Monday, September 9, 2013


Uh, not exactly.

It seems her grandson and the company responsible for her book rights have decided to bring in a ringer. Sophie Hannah, who writes mysteries under her own name, will pen the new Hercule Poirot mystery. This despite the fact Agatha Christie finished her Miss Marple and Poirot (actually killing him off) series so no one could do this very thing.

Christie isn't the only one being exploited this way. Gone With the Wind had a sequel by a romance writer, Alexandra Ripley. Eric Van Lustbader is singlehandedly keeping Ludlum's Bourne series going. The James Bond series has had several writers since Ian Fleming's death. One of these trying-to-be Flemings is Sebastian Faulkes, who is also -- da da dum!!! -- penning a new Jeeves book!

Say what? How do you reconcile Fleming's voice with Wodehouse's?

As an author, I detest the idea that some other writer would take characters I dreamed up -- sweated over, brought to life -- and do whatever they like with them. And I hate it for these other dead authors. Especially when one of those characters is the beloved Poirot.

I didn't buy Scarlet O'Hara's imitation and I won't buy Poirot's. In fact, I try not to buy anyone's work who exploits that of another writer.

So take that, HarperCollins!


  1. I hate it when publishers try to pass off a ringer as the real deal. When an author dies or becomes incapacitated, the books bearing their names should stop. No passing off faux Agatha Christies, Margaret Mitchells, etc..

    The one exception, for me, was the sequel to Sidney Sheldon's Master of the Game. The sequel, written in his name by author Tilly Bagshawe, let readers see what became of the principal characters in Sheldon's book, even if the sequel didn't really live up to the original.

    1. Haven't read it, but I don't usually try sequel books by other writers unless the original author left a detailed outline/nearly had it finished/etc.

      Guess I'm putting myself in the author's place too much. I'd hate to have someone else fooling around with MY characters!

  2. And of course Sherlock has been taken over by other writers as well...

    1. Alas, poor Sherlock. I knew him well.

      Seems everyone and his sister are writing Sherlock sequels/prequels/midterm books!


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