Why Do Series Novels Draw Readers?
There are a number of reasons why series novels draw readers. Many readers enjoy a consistency of setting in a series. It becomes familiar and comfortable to them. My opinion is that the setting should be one the author knows well whether it be a city he/she has lived in, a rural community, an exotic place visited, or an historic location that has been researched in detail. This lends authenticity to the novel. For instance, in the first mystery in my Kim Reynolds librarian sleuth series, THE INFERNO COLLECTION, I chose a university setting because it was one I was very familiar with. I had not only received several graduate degrees, I both taught English and was an academic librarian (at different times) at
In a series the author needs to create characters readers will want to return to again and again. We enjoy reading Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series because we know the characters and they make us laugh. We enjoy reading the Number One Ladies Detective Agency series because of the wonderfully charming and unique characters Alexander McCall Smith has created. In THE DROWNING POOL, the second mystery novel in my series, Kim Reynolds and homicide detective Mike Gardner return to solve another set of murders. They are joined by a new character, a woman of color, police detective Bert St. Croix. The three main characters are very different in personality and background but each lends something unique to the novel. While Kim Reynolds remains the main character in THE TRUTH SLEUTH, Mike and Bert are very important as well. As with Evanovich and Smith, these novels have humor as well as drama and crime.
I believe that plot is also a key factor in the mystery novel or any series. In the Kim Reynolds series, there are connected murders that need to be solved. The main characters may even become personally involved as in THE TRUTH SLEUTH when Kim initially finds the body of a murdered boy and later discovers another on the high school grounds.
I am pleased that THE INFERNO COLLECTION and THE DROWNING POOL are now available at low cost in all e-book formats. You can check them out at:
Do series novels have an advantage over stand alone novels? As a reader or as a writer, which do you prefer? Drop a comment here, and if you want to be entered for a print copy of the new edition of THE TRUTH SLEUTH recently published by Harlequin Worldwide Mystery, include an e-mail address. Giveaway winner will be chosen at random. An excerpt from the novel is available at the Harlequin website: http://www.harlequin.com/storeitem.html?iid=27323