When Is a Castle a Rook?

These “Richard Castle” books just crack me up. Seriously. If, like me, you’re a fan of the TV series Castle, you can’t help but get a big kick out of these series-related books.

However, unlike most books that derive from television programming (think Star Trek for an especially successful version), these books are not a continuation of the show. Instead these are books that the show’s lead character, Richard Castle, “writes.” Actor Nathan Fillion, who plays Richard Castle, is pictured on the back cover as the author and the back flap bio replicates that character’s TV persona.

In reality, these snappy mysteries are written by one of the genuine, flesh-and-blood mystery writers who have appeared on the show (remember those poker games?). Which one? I haven’t tried to find out but I bet the truth is out there.

The first book, Heat Wave, came out at the beginning of the second season, and was prominently displayed on the show. The synergy must have been pretty solid, because this second book came out just as the third season started. It seems the not-real Richard Castle has to meet the same once-a-year deadlines as real popular fiction writers!

It’s obvious where Castle finds his inspiration: Nikki Heat and her police team from the books are thinly veiled versions of Kate Beckett and her crew on the TV show. Castle re-imagines himself as Jamison Rook (cute name twist huh?), a journalist.

But there are differences, too. And this last book had one revelation about the Rook character that really knocked me out.

They’re fun reads, for sure, but what’s even more fun is the whole idea of real books from a fake writer. You’ve got to love that.

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