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Mystery Monday

The death of an author does not necessarily mean the end of a beloved series.  If the series has been successful, publishers will not let a little thing like the author's demise be a hindrance. A new writer is chosen, his or her name with be relegated to a tiny font while the title reads something like Robert Ludlum's Jason Bourne in the Bourne Legacy by ... Saddled with a clunky title, the book will nevertheless sell briskly to those who are eager for more time with these cherished characters. My favorite example of a writer who appears to trump death by writing from the grave is the trademarked V.C. Andrews.  After her death in 1986, her family "wanted the torch to continue" and chose a writer to carry that torch.  The writer, Andrew Neiderman, has been unbelievably prolific and has kept her  many fans happy over the years.
I read a review of a new book which made me ponder this subject.  Robert B. Parker's Killing the Blues: a Jesse Stone Novel (talk about a clunky title!) by Michael Brandman will be coming out in September.  After Parker died suddenly in January 2010, he had several books in the pipeline and they have and will be coming out. Parker himself had been asked by the estate of Raymond Chandler to finish a manuscript called Poodle Springs. He also wrote a sequel to Chandler's The Big Sleep. As Parker had done his doctoral thesis on the detective fiction of Chandler and Hammett, he was a perfect choice to carry on the characters. Would he be happy about the continuation of the Jesse Stone novels? He would certainly understand what it takes to write about someone else's characters. I have no idea what will become of the other Parker series, but we'll wait and see.

Compare the original and the continuations of the following mysteries. 
Here are some titles and authors to try

Virginia Rich                                             Nancy Pickard
Baked Bean Supper Murders                         27-Ingredient Chile con Carne Murders
Cooking School Murders                               Secret Ingredient Murders
Nantucket Diet Murders                               Blue Corn Murders

Dorothy L. Sayers                                     Jill Paton Walsh
Lord Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane mysteries     Thrones and Dominations   
                                                               Attenbury Emeralds
                                                               Presumption of Death

Agatha Christie                                       Charles Osborne
Hercule Poirot play                                     Black coffee (novel)

Arthur Conan Doyle                                Larry Millett
Sherlock Holmes                                        Barry Grant   
                                                              Laurie R. King
                                                              Caleb Carr
                                                              Anthony Horowitz (due Sept. 2011)

Rex Stout                                              Robert Goldsborough
Nero Wolfe Mysteries                                 Death on Deadline
                                                              Fade to Black
                                                              Murder in E Minor

Dick Francis                                            Felix Francis
Bonecrack                                               Crossfire
Forfeit                                                     Even Money
Rat Race                                                  Dead Heat

Stieg Larsson                                        Eva Gabrielsson???*
Girl with the Dragon Tattoo                      Fourth book
Girl who Played with Fire
Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

*still speculation at this point

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