Re: RARA-AVIS: McGee, MacDonald and series

From: Etienne Borgers (
Date: 03 Apr 2001

--- Mark Sullivan <> wrote:
> dc wrote:
> Finally, as for Etienne's implication about series
> characters being a
> concession to US readers, I don't notice any dearth
> of them in other
> countries: Simenon, Malet, Rankin, PD James,
> Christie, etc.

No, not at all- I didn't want to be restrictive there. Series: It's a kind of intercontinental disease!
[On the contrary of the decline of readership for HB that was a fact already in those days in the USA].

If you remember, we previously spoke here about series and the dangers and pitfalls writers are going through when they stick to an overlong series of novels with the same character(s)... and we concluded that very few went through with flying colors. I still share this opinion.

I do not consider, for example, all novels of the Maigret series worth the time to read them (he wrote close to 80 of them). The real good Simenon is in his other novels he wrote after WWII (he called them the
"though novels"- and some really were... His best is there).

Malet was not too bad with his Nestor Burma series
(15 novels-)some being really good ones. But Malet was a quite prolific writer producing a lot of books under pseudonyms, and crime novels without Burma. Quality is very variable, but when he is good he's very good...

And IMO, in our modern days, the pushers are now Hollywood and cable TV(s)... up to the point that most of the publishing houses ask more and more for series, even to new writers- especially for crime/mystery novels.

E.Borgers Hard-boiled Mysteries

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