Re: RARA-AVIS: Replacements

Mari Hall (
Mon, 30 Mar 1998 09:19:12 -0600 Bill Hagen wrote:
> In discussing K.C. Constantine, Mario Taboada notes something that might
> make an interesting thread:
> "Incidentally, the other day I saw an annoucement of a new Constantine
> novel - Mario Balzic is now retired, and Carlucci is the protagonist.
> This following of the hero until retirement and then replacement by a
> subaltern as protagonist may well be a first in crime fiction. But then,
> nothing about Constantine's fiction is ordinary - he's a great American
> original."
> Do any other instances of "protagonist replacement" come to mind? And
> let's make it hard by saying the protagonist has to have had at least a
> two-novel run before he or she was replaced. How was he or she replaced?
> (Speculate why.) Was the new protagonist successful?
> To kick things off, I can think of one instance, though a police
> procedural. Nicholas Freeling, to the dismay of many, killed off his very
> personable Dutch policeman, Van der Valk, after a ten-year run. He
> replaced him with his widow, Arlette, who was featured in (I think) one
> more novel, "The Widow." Then Freeling went on to create a more
> conventional French policeman, Henri Castang, in a new series.
> As for the "why," George Dove ("The Police Procedural") argues that the Van
> der Valk series was, in the first place, an attempt to write a more
> literate kind of detective fiction. When Freeling felt his protagonist had
> become predictable or even self-parody, the author ended him. Since
> Arlette lasted only one novel, she can't be termed a successful
> replacement, I guess.
> What other examples can folks think of?
> Bill Hagen
> <>
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Oh, there's a cozy writer (and since I don't read many of those whose
name escapes me) who wrote about Clara and Henry (?) Gammage and then
her niece picked up the stories and wrote about Clara when Henry died.
(Was the Cable Car Murder one of her's??)

whose DOROTHYL nom is Kate Warne the ex-Pinkerton in
The Woman With the Rose Tattoo by Mari Hall
See y'all at Bouchercon 29 in Philly Oct.1-4
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