RARA-AVIS: Re: Block's different series protags meeting

From: JIM DOHERTY ( jimdohertyjr@yahoo.com)
Date: 03 Nov 2007


Re your question below:

"Did Bill Pronzini's Nameless team up with Marcia Muller's Sharon McCrone in a book?"

Nameless and Sharon McCone teamed in a book called DOUBLE, set at a private eye's convention in, IIRC, San Diego. They work together to solve the murder of Sharon's mentor in the PI business ("When a gal's former partner is killed, she's supposed to do somethin about it").

In addition to Nameless and Sharon McCone sharing ball-carrier (and narrating) duties, cameo appearances are made by William Campbell Gault's Brock Callahan, Sue Grafton's Kinsey Milhone, and our own Bob Randisi's Miles Jacoby.

Nameless and Sharon also turn up in a Pronzini/Muller collaborative short-short called "Cache and Carry," in which Sharon asks Nameless for advice on a burglary she's investigating. Since, in a short story, it's difficult to divide first-person narrator assignments the way one can in a novel, the story is told entirely in dialog.

Pronzini's Old West detective, John Quincannon, and Marcia Muller's crime-solving museum curator, Elena Oliverez, teamed up (despite the distance of a near-century) on a book called BEYOND THE GRAVE.

The novel in which Nameless teamed with Collin Wilcox's SFPD Homicide Lieutenant Frank Hastings (and Pronzini, of course, teamed with Wilcox) was called TWOSPOT. According to some sources, it was originally going to be called THREESPOT, and Joe Gores was going the be the third collaborator, using characters from his DKA series, but dropped out of the project.

Perhaps the first authors who crossed their series characters were Stuart Palmer and Craig Rice, whose respective series character, crime-solving schoolteacher Hildegard Withers and hard-drinking attorney John J. Malone, teamed up in a series of short stories collected in THE PEOPLE VS. WITHERS AND MALONE.

One author who crossed his own series in a short story is Edward D. Hoch, whose professional cop, Captain Leopold, and professional thief, Nick Velvet, met in one tale the title of which escapes me.

While the Dortmunder crowd and Parker have never met f2f in a Westlake book (not counting the aforementioned JIMMY THE KID, in which Parker appears as a fictional character), they do have a point of contact in Joe Gores DKA series. Parker and Dan Kearney share a scene that appears in both a DKA book and a Parker book, each scene depicted from the other character's POV (I forget which books off-hand), and the Dortmunder crowd crosses paths with DKA operative Ken Warren in DROWNED HOPES, and the same scene, from Warren's perspective, later appears in 32 CADILLACS.


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