Fictional author's fiction
Cabot Cove's Jessica B. Fletcher has a long string of mysteries to her name, and we don't mean the novels mentioned on the show Murder She Wrote. And although the show never mentions author Donald Bain, it's pretty much an open secret that he's the brains behind such novels as The Corpse Danced at Midnight and Mystery of the Mutilated Minion, for which Fletcher has been credited through her publisher New American Library. (Bain has written a host of novels under his name and others, and there are some who claim he actually wrote all of Margaret Truman's books, although Bain has denied that.)
Now comes another fictional fiction writer to the mystery world: Richard Castle. You may have caught him on the TV show Castle where he is a consultant for the NYPD. Anyway, Castle, so the story goes, has just killed off his popular fictional detective Derek Storm and is now researching a new series. The result is the just-released Heat Wave, available in bookstores from Hyperion Press. It follows the exploits of NYPD's Nikki Heat who, Castle fans might recognize, is based on Detective Kate Beckett, one of that show's main characters. (The book is dedicated "To the extraordinary KB and all my friends at the 12th" (precinct, that is).
Heat Wave has a blurb by James Patterson (don't most books get those?) who along with Stephen J. Cannell (with blurb on back cover) have appeared on Castle as themselves as Castle's poker game buddies. Now, the real game begins as fans of the show speculate who actually wrote Heat Wave. (Note: Fans of Nathan Fillion, who plays Richard Castle on the show, will be pleased to hear that there is a large, color photo of the actor on the back cover. Now, if we could just get him to do some author appearances -- that would be awesome.)