Monday, April 28, 2014

Series rule!

Comments by Jeanne

Or so it seems, anyway!  Readers do enjoy following a particular character from book to book, and this September  will see a bumper crop of returning favorites.

Catherine Coulter teamed up with J.T. Ellison to start a spin-off of her very popular FBI series about a Scotland Yard detective stationed in the U.S.  The Final Cut came out last year to good reviews. The new book will be The Lost Key. Some of our local readers also recommend books by Coulter’s co-author, so you may want to check out some of Ellison’s other books while you wait for this one.

Reacher fans who have been waiting anxiously for the next book after the twists of Never Go Back will have curiosity satisfied when Personal by Lee Child hits the shelves.

Philippa Gregory brings her “Cousins’ War” series to a conclusion with The King’s Curse. Margaret Pole was an intimate of Katherine of Aragon, first meeting her when Katherine was married to Arthur, Prince of Wales who died some six months after the wedding. Margaret becomes one of Katherine’s ladies-in – waiting when Katherine marries her former brother in law when he takes the throne as Henry VIII. Gregory has a real gift for making historical figures into flesh and blood people, making her one of the most popular current historical novelists.

Several authors have picked up characters from Robert B. Parker following the author’s death in 2010. Ace Atkins picked up the Spenser novels and Michael Brandman took over the Police Chief Jesse Stone, producing three novels.  Now Reed Farrel Coleman is going to take up the challenge of writing a new Jesse Stone.  We’ll see how he does in September, when Robert B. Parker’s Blind Spot comes out.

Speaking of characters picked up by other authors, Sophie Hannah will be resurrecting Hercule Poirot in an as yet untitled book.  According to an article in The Guardian, Agatha Christie’s estate selected Hannah to revive the series in hopes that it will bring new readers to Dame Agatha’s original books.  The only plot hints so far is that the book will be set in 1920s London. A few years back, Charles Osborne adapted a play by Christie as the Poirot novel Black Coffee, but Hannah's will be the first original book by someone other than Christie to feature the detective.

This is a good place to mention that another Golden Age detective has been revived for at least one book.  Albert Campion returns for Margery Allingham’s Mr. Campion’s Farewell by Mike Ripley.  After her death, Allingham’s husband Philip Youngman Carter had completed one of her books, then went on to write two Campions of his own.  He in turn left notes for another adventure, which form the basis of the Mike Ripley novel. The book is already out in England, but won’t be published in the U.S. until July.

Jill Paton Walsh has done another in her continuation of Dorothy Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane series. The Last Scholar takes the two back to Oxford where Peter wants to look in the disappearance of the Warden, who was to cast the deciding vote as to whether or not to sell some of the school’s assets. As with The Attenbury Emeralds, the story takes place in 1950s as the characters are adjusting to the changing times of post WW II England. The book is due out in June.

Another intriguing book for June is an anthology edited by David Baldacci entitled Faceoff.  This collection of stories pairs some of the most popular characters in thriller fiction in new stories written their creators:  Lee Child’s Jack Reacher meets Joseph Finder’s Nick Heller, Jeffery Deaver’s Lincoln Rhyme meets John Sanford’s  Lucas Davenport, and many more, including Linda Fairstein’s Alexandra Cooper, Lisa Gardner’s D.D. Warren, and Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch.

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