Thursday, August 16, 2007

When The Books We Love Disappear

Maybe because summer is winding down or because today was overcast and everyone moved about in a state of lethargy, I’ve been feeling restless about my reading. In other words, I cruised around the local bookstore, picked up books, read blurbs, and replaced them on the shelf.

I realized that I what I wanted to read was another book in a series that has been discontinued. In fact, I even went over the check the author’s last name in order to see if she has written anything else. In this case, she had, but not in the series I have grown to love. Dejected, I grabbed a paperback my friend had recommended, brewed coffee, and prepared to read. But I couldn’t concentrate. My mind kept wandering to those characters I had come to love. I miss them. I’m feeling nostalgic for them, like the days at the pool or the sight of my flip-flops thrown off by the garage door. Soon, summer will be gone – just like those books, darn it!

Here are a two series I loved that got zapped by the publishers:

  1. Rosemary Stevens and her Beau Brummell mysteries. These were charming historical works set in Georgian England. George “Beau” Brummell was the dandy of his day, but Stevens gave him a wry humor and a wit as sharp as his tailor’s scissors. I loved his valet and many of the other minor characters, including his Siamese.
  1. I have always loved all things Egyptian, so when I first discovered Lynda Robinson’s mysteries set in Ancient Egypt, I was beside myself with joy. Better yet, they were really good. I admit, I was partially in love with the ever half-naked protagonist, Lord Menes, and he only got better with age! He was like the Sean Connery of Egyptian sleuths! This series went on and on and then, just as it was about to reach its conclusion, the last hardcover came out in 2001 and then…nothing! I was crushed. Lord Menes, where are you?

We writers worry about our books being canceled, but it’s just as hard on the readers when it happens. Have you been sad to see a series cut off in the middle of its life? If so, which one (s)?


Mark Terry said...

Not a series so much, but I was seriously bummed when Ross Thomas died.

Joe Moore said...

It wasn’t a series but a writer: Payne Harrison. He wrote 4 techno thrillers, each of which I have read twice. STORMING INTREPID (1989), THE THUNDER OF EREBUS (1991), BLACK CIPHER (1994), and FORBIDDEN SUMMIT (1997). Then he disappeared. No more books, no current info other that it looks like he’s still alive. This guy was great—a potential Tom Clancy-in-waiting. From time to time, I still Google his name and check Amazon for anything new from him. So far, I can only assume he stopped writing. What a shame. I would bring everything around me to a halt in order to read a new book by Payne Harrison.

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

Anne George's delightful Southern Sisters series. Anne George died a few years back. I waited a long time to read the last one knowing there would be no more.

Chuck Zito's Nicky D'Amico series - I love Chuck's series. :(

Also, remember that not all series are cut by the publisher. I know several authors who, after 3 or 4 books or more, just got tired of writing it and went on to other things. But it still leaves faithful readers adrift.

Mark Combes said...

They are a bit dated now, and to be perfectly honest, a wee bit sexist too - but I felt empty when I read the "The Lonely Silver Rain" - the last of John D MacDonald's Travis McGee series....

But buck up girl! There are dozens of great authors out there writing series. The trick to discover them....

Candy Calvert said...

On a more hopeful note: Did y'all know that our own MI author Karen MacInerney completed a Kitzi Camden series mystery, after the author Barbara Burnett Smith was tragically killed? It's BEADS OF DOUBT, and was recently released.
Karen was asked to complete it by the late author's husband, and considered it a huge honor--and a challenge, since Ms. Smith had not revealed the identity of the intended killer.

jbstanley said...

I can't imagine completing someone else's book. Karen's very talented.

I don't know if any of y'all read fantasies, but I remember being on book 6 or so of Robert Jordan's Eye of the World series and thinking, "I hope you finish these, Mr. Jordan!"

The Imaginary Blog said...

I agree with Sue Ann about Anne George. I still haven't read the last book--I just can't bear to finish up the series! Odd, huh, but when I do read it, the series will forever be done. Right now, it's not.

I am pretty good at convincing myself of nutso things.

The other writer I really miss is Corinne Holt Sawyer. I loved her books and suddenly--they were over. Does anyone know why?

Oh, and MD Lake. Did anyone else read those campus cop stories? Loved them and then they ended.

But all in all, I love to find new writers, and my friends and I get excited when we "discover" an author.


Becky Levine said...

Ditto (Tritto?) on Anne George. She was one of the few authors who I felt that, while her first book was rough, the series just got better and better, and she died when they were getting near perfect.

I forget who said this or where I read it, but someone once defined OPTIMISM as walking into a bookstore and thinking, "Ooh, maybe they'll have a new Jane Austen novel!" For me, it's "ooh--maybe a new Agatha Christie." :)

This Girl said...

The Maggie Kean series by Nageeba Davis. It seems both the author and the series disappeared.

The Seneca Falls/Glynis Tryon series by Miriam Grace Monfredo - I still think about Jacques Sundown from time to time when my eyes are closed and no one else is around.