Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: career and peak

From: George Upper (
Date: 19 Nov 2001

--- Mark Sullivan <> wrote:
> I seem to remember
> reading that Loren
> Estlemen once made a rule (which he has since broken
> with Amos Walker)
> never to write more than seven books in a series.
> Are there any series
> that go much beyond that number that did/do not show
> severe dropoff?

Lawrence Block's Matt Scudder series. Without question, there are some books that are better than others, but I think this is one of the most consistent series out there. His latest, HOPE TO DIE, is the 14th or 15th in the series, if I remember correctly, and I recommend it (although I haven't finished it yet, so I suppose I could change my opinion if the ending stinks. I doubt it, though.).

And speaking of sidekicks, Scudder has another one
(besides Mick, I mean), the streetwise TJ, who is considerably less sociopathic than Scudder himself. I think he first appears in A DANCE AT THE SLAUGHTERHOUSE in the early 90s.

He also has nine or ten books in his Burglar series, which I like very much but is nothing like hard-boiled. Although I suspect that many Rara-Avians would not enjoy this series as much as Scudder, it, too, is pretty consistent.


===== George C. Upper III, Editor The Lightning Bell Poetry Journal

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