Re: RARA-AVIS: John Francis Cuddy

From: Jeremiah Healy (
Date: 20 Nov 2001


        Thanks for the questions:

        1 and 2) I decided to kill off Nancy as a "brainstorm" while beginning that book, SPIRAL, set in Fort Lauderdale, while doing promotional visits in South Florida. I thought at Book #13, it was time to bring Cuddy back to his "roots," so to speak, as a loner/widower. Given the fan reaction running 9 to 1 AGAINST the decision, I probably made a mistake, which I DON'T think would have been redeemed by tying her death more into a Cuddy book main plot, especially since, in Book #12 (THE ONLY GOOD LAWYER), Cuddy investigates the killing of a FORMER assistant district attorney.

        3) Originally, I thought I'd have trouble coming up with enough graveyard scenes for the books. Then I realized that the better route would be to keep Cuddy a "pure" widower (i.e., frozen in time) for the short stories (the first half of which are collected in THE CONCISE CUDDY, published in 1998 by Crippen & Landru, and the second half of which will be collected in CUDDY PLUS ONE, to be published in 2002 by C&L as well). For the last few books in the series, I believe Cuddy has made only one visit to Beth's resting place per novel, which I think is about right, both for him AND for those fans who find such visits the subliminal signature of Cuddy as a protagonist.

        I'd be happy to hear other critiques, especially since I will be dropping off to let another writer be featured once November comes to an end.

Best from Boston,


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