Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Friday, December 29, 2017

Z is for Zero (R.I.P.)

Sue Grafton, author of the Kinsey Millhone alphabet series of mysteries, died of cancer yesterday.

By sheer coincidence, I just picked up Y is for Yesterday.

I hope her heirs are not the sort of greedy chuckleheads who commission another writer to do the Z book. They say that's not going to happen:
Hello Dear Readers. This is Sue's daughter, Jamie. I am sorry to tell you all that Sue passed away last night after a two year battle with cancer. She was surrounded by family, including her devoted and adoring husband Steve. Although we knew this was coming, it was unexpected and fast. She had been fine up until just a few days ago, and then things moved quickly. Sue always said that she would continue writing as long as she had the juice. Many of you also know that she was adamant that her books would never be turned into movies or TV shows, and in that same vein, she would never allow a ghost writer to write in her name. Because of all of those things, and out of the deep abiding love and respect for our dear sweet Sue, as far as we in the family are concerned, the alphabet now ends at Y.
I hope they stick to it. Successor writers may try hard to stay with the spirit of the dead author, but like even the best art forgers, some of their own personality always leaks through. The finished product is almost always off in an intangible sense that a faithful reader will sense.

I was looking forward to the Z book, to see how Grafton closed out the tales of Kinsey Millhone. I can't imagine that I was the only one by a long shot.

Thirty years ago, also on December 28th, John D. MacDonald died. He had published what turned out to be the last book in the Travis McGee series, The Lonely Silver Rain. That book signaled that McGee, upon finding out that he had a teen-aged daughter, was going to jump headlong into not only being a father, but being responsible for another person. MacDonald's heirs have not let anyone else roll a sheet of Travis McGee into a typewriter.

I hope Grafton's survivors are cut from the same steel.

If you're a mystery reader, lift a glass in the memory of Sue Grafton, and to her characters that we've all come to know.


Deadstick said...

The announcement just happened to pop up on the evening news, in the "who died this year" segment. My wife burst into tears...she's been a fan from "A" forward.

Requiescat in pace.

Anonymous said...

Damn. I've been reading the series for over 20 years. Not coincidentally, I've read every Travis McGee novel too. Heroes and heroines should have flaws just like the rest of us.


Sigh said...

Instead of commissioning someone to write Z Is For Zero, Sue Grafton's heirs should write Z Is For Zero collaboratively in her honor and on her behalf: Z Is For Zero by The Graftons

3383 said...

Good for the Grafton heirs.

The Lonely Silver Rain was 30 years ago? Ugh. But that was before zombie writers came in vogue.

Ian Fleming, Tom Clancy, Clive Cussler, W.E.Butterworth (well, name on the cover only); there are others I can't remember.

Comrade Misfit said...

The Lonely Silver Rain came out in `85, I think.

Mickey Spillane, Robert B. Parker, too. Spillane picked his own successor. They're pretty good and very close to the originals. But they are still off by a fraction of a degree.

Two president's kids: Elliott Roosevelt and Margaret Truman.

Grafton slowed down the timeline of her protagonist. Some of the others didn't. But her research was off on some things. In Y, which is set in 1989, Millhone mentioned that she got a CCW permit after a NICS check, a system that didn't come into existence until the late `90s Millhone carries a HK VP9, which was first sold just a few years ago. Millhone used to have a P7, which would not have been anachronistic.