I first saw Charles Stross at WorldCon last year - his novella Equoid won the Hugo.
I saw him again at EasterCon this year, making a great double act with Jim Butcher on stage, discussing such serious topics as how a werewolf might be affected by the Dangerous Dogs Act.
I'd somehow got the impression that he wrote horror, which is not something that I enjoy reading, but after seeing him on stage I thought I'd at least have a try of his Laundry Files series.
I can take horror if it's also funny, and this is very funny. The hero, Bob Howard, has a very witty turn of phrase. It's also more like an occult James Bond story than I was expecting, with their equivalent of "Q Division" handing out gadgets powered by ceremonial magic via laptops. And he's spot on with the descriptions of civil service bureaucracy, with Bob worrying about keeping receipts for his expenses along with the sorcery.
Of course, the book I picked up at random turned out to be number 4 in the series, but it was fairly easy to work out what was going on.
And now I'll have to get the others - I've just found myself another favourite author.