enough to be included, I think.)

1. John Lescroart’s Dismas Hardy & Abe Glitsky Universe. A multi-character “universe” much like the Bosch universe, Lescroart’s books are full of wonderfully complex characters, high drama, and thrilling action, all written in Lescroart’s beautiful, literate style. Some of the novels feature attorney Hardy, others feature policeman Glitsky, but most feature both. And several other compelling characters appear regularly. Lescroart’s style puts emphasis on individual responsibility, moral dilemmas, and interpersonal relationships. I just finished “The First Law,” and I have to tell you I read the last several chapters twice because they were so good. (Graeme, remember “Dirty White Boys”? Well, “The First Law” is about as good!)

2. Robert Crais’s Elvis Cole & Joe Pike Universe. Cole and Pike are private detectives. As with the Hardy/Glitsky series above, Cole takes the lead in some books, Pike in others. Elvis Cole is the thoughtful type, while the very formidable Joe Pike is a Jack Reacher type. Pike is one of my favorite tough guys in all of fiction. These are action-packed, can’t-put-it-down crime mysteries, written similar in style and concept to Michael Connelly. In fact, Connelly and Crais are personal friends, and it’s been reported that Elvis Cole has appeared in a Connelly book and Bosch has appeared in a Crais novel — but both characters remained anonymous so I missed them.

3. Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch Universe. It ranks “only” third, Graeme, but for all the reasons that you have discussed, the Connelly universe is one of my very favorites, and is solidly in my top five!

4. John Sandford’s Lucas Davenport Prey series. Another action-packed crime series. Characters are quirky and compelling. Sandford’s villains are often completely insane psychopaths, so things often get a bit grisley, especially in the earlier novels. Sandford’s terse, no-nonsense writing style is exactly my cup of tea. Lots of crisp dialogue, lots of action, and zero explanatory filler.

5. Jo Nesbo’s Harry Hole crime series. These books are translated from the original Norwegian. Nesbo comes out with a new book only every two or three years, but they are worth holding your breath for. I’ve read only the first five so far, but I can’t wait to continue. Book five, “The Devil’s Star,” is one of the most thrilling, clever, gratifying crime novels you will ever read!

So that’s my top five. Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series could easily have made it a top six, but I deliberately left Reacher out since everybody else probably will include him. (Writing this email also made me think up a mental list of some of the WORST authors’ series I’ve read — but that is another story entirely!)

Dale: Hi! You are a busy guy these days. Here are my top five authors: Anne Perry, Stuart Woods, Michael Connelly, Danielle Steel and Louise Penny. I just read “Perfect Little Children” by Sophie Hannah. It made me really use my brain and think 🤔. Now reading “Fair Warning“ by Michael Connelly ( #3 of Jack MacEvoy series). Enjoy rest of your Summer. Also thanks again for all information you provide us.

Terry: Per your question of the month “Who are your top five authors that currently release new books each year? “, here are mine (in no particular order):

Randy Wayne White (Doc Ford Series),
Bill Myers (Mango Bob Series),
Ed Robinson (3 “Breeze” Series – Trawler Trash, Mountain Breeze and Blue Water Breeze),
Matthew Rief (Logan Dodge Series),
Michael Reisig (The Road To Key West Series).

I could go on-&-on-&-on w/many other South Florida/Caribbean authors, but (as hard as it is) I’m forcing myself to limit my list to five. 🙂

Jim: Top five authors

CJ Box Great stories, easy reads, fantastic settings

Charles Todd I love the WW1 era. Realistic characters.

John Sanford easy to get into the story, full of suspense

Alan Furst Great early WW11 stories in unique settings

John Grisham On everyone’s favorite list. Always intrigued with the storylines

Also like Eric Larsen, John McCollough, Brian Kilmeade, Bill O,Reilly killing series

Ann Marie: Graeme,
When I come to the end of a series I save the last one until the new one comes out so I always have a back up. My favorite authors in no specific order 1. Robert Crais 2.Steven gore 3. Linda Fairstein 4. W.E.B. Griffin 5. Nelson DeMille . There is another author but have not seen any new bookstore for awhile author is G.M. Ford. Thank you for the mid month newsletter especially at these times. Ann Marie

krk: David Baldacci, Mitch Rapp, Janet Evanovich, Jonathan Kellerman, Brad Thor.

Pat: The five authors on my blindly buy list?

Louise Penny (does that really count as a selection since that should just be universally recognized as a given?)
Peter Robinson (Banks)
Ian Rankin (Rebus)
Alan Bradley (the Flavia de Luce series, which may be finished )
Gail Bowen (the Joanna Kilbourne series )

Note that four of the five are Canadian. By buying their books brand new, I try to support the Canadian authors and book stores.

Thanks for your newsletter. Always interesting.

Jenny: Graeme,

I enjoy finding a series that began thirty years ago. That way I do not have the anxiety of waiting for the next book to be written. However from the safety of a series like that, I love a new book release by a favorite author. To limit to five favorites is, of course difficult. Here is my best attempt – Louse Penny, William Kent Kruger, Elly Griffiths, Laurie R. King, and Michael Robotham. Plus a dozen more that will have to remain nameless.

Vicki: Sight unseen I’ll order their next book:

Jim Butcher – Dresden Files
Jayne Anne Krentz/Amanda Quick/Jayne Castle – anything
Nora Roberts/ JD Robb – anything, but I read the In Death books within a few days of delivery
Connie Willis – anything
Jacqueline Winspear – Maisie Dobbs series

There are others I watch for. These, though, I preorder as soon as they’re ready. I really hope Willis hasn’t retired from writing. Talking about time travel, her Doomsday Book shouldn’t be missed.

Aside – Life After Life is great. Now I want to read How to Save a Life. There’s a new one along those lines that I’m reading now that I already recommend although I’m only half way through – Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore. I hope the end doesn’t disappoint.

Mary: Five authors whose next book is always a must read (order of the list is NOT indicative of any ranking!)

Louise Penny – an absolute must! I think I pre-ordered All The Devils Are Here last December or January and September 1st this year is as important as December 25th was when I was a child.

James Lee Burke – the Dave Robicheaux series. Burke wields words as very few authors can, creating an atmosphere and people that pull me into their world. Dave has become over the years like a friend I look forward to meeting again each time a new book is released. (I like Alaafin Burke’s books too.)

Craig Johnson – I was introduced to Walt Longmire by the TV show and am so glad I followed the inclination that gave me to search out the books. As good as I think the TV series is, there are some things that can only happen with a book and Craig Johnson does it. In spades!

C. J. Box – Joe Pickett and his family are old friends of mine. I have enjoyed watching the girls grow up. Box has created a cast of people, Joe’s family and some friends, that I enjoy knowing.

Dana Stabenow – Kat Shugak is a good person and a strong person and one that I know I would like and admire if I ever met her. Yes, I know she is a fictional character, but she (and the others on this list) is real to me.

Laurie R. King – I seldom have ever liked stories which have taken their continuing characters from other authors books, an in particular those which appropriate Sherlock Holmes. And if anyone had told me how Holmes is presented in Laurie King’s books I probably would never have read the first one. I am so glad I did!

Sara Paretsky – V. I. Warshawski is another independent woman and Sara Paretsky another author whose each book I have enjoyed great at crafting her life, adventures and particularly her growth over the years.

Paul Doiron – a fairly new writer to me; his first, The Poacher’s Son, was published in 2010. I discovered him recently and am making my way through his Mike Bowditch (young Maine game warden) series.

OK I can count. I just couldn’t stop at five and could continue still! I think in looking at my picks, I see a pattern I had not considered until now. I seem to like best people who are not faultless, but who strive to do the best they can with what life throws at them. I guess I like strong, independent women, too. I think I have known that for a long time.

Are you familiar at all with Arthur W. Upfield? His books were among the first detective series I read and most likely a great influence on my reading choices since. I was about to say that his books are likely long out of print but stopped to check on Amazon (where else?). Not only are books by Upfield available there are some audiobooks as well! So thank you for getting me to write this. As soon as I click send I am back to Amazon to order an Upfield Audiobook and tonight will enjoy the adventures of Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte in the Australian outback!

Katy: My 5 favorite authors of series:

Laurie R. King: Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series
Jacqueline Windspear: Maisie Dobbs series
Lilian Jackson Braun: The Cat Who series
Colin Cotterill: Dr Siri Palboun series
Alan Bradley: Flavia de Luce series

p.s. Thank you for including How It Always Is in your newsletter!

Stuart: Authors I blindly buy:

Greg Iles
Jeff Shaara
Nelson DeMille – his latest 2 have redeemed him in my eyes after 3 or so weak efforts.
Michael Connelly
Robert Crais
Daniel Silva
William Kent Krueger
Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Liane Moriarty

Louise: These would be my top five authors although, some may not publish a new book every year.

1. Louise Penny
2. Craig Johnson
3. C. J. Box
4. James Lee Burke
5. Adrian McKinty

There are so many great authors that you try to devour their books as they are published.

Ginny: I will always read the next book by:

Mysteries/Suspense: Louise Penny, Joseph Finder, John Lescroart, C J Box, Michael Connelly, John Grisham, Steve Cavanaugh, William Krueger, Linwood Barclay, Spencer Quinn, G M Ford, Sheldon Siegel

Fiction: Lisa See, Khalid Hosseini, Kristin Hannah, Celeste Ng, Junot Diaz

Sci-Fi: John Scalzi, Andy Weir

Political: Chris Hayes, Rachel Maddow

Non-Fiction: Michael Lewis, Jon Krakauer, Gilbert King

Teen: John Feinstein, Graham Salisbury, Nina Bawden (although she is no longer alive), Chris Crutcher, John Green, Carl Hiaasen

Cynthia: Authors I read immediately a new book comes out. We must learn something, not just be entertained. The language used always matters as well.
There are quite a few so the top 5 are difficult choices. However I have picked the following:
Louise Penny – Inspector Gamache Series
Ann Cleeves – all series are interesting
William Kent Krueger – I live in the Canadian Shield country part of each year so I enjoy the mystery’s settings. I have also enjoyed his stand alone books as well.
Brenda Chapman – the Stonechild series. I enjoy learning about diversity in protagonists.
Glen Erik Hamilton – Van Shaw series

And … So many others …..

2. C J BOX

Linda: Oh, my oh my. Cannot list just 5 authors that I wait for their next book to come out. Vince Flynn/Kyle Mills-Mark Greaney-Robin Cook-Louise Penny-Joseph Finder-Karin Slaughter-Harlen Coben-Mary Higgins Clark(now deceased)-Michael Palmer(now deceased)-Lee Childs-Michael Koryta-Lisa Jackson and as the song goes “On and On and On”. I keep discovering new authors, too, and try to follow through on all of their new books. I discovered Koryta a little late, so I am still catching up on his old books. I like his style of writing. There is nothing that gives me more pleasure than finding a new author that is just as good as my old favorites. I do depend on your newsletter a lot. In fact I just ordered two of the John Hart books from recommendations on this latest newsletter. I have never read him, but the reviews on the two books I ordered do look very good. Hope I found another new author to devour. I just finished Last Words by Koryta and really liked it and am waiting for book #2 to arrive in that series. I am now reading “House on Fire” by Joseph Finder , one that I must have missed of his books. I really appreciate your newsletter and all of the members recommendations. I have not been steered wrong at all by following their advice and yours. The one bad book I read lately was from a friend’s recommendation and she loved it and I did not. It was The Library. Dull for me. I have also got hooked on several British series on TV on my Acorn and PBS app. Love those British shows. So, some days I have to decide when to stop watching and when to start reading, but I do love retirement as it gives me time for both. Everyone enjoy the rest of summer and hope normal returns soon. Waiting for school to start for my granddaughter. She is utterly bored with the lock down. Take care all and enjoy life.

Steve: I just want to say how much I appreciate your newsletter. I had the same experience you did with the Harry Bosch series. Read them all in order and can’t wait for more. I’m disappointed that Lee Child is giving up his Jack Reacher series but will try to keep an open mind about his brother taking over. Also, I will try out the Carter Blake series by Mason Cross. Sounds like it will be right up my alley. But first, after reading all the Penn Cage books by Greg Isles, I’m going through some of his standalone books that I can download from the library as I’m too cheap to buy them. Also, just finished both Ordinary Grace and This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger, which aren ‘t my normal read but really liked them both. Oh…..and by the way, I’m trying to figure out how you’re re-doing the website to make it better. I love it as it is so I’m really excited to see what you’re doing.

Judi: Always, I look forward to the latest Sherrif Walt Longmire book by Craig Johnson.

This September newbie appears to involve a painting of Custers last stand.

I always enjoy reading your reccondations.

Pat: Where do I begin. First off, I guess a lot depends on the series. Some authors I’ll read anything and everthing the write, others it all depends on the series and main characters.

J. D. Robb her In Death series is one I particularly enjoy and can hardly wait from book to book. I love the interaction between the characters.

James Patterson. Particularly his Womens Murder Club series but I’ll read almost anything if his name is one it. The one exception is spy thrillers which I don’t particularly enjoy.

Sue Grafton. I have to mention her although she has passed. Her Alphabet series really hooked me and I miss her so much.

Linda Castillo. Her series about the Amish has given me much insight to a different, simpler lifestyle. Yet it points how while different we are all the same.

Michael Connolly. I love his newer Renee Ballard series. Its interesting how he’s merged her and Harry Bosch together. Makes for interesting dynamics.

And sorry but I have to list a 6th one. Last but not least.

Donna Leon. My husband and I fell in love with Venice Italy when we visited there a few years ago so the setting drew me to the series originally but I have fallen in love with Commissario Guido Brunetti (the main character). He is so human with his flaws.

I could probably go on and on but I’ll stop there. I’m anxious to see others lists as maybe I’ll find somebody new.

Phoenix: How nice to wake up to OrderOfBooks first thing on a Saturday morning! Got my first cuppa and ready to tackle your question. Who do I blindly buy?

Comes no surprise is Alexander McCall Smith in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Series. I’m not as fond of his other series, though I confess I’ve not given them the attention they probably deserve.
Next on the list is Joyce Lionares, with her Matthew Cordwainer series, followed by Harriet Steele with her Nuala series, and then Karen Menuhin with her Lennox series. All of which download in about two seconds flat on my Kindle. I will drop everything else I’m reading to read the latest installment in each of those series.

Of course, anything Geraldine Brooks writes is excellent, though new books are few and far between. Ditto Jan Karon. Margaret Frazer, who wrote my favorite series about Dame Frivesse, has sadly passed away some years ago, so there will be no new books, and I already have all of hers. Ditto the Cadfael books by Ellis Peters. I thought I had found a new author to take Frazer’s place, Ann Swinfen, but alas, she too passed away only partway through what promised to be an excellent medieval series.

Lately I’ve been reading about St. Francis, and taking a class on Franciscan spirituality, so my reading has been rather focused there lately. I do find that interspersing my study material with a little medieval murder is necessary for my mental health…

Louis: Graeme – do appreciate your monthly newsletter. Thank you!

My five: John Sandford, George Pelecanos, John Grisham, Michael Connelly, C.J. Box. Now, I get most of these via my library, purchase some new/used.

Very close seconds: Nelson DeMille, Jeffrey Deaver, Georges Simenon, Donna Leon, Robert Crais, Richard Stark, Lawrence Block.

And, I’m always looking for new authors and getting lucky pretty regularly. One example: Alex North.

Elizabeth: So hard to choose, but here are the 5 I automatically request from the library
David Rosenfelt
Felix Francis
David Baldacci
Marcia Mueller
Martin Walker

Mary Higgins Clark used to be on the list.

Penny: I, like you, read a lot of different authors. But here are the top 5:

James Patterson (I’m hooked on Women’s Murder Club & Alex Cross)
Lee Child
Joseph Finder
J A Jance (she spoke at our local library a couple of years ago)
Colleen Coble

I try to read a different author each time so I don’t get burned out! But sometimes the series is so good (like James Patterson) I have to read the next one right away!

I look forward to your newsletter each month!

Donald: Top 5 could be a issue, but here it goes

L.E Modesitt Jr. – Love the recluse series and look forward to any book he has written.

Merecedes Lackey – She will release at least two books a year (elemental masters) and another book (not sure when she sleeps)

Mike Weber – was addicted to his Homer Harrington series and safeholder.

Patricia Briggs – Mercy Thompson and Alpha/Omega series.

Jim Butcher – Dresden files series.

There are many others that I follow (Mike Shepherd – Kris Longknife series) Gavin Smith (he is not in your author list), Sharon Lee/Steve Miller (liaden universe), Piers Anthony , ect, ect ect

So many books, so little time

Sandie: John Connolly. Charlie Parker Series. Thrillers that are darkly haunting, with footprints in the supernatural. Written with ethereal prose as only the Irish can. If I had to pack up tomorrow, his books would be the first in the box. I don’t understand why I don’t see him come up as a favorite author on any of the e-mails.
Karin Slaughter. Will Trent Series. A must read. Love the concept, and the intensity. Another great author of thriller novels.
Louise Penny. Three Pines Mysteries. What can I say, the woman knows how to write and draw you into her plots.
Brian Freeman. Jonathan Stride Thriller/Mysteries. This series crept up on me slowly. I really like how the character grows and matures with age. The author seems totally invested in Jonathan Stride.
Karen Rose. Specializes in Cop Families/Thrillers. Must warn, her novels do have sex. However, the characters do stay around and either have cameo or major roles in other novels. I like her timelines. Everything happens in a short period of time. I like how her mind works. Love the family comradery.

Order of Books » Newsletter » Reader Mailbag: Top 5 Current Authors

One Response to “Reader Mailbag: Top 5 Current Authors”

  1. Robert: 3 years ago

    Stephen hunter
    Martin walker writes French policeman drama from perigord
    Best is Lincoln child, agent Pendergast
    I still reread many older Wilbur Smith
    T.s.Learner, very good but has only written three
    J.F.Penn quite easy read , enjoyable

    I like to read what others have enjoyed.


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