what *really* happened
Tim Powers has been a favorite since I read The Anubis Gates ten or so years ago. Powers' forte is intertwining strange, macabre, downright weird things in rock bottom accurate historical and present day settings. The best example is The Stress of Her Regard, in which poets Shelley and Lord Byron are major characters. All kinds of supernatural goings-on are going on, and the poets are involved up to their armpits, but they are also living their lives as the history books say they did. Powers is merely explaining why they did some of the things they did.
My favorites are The Anubis Gates and the much more recent Last Call, and I have a fair amount of fondess for his early book The Drawing of the Dark, which has a delightfully misleading title.
At first glance, Power's novels Last Call and Expiration Date are unrelated; Earthquake Weather binds them together into a remarkably odd trilogy about the pagan underpinnings of Holy Grail legends and people who snort ghosts to get high. Who else would cast Las Vegas mobster Bugsy Siegal as the Fisher King?
Books by Tim Powers