We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I agree about Dick Francis, Barrister. It feels like we've lost a much loved family member. My husband and I were greatly devoted to Francis' books, and charmed by the man himself when he came to signings at Houston's Murder By the Book store. Both Downs and I have been inveterate crime novel readers since our early teens, each with our own favorite novelists, and some novelists we both share affection for. I've always loved Robert Parker's Spenser novels, for his beautiful spare writing style, and his absolutely great dialogue. Good dialogue is, deceptively, very hard to write well, and Parker was a master. Reading his books was like eating brain candy, and one gobbled them up in hours. Parker also just recently died, I regret to say.
Well, at least Lee Child is still with us -- a handsome Brit with a charming understated style. If you haven't tried him yet, please do. You'll like his hero, Jack Reacher, a loner with a unique style.