Laurel K. Hamilton
I always get to the phenoms late. Very late sometimes.
Laurel K. Hamilton is an enormous bestseller. She is largely (if not singly) responsible for the kick-ass vampire/werewolf/monster hunter/heroine who terrorizes the paranormal world in a search for justice. Or something resembling it anyway.
I was at the library yesterday and saw a collection of her stories, Strange Candy, and decided to give it a try. I ended up reading most of it at a single sitting. This woman is a world class storyteller.
My favorites are "Here There Be Dragons" which is a near-perfect science fiction story about the use of telepathy in identifying sociopaths. There are at least four startling scenes in it.
"Stealing Souls" will stand as a primer on how to write GOOD high fantasy. Usually I'm not able to get past all the cutesy that's kidnapped the form over the last decade but Hamilton uses none of it. She even does a very funny parody of one of those "paranormal" swords so dear to the lovers of BAD high fantasy.
She gives us a novelette with her most famous creation, Anita Blake Vampire Hunter, "The Girl Who Was Infatuated With Death," which has a true noirish feel crossed with some very nasty urban fantasy. A finely wrought dark tale.
If you want something different and are willing try the world of high fantasy, this is a good place to start.