This week the Mystery Series Examiner will begin including in her content both on this site and on her Nora Roberts Examiner page a series of articles she wrote in 2009 and originally published on Suite101. The initial article, “When good writers get bored: What mystery authors write after publishing a successful series,” provides the focus of the articles she has selected.
Writing a mystery series can be both a rewarding and a frustrating process. Authors frequently enjoy the work because they are as curious as their readers about what their series characters will decide to do next. More pragmatically, these writers know they can generally count on a positive reception to new series releases, simply because they realize that their audiences have already embraced their characters.
However, mystery series writers may also find the series form itself to be too limiting. To continue to satisfy their readers, they must include in each new book the same core characters, acting in ways their readers have grown to expect.
As the beepwire.com article, “Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes film gets a vote of approval from Baker Street Irregulars” points out, the frustrations involved in writing the Sherlock Holmes series led Arthur Conan Doyle to decide to have Holmes, rather than Moriarty, plunge to his death at the infamous Reichenbach Falls. The outpouring of demands from Holmes’ fans for Conan Doyle to resurrect the Great Detective later caused him to reverse his decision.
Mystery series authors don’t usually go to Conan Doyle’s extreme in responding to the constraints involved in their work. What do they do instead? The following articles republished here provide some of their solutions.
Suite 101 articles:
In accordance with Suite101’s copyright provisions, all the articles listed below originally appeared on their site over a year ago. Consequently, the Mystery Series Examiner has, in each case, updated and revised her articles. She has also added links to her current beepwire.com articles.
- When good writers get bored: What mystery authors write after publishing a successful series
- Finding out what fans of Nancy Atherton’s ‘Aunt Dimity Slays the Dragon’ want to read next
- Character development provides Nora Roberts’ incentive for writing ‘In Death’ series
- Eve Dallas’ emotional growth highlighted through friendship theme in ‘Promises in Death’
- ‘The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie’ begins new series featuring 11-year-old sleuth
- Internet threatens reporter Jack McEvoy’s job and his life in Michael Connelly’s ‘The Scarecrow’
- Jonathan Kellerman creates second spinoff of ‘Alex Delaware’ series characters in ‘True Detectives’
- Stephanie Plum gains deductive skills in Evanovich’s ‘Finger Lickin’ Fifteen’
- Consistent plot elements frame Stephanie Plum’s comic misadventures in Evanovich’s series
- John Lescroart Uses Ensemble Cast to Feature Dismas Hardy / Abe Glitsky Series Characters
- Laura Lippman’s ‘Life Sentences’ demonstrates the division between mystery and literary fiction
- Nevada Barr Breaks New Ground With Psychological Thriller ’13 1/2′
New Mystery Series Examiner articles on this topic:
The following are new articles appearing for the first time on beepwire.com.
- John Rebus’s retirement is nearing its end claims author Ian Rankin
- Ruth Rendell concludes her Chief Inspector Wexford series with The Monster in the Box
- Dennis Lehane to revive Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro series with Gone, Baby, Gone sequel
- Dennis Lehane returns to his Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro series with ’Moonlight Mile’
- Hercule Poirot steps out from behind the Curtain in new Strand Magazine short story
- Thomas Perry returns to Jane Whitefield series in ‘Runner,’ CBS series possible