January 21, 2010

Favorite Unknown

This week's question is about a favorite author people are not reading. There's the old adage that a classic is a book that's still in print. These are all still in print, and have been reprinted many times, so somebody is reading them (his current bestselling book rank at Amazon is 654, 578). But Charles Willeford is one of those novelists that never made it huge and is worth checking out.

Start with Miami Blues, the first in his Hoke Mosely series (also an underrated film). No one does hard boiled and humor in quite the same way. He's in the same league as Elmore Leonard and Donald Westlake/Richard Stark. Carl Hiaasan owes his career to Charles Willeford and another great, but now often overlooked crime/social issue novelist: John D. MacDonald.