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Hi Mr. Bain ,
I just wanted to say THANK YOU for writing The Murder She Wrote series. I used to watch that show as a little girl with my Nana, and I absolutely love reading the series now ! Please keep it up !
I was happy to see in Berkley Publishing's press release that you are indeed continuing with the Murder, She Wrote books, although we have quite a long wait until a follow-up to Hook, Line and Murder, May 2018. I'm sure it'll be great. Just glad to see you that you're continuing my favorite series! Hope to hear from you soon. :)
Are you still writing Murder she wrote books? Hope so
Sorry about the loss of your wife :( I hope you are well. I can't wait for the next MSW book. I LOVE your books and look forward to reading more in the future. Thank you!!!!
I'm so sorry to hear about your wife's passing.
Selfishly, I'm hopong you will continue to write more Murder, She Wrote books. My grandma and I are huge fans of this series.
Hi Donald, so sorry to hear about the passing of your wife and I send love and sympathies from here in the UK!! Hoping there will be more Murder, She Wrote Novels coming as I absolutely devour them!! Thanks again. Chris.
Are we getting another Murder She Wrote novel? I am nervous that there is no pre-order availability. Joan.
Do we have a new "Murder, She Wrote" book to look forward to this spring? I am usually able to pre-order from Amazon but there is NO information on a new book :(
Mr Bain, I love your books which I have told you a number of times. I just want to let you know I am still reading them. I hope your health is better now and continues to improve. I am a substitute teacher and I am really busy but not to busy that I don't find the time to read especially your books.. I loved Hooked, Line and Sinker and cannot wait till the next. Thank you Kathleen S
I have enjoyed reading your Murder She Wrote series for the past couple of years. I came here to see if there are more books coming. I am sad to hear of the loss of your wife and writing partner. I (selfishly and therefore ashamedly) wish you good health, comfort, and inspiration to add to your already prolific amount of novels. Thanks for keeping the character of Jessica Fletcher alive all these years. Reading this series is like seeing an old friend and picking up right where you left off. I first started reading this series when we moved halfway across the country and I was lonely. Thanks again and take care.
i am looking forward to May 2017 for the next Jessica Fletcher tome, A DATE WITH MURDER. I can't wait to read it. Thanks for keeping the series going, Donald. It means a lot to me. Sarah.
Dear Mr. Bain, I wanted to tell you that, as is usual with your books, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Hook, Line, and Murder. I always look forward to receiving your books and have honestly never been disappointed.
I read here that you had a "medical adventure," and hope that is behind you. Holidays are a tough time when one has suffered a loss, and if it's not too presumptuous of me, I hope you are doing well.
I look forward VERY much to your next book.
All the best from a long time admirer of your work,
Melissa from Baton Rouge
I absolutely love the Murder, She Wrote books! I own them all! I hope you get better very soon and I am sorry to hear of your wife's passing. That makes me sad for you. Please rest and be strong. From one of your biggest fans, Nelly from Ottawa, Canada.
Mr. Bain, I am so sorry about your wife, and medical issues. God bless you and know you have many loyal fans. Char
What a doofus to do it twice. I mean Mr. Bain
Sorry, typing error. I meant Mr. Gain.
Dear Mr. Gain,
I just finished Hook,Line, and Murder. It was great! What are your plans for more Murder she wrote books? I enjoy them so much and own them all.
Cindy from Pa.
(9/8/16) I would like to read a short story collection featuring JF. I dont know whether there are such uncollected stories- but this would be one great collection...
A number of readers have written what's called "Fan Fiction" short stories based upon Murder, She Wrote and posted them on various blogs. A few have also written novellas. But I haven't the slightest where these blogs can be found. I assume that a Google search will point the way to some of them but that's the best I can do. I hope that you find a selection of them and enjoy reading them. Thanks for querying and wishing you a wonderful Fall season.
(9/3/16) Sorry, I forgot to put my name for my question about George, Adele, etc. My name is Samella. Thanks so much for your time and for writing the best books!
Hi there, I have three questions: How did George Sutherland come about? He wasn't in the tv series was he? Is he supposed to be Michael Haggerty? Michael from the show seems less dashing and seems more conniving than George's character. And which book is the first book starring George? And then what happened to Adele? Is there a book that explains how Adele left and Maureen came about? Will George be in any more books?
Hello Samella -- Thanks for your posting and your very kind words about the series.
Scotland Yard Inspector George Sutherland appeared in the very first book in the series, GIN & DAGGERS, and has made an appearance in at least a dozen subsequent novels. I named him after my father, George Sutherland Bain.
No, he is not Michael Haggerty. I created him as a standalone character, and he's become a favorite of readers.
I made a mistake and gave Sheriff Metzger a wife named Maureen instead of using Adele. I don't remember off-hand which book has Adele leaving the sheriff for the excitement and bright lights of New York City, but I wrote that scene after a number of readers picked up on my mistake. I'd given Mort a wife named Maureen, and have followed through on it ever since.
I fully intend to feature George Sutherland in subsequent novels in the series, and the potential romance between Jessica and George will continue to be hinted at -- but nothing more than that.
Thanks again Samella for taking the time to write, and for your positive response to the series. I treasure readers like you.
(9/1/16) Dear Mr. Bain,
I am very sorry to hear about your "medical adventure" as you put it, in addition to losing your wife and writing partner. I hope that the many prayers, good thoughts and condolences from your loyal fans brings you some small comfort. And PLEASE take care of yourself. Do not push yourself to write unless you feel well enough to. We would rather you be healthy and hopefully also happy in the not to distant future than have you write if you should be resting. We will wait patiently (ok, maybe not exactly PATIENTLY considering how many of us go through your 2 books per year :) but we WILL wait :) Kelly
What can I say except THANK YOU for that lovely, loving message? You've lifted my spirits on an another wise dreary day!
(8/28/16) Dear Donald,
lots of love from Handewitt, at the Danish border!
How about an adventure for Jessica at the Baltic Sea?
Perhaps with a bit of vikings history and a lovely walk along the beach?
There are many old folk tales and great history in these parts of the world, perhaps some inspire you for another wonderful novel.
All the best
Hello Margitta from Handewitt
Love your enthusiasm for where you live. Many thanks for your suggestion about where to set a future "Murder, She Wrote" novel. You're blessed to live in such a lovely place, and your suggestion will certainly be seriously considered. Please consider this a reply to the email you also sent. Thank you again, and continue to enjoy your surroundings.
(8/21/16) Donald, thanks so much for continuing writing the Murder She Wrote books. You've made my evening. You keep me interested in reading. May I ask, where is A DATE WITH MURDER set? Joan.
Hi Joan. Thanks for weighing in. Always good to hear from you. At this stage A DATE WITH MURDER is set in Cabot Cove and in a neighboring community an hour's drive from downtown Cabot Cove. But I got up this morning questioning certain aspects of the storyline I've come up with and am in the process of revising the plot. That may involve having Jessica leave Maine as she searches for answers to the murder that's committed. I'll bring you up-to-date once I figure things out. Stay tuned!
(8/17/16) Hope the new contract negotiations are coming along. I don't see a new Murder, She Wrote hardcover listed for next Spring (2017). Are the publishers reducing the publishing to one new title each year, in the Fall?
The reason I've fallen behind in writing two books a year is the personal difficulties I've been experiencing lately. The publisher is in the process of preparing a new three-book contract, which will get back to the routine of two books a year. But there is this gap you refer to, and I suspect that the first book under the new contract will be published in the spring of 2017. with the second novel to come out in October of that year. Hope that answers your question. By the way, the tentative title for the first book under the new contract is A DATE WITH MURDER, and will deal with the popularity of online dating. Thanks for your post, and wishing you a splendid summer, what's left of it.
It's been a while since I responded to posts on this Discussion Page, and I apologize for being so delinquent. My wife's death, coupled with a series of medical adventure for me, have gotten in the way of responding to the posts as well as a number of emails. Let me make brief comments about the posts that appear below.
No, Aimee, I haven't watched "Stranger Things" but have been told about it. Its title certainly has relevance to Long John and Candy Jones.
The title "Coffee, Tea or Me? became a cash cow for many people because the publisher of that wildly bestselling book was negligent in protecting rights. People made a lot of money selling coffee mugs, baseball caps, and other items carrying the title which became part of the familiar public vocabulary. No surprise that a café would make use of it. Thanks for mentioning it.
I agree with Manuel that Copenhagen would make a wonderful setting for a new MSW novel. I visited Copenhagen years ago and fell in love that magical city. My agent and publisher are involved in negotiations for new books in the series, and Copenhagen will certainly be on the list of possible settings.(Take note Janet)
Hello Matt Clark -- Many thanks for your kind words about the Truman series of novels, the most recent of which, "Deadly Medicine, was recently published. I'm swamped at this moment with professional and personal things, Matt, but I will get back to you soon about signing one of your books. In the meantime, thanks for being a loyal reader of the Truman series.
Mr. Bain, I just finished the first season of Stranger Things and wonder if you have watched it. Made me think of you, Candy Jones and Long John.
Aimee in Oregon
Hi, first time poster. I once met a woman who was a flight attendant back in the 60's or 70's who met her husband by using the "Coffee, Tea or me" line on a good looking passenger. It has always made me aware of and interested in the book of the same name. I recently noticed a cafe in LA filing to copyright a referential phrase "tea yes, you maybe". Is this something you worry about? https://trademarks.justia.com/869/65/tea-yes-you-86965251.html
Hi Donald! I've been reading your book since many years here in Italy... My partner is now living in Copenhagen for work and I visited often the city. What about a Jessica mystery adventure in Wonderful , wonderful Copenhagen? I'm sure it could be a great book ... The city has that ancient style and there's a lovely , cozy mood. I can imagine Jessica finding someone dead in Nyhavn and then visiting the old streets of the town, the amazing University Library and the Round Tower watching things from the top.
Few stories from cinema and literature are set in Copenhagen, it's a pity! :)
Looking forward to new book from you , Renée and Jessica here in Italy asap!
Any news from your publisher about a new contract for more Murder She Wrote books? Janet.
Dear Mr Bain I emailed you to express my condolences about your wife. I lost my brother cousin and great grandfather within a year. Its been hell! But i try to take it one day at a TIMz. I was wondering if I can mail a copy of my book murder in George town and have you sign it and send back. I read all Ms. Trumans books and the latest in capital crimes you write and Would love a signed copy please let me know if this is is possible god bless Matt Clark
(6/6/16) Mr. Bain, I have discovered your book "War in Illinois." If you have a copy for sale, I would so enjoy owning a signed copy. I found the book and read with much anticipation and was very pleased with all of the indepth history. Or if you don't, could I send you my copy to be signed ? Thank You . Sincerely, Sandra Henry
Hello Sandra Henry -- My apologies for taking so long to respond to your email. I've been swamped with personal and professional challenges and am just now getting round to answering. I don't have a copy of "War in Illinois" or, as it was renamed, "Charlie & The Shawneetown Dame" to sell you. But if you want to send a copy for me to sign I'll be happy to do it. Please just be patient. Send it to Hyphenates, Ltd.,P.O. Box 3771, Danbury, CT o6813.
(6/6/16) I just love the MSW series. I read all that I could find, but soon ran out of the books and thought, perhaps, you had stopped writing them. Imagine my surprise and delight to find that there were many more books in the series filed under Fletcher as the author instead of Bain! Now I have at least a half dozen more to read and enjoy and will check both Bain and Fletcher in the future.
Glad that you've discovered that the books are filed both under my name and Jessica Fletcher, and that it will help you come up with new novels to enjoy. Thanks for writing, and best wishes for a summer of good reading.
(5/7/16) Hi Donald! I have read every single book in the MSW series and will soon be starting Design For Murder. Can't wait for Hook Line and Murder! I hope there is another book after that! Maybe Jessica could explore the Orient next or a trip around the world plot? Love the books, take care. Sara Jordan-Heintz
Hello Sara Jordan-Heintz -- Good hearing from you, and appreciate your very kind words about the series. Should there be a new contract I would very much enjoy setting one of the novels in Asia. That hasn't been done before and it would provide an interesting, exotic background against which Jessica could solve a murder mystery. Thanks again for taking the time to write. and please stay in touch.
(5/1/16) I just wanted to write and say how much I've enjoyed reading your Murder She Wrote books over the years. I particularly enjoy Jessica's travels and was so taken with Alaska as described by yourself in Panning For Murder that I booked an Alaskan cruise after reading it and had an amazing holiday (such a beautiful place). I live in England where your books are a little harder to get hold of (thank goodness for Amazon) but I have followed Jessica's adventures for many years and just wanted to thank you for your wonderful books.
Best wishes, Kate
Hi Kate -- Great hearing from you. I'm delighted that PANNING FOR MURDER prompted you to take an Alaskan cruise and that you enjoyed it. A while back one of the books in the series had Jessica solving a murder in London, which had her involved with many classic London venues. A reader booked a tour of London in which she and her husband made a point of visiting every place that Jessica did. I loved it. Many thanks for taking the time to write, Kate, and wishing you a wonderful summer. Hopefully 2016 will be the year that I get to again visit one of my favorite places in the world, London.
(4/23/16) I would like to offer my condolences to you and your family on the passing of your wife Renee. I am a huge fan of your books, they have taken me through both good and bad times.
Hi Aileen -- Thank you so much for your condolences about my having lost my wife and writing partner Renee. Your message means a great deal to me. I'm also gratified that the books I've written have been there for you while you've experienced the highs and lows of this thing called life. As a writer I can't ask for more than that. Again, thank you Aileen, and wishing you a wonderful spring and summer.
(4/20/16) I would really like to know why the prices of these Murder She Wrote books have jumped so drastically. Thank you.
I wish I had an answer for you but I don't. Pricing for the books is determined by individual booksellers, with the publisher setting the wholesale price. As the author I'm not part of the team that sets prices for books in the series. All I can suggest is that you comparative shop for books you're interested in buying, and hopefully you'll find a source that's more in line with the price you wish to pay. Many thanks for the query, and wishing you a wonderful spring and summer of good -- and affordable -- reading.
(4/12/16) Mr. Bain,
I have read a lot of your Murder, She Wrote books, but not in order. Does the order affect the experience, or can I read them out of order? Also, I was wondering when you transitioned some things, like Mort getting married to Maureen, and the new mayor, Jim Shevlin. I didn't know if that had to do with the order I've been reading them, or if it was ever mentioned in the TV show, or if you just decided to change things up. Thanks, Cailen
Hi Cailen -- Many thanks for taking the time to write about the series. You pose a good question and I hope my answer is sufficient. I take great pains to provide a backstory about any character I introduce in one of the novels, regardless of where that book falls in the series. I learned long ago how necessary this is for the reader who begins reading the series out of order. When I mention a character I try to introduce some background based upon when that character was originally introduced. I'm sure that I don't always succeed in providing enough of this information, but I do try. Some of the characters are new to the book series and never appeared in the TV shows. But, of course, I also utilize characters from the shows with whom readers are already familiar. Mayor Jim Shevlin was my creation aside from the show. The same is true with Scotland Yard Inspector George Sutherland. Interesting that you mention Mort Metzger and his wife Maureen. As loyal viewers know Mort was married to Adele on TV. I missed that when preparing to begin the book series and had to create a cover story to explain it, namely that Adele tired of small town Cabot Cove and moved back to NYC. I suppose the short answer to your question is that you should be able to read any of the 46 novels in the series and will understand how the characters fit into the overall story. Many thanks for writing, and all my best for a good spring and summer of good reading.
(4/11/16) Dear Mr. Bain,
I just learned the terrible news of your wife's passing. Please accept the sincere condolences of a stranger, albeit one who has read and loved so many of the novels on which you and your wife collaborated. From the obituary, it is obvious that Renee Paley Bain was a remarkable woman.
Sincerely, Melissa (Baton Rouge)
Dear Melissa - I can't thank you enough for your wonderful words, which are especially meaningful coming from "a stranger." I consider the many readers of the MSW series to be friends, and to know that her passing has prompted you to write me about it is friendship indeed. Yes, Renee was a remarkable woman, loving, generous, intelligent and so talented. It's been three months since she died and I'm still reeling from losing her. Hopefully time will mitigate the pain. In the meantime I've managed to finish the latest Margaret Truman novel, and edited the MSW novel that will be published in October. Now I'm free to try and deal with the grieving, which is a lot harder than writing a book. Thank you again Melissa. I'm blessed with readers (friends) like you.
(4/7/16) Just received by copy of Design For Murder and am looking forward to reading it. Hopefully a new contract is inked soon. I love the British series "Rosemary and Thyme" which is sadly no longer on the air after three very short seasons. Wish a publisher would continue the TV show as a series of novels like the Murder, She Wrote books. -Ted
Hello Ted -- Happy to hear that you'll be reading DESIGN FOR MURDER, and hoping you enjoy it. It's always interesting how readers differ in what they like. There are those who prefer that the stories be set in Cabot Cove, while another group enjoys it when Jessica travels to places other than Cabot Cove. This one takes place in New York City and involves that city's famed Fashion Week. The book that will be published in October, HOOK, LINE & MURDER, is set back in Cabot Cove. There's something for everyone. I don't know the British series "Rosemary and Thyme" but will check it out. Many thanks for taking the time. Wishing you and yours a spring and summer filled with good reading.
(3/23/16) I am truly sorry for your loss. You need to take time for yourself, to grieve. I wish you all the best in your path to healing. If it lifts your spirits, I have pre-ordered A DESIGN FOR MURDER from Barnes and Noble. Fingers crossed, I hope both you and your publisher will continue with the Murder She Wrote books. That said, I hope I do not sound selfish, but I really enjoy Jessica's travels. Your books brighten my day. You're a fine writer. Many thanks. Pesky Reader, Joan. :)
If hearing such thoughtful things from you, Joan, is considered "pesky," then I consider it a positive descriptive word. It means so much to me to have forged a relationship with readers like you through the books I write, and I thank you for all your kind thoughts and encouraging words. I suspect that a new contract will be forthcoming, and I look forward to taking Jessica on new travels. Right now I'm finishing up the latest Margaret Truman Washington-based thriller, ALLIED IN DANGER, which takes the series' lead character, Robert "Don't Call me Bobby!" Brixton to Nigeria with his British friend David Portland on a mission fraught with danger. Many thanks again Joan.
(3/23/16) I agree with the cover for "Hook, Line, and Murder." I think it is the best cover to date. I like the kaleidoscope of fall foliage and the serenity of the photo. Too bad I have to wait until October to read it. Thanks again for continuing with the series. These books are a big part of my annual reads. I look forward to my two favorite months: April and October. Are you excited about writing more adventures with Jessica & Company? My best. Joan.
Good morning Joan -- I agree about the cover. It's a nice departure from recent ones. I have the feeling that a sameness had set in with the last six or so covers, and am pleased with what the publisher's art department came up with for this one. As for future books, there isn't a new contract as yet. I appreciate that the publisher hasn't moved on this out of deference to my recent personal loss, but I'm sure that we'll get back to a more normal routine in the months ahead. In the meantime Joan many thanks for your posting and for the kind words about the series. I really appreciate it.
(3/22/16) The cover for Hook, Line, and Murder is up on Amazon and it looks great! Looking forward to reading this book in the Fall. -Ted in Charlottesville
Hello Ted -- Thanks for letting me know about the cover. I hadn't seen it and wasn't aware that it was finally posted. My readers are way ahead of me. Have a great spring and summer Ted.
(3/18/16) Donald, I am so sorry I just her about Renee. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I only just heard because I have been with my best friend who just lost her husband a few months ago. I am glad you spent your birthday with your daughter. Take care Kathleen S
Hi Kathleen -- Thank you so much for your lovely email. Hearing from folks like you goes a long way toward easing the hurt.
(3/16/16) Hi Donald massive fan of your books...just had the Queens Jewels delivered..I wondered if you had a favourite book in the series or one you were personally proud of?
Craig from London
Hello Craig from London -- When I saw "Craig from London" I immediately thought of my dear British friend and novelist Craig Thomas, who died a few years ago. Your question about a favorite book in the series as tough to answer. I've always had a particular affection for THE HIGHLAND FLING MURDERS. I very much enjoyed writing the first one, GIN & DAGGERS, and PROVENCE: TO DIE FOR has special meaning because of the wonderful research trip Renee and I took there. The novel being published this October, HOOK, LINE & MURDER, was a joy to collaborate with Renee on, and DOMESTIC MALICE is a favorite because it shone a light on a serious societal subject. So, Craig, I don't have one special favorite, but these are a few that come to mind. Wish I were in London with you. Many thanks for getting in touch.
(3/16/16) I am sorry to hear about your wife's death. My condolences. But I am happy to hear that you will be continuing writing the the Murder She Wrote series. I love the books and Jessica's travels. Do you have any idea where any of the new books will be set? Will you have to travel for new settings? I hope one of the books is set in Belgium. Keep writing. All my best, Judy.(
Hi Judy -- First, thank you so much for your kind words about Renee's passing. It certainly will be different writing them without her input, but since I wrote the first 25 or so myself I'm confident that I'll be able to make the adjustment. I have no idea where future books in the series will be set, but Belgium will be in the mix. Again, thank you for your condolences. I'm still reeling from Renee's death and hoping that the passage of time will help ease the profound grief and hurt. Have a wonderful spring and summer of reading.
(3/11/16) hi I love murder she wrote! I was just wondering if you know around when you will be getting a new contract for the books? cant wait for more to come out!!
Thanks for the question. My agent Bob Diforio is in the process of negotiating a new three-book contract with the publisher. These things tend to move slowly but I expect to hear the terms being offered within the next two weeks. All the best, and have a great spring and summer.
(3/6/16) I see that it's your birthday, Donald. I hope that you have a peaceful and relaxing day today. Take care! -Al
Hi Al -- Many thanks for the birthday greeting. It was, of course, bitter-sweet because of the recent loss of my wife, but I had a lovely dinner with my daughter Pamela and her three sons. Looking forward to my next birthday a year from now.
(3/6/16) Hi Don, just closed 'Murder He Wrote.' a very enjoyable read. You asked for reactions. It was definitely worth your time. Best, Laura Russell
Many thanks Laura for reading "Murder HE Wrote" and for your positive response to it. I've had a publisher suggest that I bring it up-to-date, which I'm considering doing. The problem, of course, is finding the time. I'm finishing up the latest Margaret Truman novel, and my agent Bob Diforio is negotiating a new "Murder, She Wrote" contract. Again, thank you for reading my autobiography and for taking the time to write.
(2/18/16) Hi Donald:
I just love your Murder, She Wrote books! I've been reading them for the past 15 years. I always make sure to pick up the latest Jessica Fletcher adventure. I've been running a Murder, She Wrote fan page for two years now, and I love giving shout outs to the cast, crew, writers, and directors of Murder, She Wrote on their birthdays. I was unable to find yours. Would you mind telling me the month and day? I asked around and other fans are curious as well. Your part of the Murder, She Wrote family. Thanks for all the wonderful stories!!
Hi Joyce -- Love your email and so pleased that you enjoy the "Murder, She Wrote" series. Always a pleasure to hear from a real fan. I'm a Pisces, born on March 6.
Thanks again, Joyce, and hoping you enjoy the new novels in the pipeline.
(2/9/16) It's regarding the cancelled pre pre order for Murder She wrote Bk 1 and Bk 2
Thanks for clarifying it. The resolution of this will involve the publisher and amazon, and aside from being impacted by the result I will have no role in it.
(2/8/16) I was wondering how you feel about possibly being involved in a lawsuit because of Amazon.ca
Could you be more specific? I'm not aware of a pending lawsuit with amazon.ca that might involve me.
(2/3/16) Is there a fun story about the change of Jessica's middle initial from B to D moving from the television series to the novels?
The story you refer to is fun, but only if you laugh at me for having hit the wrong key on my computer and made her Jessica D. Fletcher instead of Jessica B. Fletcher, and the editor didn't catch it. We all make mistakes, and I'm the first one to laugh at the mistakes I make. Thanks for catching it with your eagle-eyes, and have a wonderful spring. I can smell it in the air the past few days.
(1/26/16) Dear Mr. Bain,
I was just wondering when your going to write another book featuring George and Jessica. I love your books. But,as you know,the ones with George Sutherland in them are my favorites! Anyway,my condolences on the loss of your beloved wife Renee.Anyway,keep on writing and I'll keep on reading.
Hello Mary Manaugh -- Always nice hearing from you, and thanks very much for the positive words. Like you, I always enjoy writing books in which George Sutherland plays a major role. When a new contract comes through I'm sure that one of the books covered by it will feature the dashing Scotland Yard inspector. Thank you again for taking the time to write and for your kind words about Renee's death. Have a good new year.
(1/22/16) Hi Donald. I am deeply saddened to hear about the news of your wife Renee. My deepest sympathies. Take time for yourself. And I hope down the road you continue to write the Murder She Wrote series. Barbara.
I can't thank you enough for your sympathy about Renee's passing. I'm sure that Renee would agree with your suggestion, and would want me to continue the MSW series. I can hear her saying over my shoulder, "Come on Bain, get with it. You have another book to write."
Thanks again Barbara. Our readers are the best folks on the planet.
I was deeply touched and saddened to hear that you lost Renee. Losing someone so dear is devastating. One brief note brought me solace.
"And there are those who give and know not pain in giving, nor do they seek joy, nor give with mindfulness of virtue;
They give as in yonder valley the myrtle breathes its fragrance into space.
Through the hands of such as these God speaks, and from behind their eyes He smiles upon the earth."
All who knew her will always see her as one of God's smiles.
Ron -- Those words are beautiful, and I agree that Renee is smiling down on me. Thank you for caring enough to pass along such a meaningful, comforting message.
(1/17/16) My condolences to you during this difficult transition. Best wishes. Thomas.
I am so very sorry to hear of your beloved wife Renee's passing. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. May God bless and comfort you.
MSW Book Junkie Kimberly
Thank you Thomas and Kimberly. I take great comfort from your posts.
(1/14/16) "I'm sorry" always seems so inadequate when someone loses a loved one but there are really NO words "adequate" to express the feelings I and so many of your devoted readers have at the passing of your wife who obviously added so much to your life and, less directly, to ours, through the, "Murder She Wrote" books. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Kelly
Thank you Kelly. Each expression of sorrow at Renee's passing provides me with resolve to forge ahead in her name and to honor her as a superb human being, and talented writer.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR CONDOLENCES. EACH ONE BRINGS NEEDED COMFORT DURING THIS DEVASTATING TIME. Don Bain
Just wanted to offer my condolences to you and your family upon the death of your loving wife Renee,all of you will definitely be in my prayers tonight!
Huge condolences for your loss, love and thoughts with you all. I too lost a close one a few days ago. God bless you all. Rest in peace Renee Paley-Bain. Xx
Dear Mr. Bain,
I am so very, very sorry for your loss. What a beautiful tribute to Renee that you wrote! Reading about your sweet wife brought tears to my eyes. Thinking of your families during this painful time.
Mystery solved! There is no book in the MSW series titled MOST WANTED. It was a mistake on amazon's part. It's the large print edition of DOMESTIC MALICE. Thanks to Bob Diforio for clearing things up.
(1/4/16) Donald, what is MOST WANTED, a Murder She Wrote mystery? It is slated for publication on April 2016 and available for preorder at Amazon. Is this a new Murder She Wrote novel? Jenn
Hi Jenn -- Always good to hear from you. I have no idea why a book titled MOST WANTED is being billed as a "Murder, She Wrote" novel. I've asked our agent, Bob Diforio, to check into it, which he will do. Thanks for mentioning it. I never would have known if you hadn't raised it. Have a great 2016.
It's on Amazon.ca & it's the ones called Bk 1 & 2
they were listed as pre orders up until all orders were cancelled on December 24 2015
(12/31/15) Why were the listings for Murder She Wrote Book 1 & book 2 removed from Amazon? Is is true that the books will not be available?
I just went on Amazon and found the first two books in the MSW series, "Gin & Daggers" and "Manhattans and Murder" available in paperback editions.
(12/30/15) Dear Donald and Renee,
I hope you are having a wonderful holiday and are able to take a break from writing to enjoy yourself. I love the "Murder, She Wrote" books, both those set in Cabot Cove, and those set in other places. Let's face it, if they were all set in the small town of Cabot Cove there wouldn't be anyone left with all the murders that take place! I thoroughly enjoyed "The Ghost and Mrs. Fletcher" and loved having Eve Simpson in the story. It is always fun to have some of the old local characters pop up. I am looking forward to "Design for Murder" and have already pre-ordered it. I love NYC. It is such an exciting city with so much to do and so many possibilities for Jessica's adventures. I have faith you will have a new contract soon to continue this wonderful series. I have also enjoyed the "Coffee, Tea, or Me" books which I discovered many years ago and still take out to re-read periodically. Thank you for many hours of enjoyment. Kelly
Hello Kelly, and a very happy new year to you and all those you love. And thank you for the enthusiastic comments about the "Murder, She Wrote" series and "Coffee, Tea or Me?" Knowing that you're out there enjoying the books makes going into a new year that much more meaningful. Here's to a wonderful 2016.
(12/29/15) Hi Donald
What's the status on the Murder She Wrote series at the moment? Have you been offered another contract? If so, any ideas for future books?
Nothing new about a contract, but at this time of year nothing seems to get done in the publishing world. Things should start moving after the first of the year. In the meantime, a very Happy New Year to you, and thanks for your interest.
(12/22/15) Hi, Donald,
I am a new fan of your MSW series. I am currently reading "A Little Yuletide Murder." I wish that I would have found them years ago, but am thrilled that there are so many that I have not yet read! I appreciate that there is no gratuitous violence or sex. I truly enjoy the books. Keep up the great work!
Molly in Pennsylvania
Hello Molly in Pennsylvania -- Many thanks for your positive and enthusiastic comments. It means the world to me to know how much readers enjoy the series. My very best for a wonderful and safe holiday season.
(12/17/15) Hi Donald
How is the prospect of you getting a new Murder She Wrote contract looking? Have you completed Hook Line and Murder now?
Two good questions. We finished HOOK, LINE & MURDER this past weekend and delivered it to our agent a few days before its due-date. No word yet on a new contract, but our terrific agent, Bob Diforio, is talking with the publisher as we speak. Many thanks for asking, and have a wonderful new year.
(12/12/15) Hello! Just wanted to say I just finished reading A Slaying in Savannah. Definitely and throughly enjoyed it, especially the inclusion of "spirits". It was especially nice for a change as to who the murderer was and why! Now reading Trick or Treachery!
Stay warm and merry Christmas
Hello to you Cody -- Great hearing from you, and pleased that you enjoyed A SLAYING IN SAVANNAH. We loved researching the book in that quintessential southern city with its many quirks, including "spirits." TRICK OR TREACHERY also deals to some extent with spirits, and hope that you enjoy it as much.
Thanks for taking the time to write, Cody, and wishing you and yours a happy and safe holiday season.
Have you finished Hook Line and Murder? It was due at the publisher on Dec 1?
Hows the prospect of a new contract looking? Love your work!
Hi Tim -- Many thanks for the question and for the kind words about the series. Actually, we misread the contract. The delivery day is December 15, not December 1.
Whew! We'll have it wrapped up in about a week, in time to meet the deadline.
Thanks again, and have a wonderful and safe holiday season.
How is the writing of Hook Line and Murder coming along? I believe this is the last book on the current contract, really hope you get another contract!
Just finished writing Page 175. Another 75 pages to go. It's coming along fine, although the pressures of the holiday season tend to get in the way. But we'll meet the deadline.
As for the new contract, our agent, Bob Diforio, has been in discussions with our publisher, and we have every reason to believe that a new contract will be offered. Thanks for your positive message regarding it. We hope so, too.
Ugh I would love to read The Ghost and Mrs Fletcher, but for a multitude of reasons I cannot (yet) buy a copy. However, Christmas is coming.....! I'm sure it will be fantastic. How are future plans? I know Design for Murder (which I am also excited about) is coming out in April, and after that.....? Congrats on the MSW series; it's so good to keep that wonderful TV show alive through a different medium.
Thanks so much for the kind words about the series. We're currently working on the next novel that has the tentative title HOOK, LINE AND MURDER. It takes place in Cabot Cove during the annual fish-off competition and features Sheriff Metzger's wife, Maureen, who accompanies Jessica to a secluded cabin on Moon Lake and . . . well, something happens to Maureen that sets the town, to say nothing of her husband, on edge. Compounding things is the escape from a maximum security prison of a convicted murderer who has some scores to settle with certain folks in Cabot Cove. Hope your Christmas stocking is filled with good reading.
Would love to see a Murder She Wrote mystery centered around Loretta's Beauty Parlor, have always loved the scene's there on the show. As well as the episode on the bus where someone get's murdered and they have to stay in the diner till it's done storming and solved (love the cozy setting's like the beauty parlor, a b and b, the bus, etc.).
Loretta's Beauty Parlor is a favorite setting for us, and Loretta is a great character, but she doesn't play much of a role in THE GHOST AND MRS. FLETCHER, which was just published. But another wonderful character, real estate agent Eve Simpson, takes center-stage and is up to her old tricks as she tries to sell a famous "haunted house" in Cabot Cove. Hope you enjoy her antics in this latest in the series, and wishing you and yours a wonderful and safe holiday season.
(10/9/15) Hello Donald and your lovely wife. I'm so sad. I had pre ordered The Ghost and Mrs Fletcher on my kindle and it was so darn good I stayed up till 12:30 reading and now it's over. One of your best yet, and I have them all :) Rhonda from South Texas
You read too fast Rhonda. Aside from encouraging you to slow down, many thanks for your very kind words about the series, and about THE GHOST & MRS. FLETCHER in particular. If we could, Renee and I would write faster to please out friend in South Texas. Hope things are good for you and that you're enjoying the developing fall weather. Thanks again, Rhonda. (Were you named after that ravishing redheaded star, Rhonda Fleming? Just curious why your folks chose that name).
(9/30/15) Hi, Donald and Renee. I pre ordered The Ghost and Mrs Fletcher. But I wanted to know if there were any night scenes in Jessica's kitchen? It may sound strange, but I always loved the layout of Jessica's TV house. As I read the books, I can see everything from the TV series in them. Thanks for writing these wonderful, comforting books. I enjoy spending time with the books in April and October. Barb.
Hi Barb -- There's lots of action in the kitchen, but it isn't in Jessica's kitchen. It's in the "haunted" house that's featured in THE GHOST AND MRS. FLETCHER. So pleased that you enjoy the series and take the time to write and tell me that you do. Thank you, and enjoy the fall season that all of a sudden has arrived. Where did summer go?
(9/16/15) Hi Donald. I wish Design for Murder would come out before The Ghost and Mrs Fletcher. A trip back to NYC is in order for this reader. I love The Big Apple. So much energy and walk of life. I preordered the book. Can't wait. Erin.
Hi Erin -- DESIGN FOR MURDER will be out before you know it. In the meantime enjoy THE GHOST AND MRS. FLETCHER. We agree that NYC has an energy like no other place, and thoroughly enjoyed researching Fashion Week in the Big Apple, which isn't far from where we live. Thanks for writing, and enjoy this fall season.
(9/11/15) Dear Mr.Bain,
As you know,I love to read your Murder,She Wrote series,especilly the one's with George Sutherland in them, Also,I have just know put in a request at my local library asking them to please purchase your new book, "The ghost and Ms. Fletcher when it comes out next month,and I'm really looking forward to reading it, I just have a couple of questions for you, 1) is George Sutherland featured in this book at all 2) if not, when will be featuring him in another book again, and 3) Did you ever get a chance to have a serious talk with your agent about putting some of your books on those preloaded digital playaway things I told you about several years ago,not that it matter one way or the other,I was just curious. Anyway, can't wait to read your latest book, just keep on writting and I'll keep on reading!
Hello Mary M. -- September 11, a sad, important day in our history, one that must never be forgotten.
It's good hearing from you, Mary. To answer your questions, George Sutherland does not appear in THE GHOST AND MRS. FLETCHER. I love the character and we intend to feature him in a subsequent book (or books), but at the moment no specific plans. The book that we're currently writing, with the tentative title HOOK, LINE AND MURDER, also doesn't find George Sutherland in the mix of characters. It's the last book on the current contract, and although we expect to be offered a new contract once this book is delivered, we haven't planned ahead as to plots, characters to be featured, etc. It isn't easy coming up with storylines in which it makes sense to bring George from London to get involved in Jessica's sleuthing, but we will in future novels. He's too good a character to not use. By the name, he's named for my father, George Sutherland (Bain). As to your final question, I must admit that I don't remember discussing the preloaded digital playaway things that you mention.
Thanks for writing, Mary. Fall is fast approaching, a lovely time of year. I just wish the years didn't go by so quickly.
(9/7/15) Do authors get paid when somebody checks a book out of the library? How does that benefit authors? Sara.
I confirmed with my agent, Bob Diforio, who once headed two major publishing companies, that when a library buys a hardcover book from a publisher, a small royalty is paid the author on that sale. But once the library owns the book it can lend it to library patrons until it wears out without paying any additional money, including royalties. It's like you buying a book, which pays me a royalty, but then you are free to loan it to as many people as you wish. Hope this answers your question, Sara. Always good to hear from you.
(8/28/15) Hi Mr. Bain,
Back in April I had written a note to you that I had started rereading the entire Murder She Wrote series in order and am on the last book (and have my preorder of The Ghost and Mrs. Fletcher ready to be sent on October 6th.) I have so enjoyed reading these again! Thank you again for such wonderful characters! Thank you again, I hope you have had a wonderful summer!! Beth Reed
Hello Beth Reed - Many thanks for the very kind words about the MSW series. You make writing them a joy knowing that there are readers like you out there. We hate to see the summer fade away, but the change of seasons can be inspirational. Hope your summer was a good one, and that the upcoming fall season is equally as good. Thanks for writing Beth.
(8/28/15) Donald and Renee, are you on Twitter? Sara
Hi Sara -- No, we aren't on Twitter. Renee is on Facebook, and I have my website. Because we're always working on the next book (s), we just don't have the time to become involved in other social media possibilities and keep them current.
(8/24/15) I am sure you are busy writing, but are you going to update your website soon? I'd like to know the latest news regarding Murder She Wrote. Thank you for these great books. Shannon.
Shannon, you put us to shame, and we thank you for it. Yes, we have been extremely busy writing two new books, as well as handling myriad other matters pertaining to our writing life. Sometimes it takes a gentle reminder such as yours to spur us into action, and we will try to update the site in the next few days. I took a quick look at it and am not sure how much current news there is regarding the MSW series, but we'll post whatever we can come up with. Thanks, Shannon, and wishing you a splendid upcoming fall season.
(8/22/15) Hi Donald!
Love the books! I'm a recent collector and I apologize if this has been asked before but have you ever considered allowing Jessica to explore a little bit more of a romantic storyline while working a case? I know in the show they briefly flirted with it in the pilot and other various episodes, but I'd love to see how you would tackle it! - Nikki (Detroit, MI)
Hi Nikki from Detroit -- Great question. Actually, Jessica and the dashing Scotland Yard inspector George Sutherland have had a flirtation going since the first book in the series, GIN & DAGGERS. I haven't advanced their relationship because the good folks at Universal Studios, which owns the series, does not want Jessica involved romantically. In an earlier book, COFFEE, TEA OR MURDER?, which was a play on the title of a book I wrote years earlier, "Coffee, Tea or Me?," I had Jess and George kiss for the first time. The manuscripts are all vetted out in Hollywood, and when they read the novel I received a call asking that the kiss be removed from the story, which I did. I understand why Universal is so protective of the Jessica Fletcher character. The series, both on TV and in the books, has been a major money maker for the studio, the character carefully created, developed, and nurtured for many years. So, Nikki, I wouldn't wait for Jessica and George to become a couple in the real sense, and certainly not tying the knot. Thanks so much for writing, and enjoy what's left of the summer. Where did it go?
(8/19/15) Hi, Donald. Any news on a new contract for the MS W books? Fingers crossed. Joan
Hi Joan -- We certainly expect that a new contract will be offered, but there's never any guarantee. The publisher generally waits until we've delivered the final book on the current contract before our agent Bob Diforio can start negotiating for a new one. The book we're currently writing is due for delivery December 1, so I don't expect there'll be any substantive conversation about a new deal until close to that date. But we'll keep you posted. Hope you summer has been a pleasant one. It has for us except it's going by much too fast.
(8/17/15) Cannot wait for your next Murder She Wrote book to come out. Have a great day to you and Renee. Kathleen S
And the same to you Kathleen S. Always enjoy seeing Kathleen S pop up on the "Discussion" page. Enjoy what's left of summer!
(8/9/15) Hello. Will you be doing a book signing at KillerNashville?
We'll certainly be at Killer Nashville but I haven't been given the schedule of events yet. I assume I'll be signing books, which I always enjoy. Meeting the actual people who read the books is always satisfying. Hope to see you there this year, and thanks for the question.
(8/7/15) Hi, Donald. I noticed that my last post was deleted from your discussion page. I apologize if it was offensive. Let me try it again: I think Africa would make a great setting for a future MSW mystery. Jessica may be on an African Safari, or visiting a relative? What do you think. Thanks again for the books. I enjoy them. Beth.
Hi Beth -- First, let me assure you that we would never deliberately delete a post from you. We've always enjoyed your correspondence with us. There was a period when we had to take down the "Discussion" page because of personal attacks that didn't belong there, but it did not involve you. If your post was deleted it was purely a mistake and a slip of the finger on the keyboard. That said, let me say that I wholeheartedly agree that putting Jessica in Africa on a safari is a terrific idea. Let's see if the publisher comes through with a new contract, and whether the folks at the publisher and at NBC Universal like the idea of Jessica on a safari (with only photo shoots, no endangered animals killed). Thanks for writing, Beth, and enjoy the rest of the summer.
(8/7/15) Gosh....reading below about Saudi Arabia, that sounds like it would be an amazing story. But of course, as you say, it would damage credibility, which is important to consider. Berlin would be fantastic!
I agree. I'd love to set a future book in Berlin. One of my grandsons will be spending a semester in Berlin later this year, and we'll pick his brain when he returns. Of course, ideally we'll visit that German city that's become one of the arts capitals of Europe. In the meantime many thanks for writing.
(8/7/15) Will you ever set one of the MSW books in a bus, having Jessica travel somewhere in Maine? Maybe Jessica is on a book tour, or visiting a relative en route? I really enjoy the moments when Jessica is traveling across our country. I hope you continue the series well after the 50 entry mark. My best to you and Renee. Paulina.
Hello Paulina -- Many thanks for taking the time to write and for your kind words about the series. Jessica on a bus. Intriguing. That'll go into our already thick file of possible plot points for future books. We share your hope that the MSW book series will one day reach 50. We're writing Number 46 right now, and will be surprised if the publisher doesn't offer another contract. Of course, much depends upon what's in any contract tendered, but I'm sure we'll be able to come to an agreement as we have with all previous contracts. Thanks again, Paulina, and hope that you continue to enjoy upcoming books in the series.
(8/4/15) The cover art for Design for Murder is beautiful. I am excited to read it! Jenn.
Hi Jenn -- Yes, the art department came up with a good cover for DESIGN FOR MURDER. Covers are so important, and it's an ongoing challenge for the publisher's art department to come up with fresh designs, especially considering that Angela's image must appear on each one. Speaking of Angela Lansbury, we watched her performance with James Earl Jones the other night in DRIVING MISS DAISY, which was performed and filmed in Australia. What a remarkable talent she is, as well as a lovely human being. Thanks for writing, Jenn.
(8/4/15) Donald, I assume your publisher granted you a new contract for more Murder She Wrote books. "Hook, Line and Murder" is the perfect title for a Cabot Cove mystery. I will read any of the books, but I am one of the many readers who enjoy Jessica's travels away from Maine. Will we see Jessica traveling soon? All the best. Martha.
Hello Martha -- I think my response to the posting below yours will answer your questions about where Jessica might travel next, and whether there will be a new contract tendered. Glad you like the title of the novel that we're writing now, the 46th in the series. When we decide where Jessica will travel to next we'll post it on this website. In the meantime soak up what's left of the summer, and happy reading.
(8/4/15) Just wondering, which international settings are high on your list of possibilities for future MSW books?
We haven't given future foreign settings much thought as we try and meet the deadline for the 46th novel in the series, HOOK, LINE AND MURDER, which is due to the publisher on December 1, and takes place in Cabot Cove. Having lived for a year in Saudi Arabia, and with all the news about the Middle East these days, I naturally am intrigued with sending Jessica there. But that would strain credibility; I can't imagine any good reason why she would end up in the midst of all the turmoil. Paris is a possibility. So is Berlin, which has become an arts center of Europe. And, of course, there's Asia and its many fascinating nations and cultures. Renee would love for us to travel to Australia to research that as a possible setting, and I have a fondness for any of the Scandinavian countries. There are so many possibilities, and as I said we've simply haven't had time to discuss it. It all depends, of course, on whether the publisher will offer a new contract for more books. Because it's a successful series we assume that it will, but the publishing industry is in turmoil and one never knows, does one? Thanks for the question, and hope you enjoy future books no matter where they're set.
(8/1/15) Woohoo! I can't wait for The Ghost & Mrs Fletcher, and Design for Murder. Ultimately, I'm an enormous fan of Cabot Cove, so I'm so thrilled to hear that the 46th book is also a CC-based story. Although, to be quite honest, a different setting (like NYC) does not really detract from my enjoyment of the books. I live in the English Cotswolds, so Death of a Blue Blood was marvellous to read. Cabot Cove must be so much fun to write about! From what I hear/read from others, the Cabot Cove stories are undoubtedly the most popular of the MSW books. Best wishes!
You live in a beautiful place. Renee and I have spent wonderful times in the Cotswolds, both on vacation and when researching DEATH OF A BLUE BLOOD. Of course, Cabot Cove is a lovely place, too, albeit a fictitious town. Reader opinion seems split when it comes where to set stories. We receive many emails from readers, about half of which prefer it when Jessica stays home. The other half likes it when she travels. Regardless of which side you weigh in on, I'm just pleased that you enjoy the series. Thank you for taking the time to write. Hopefully we'll get back to the Cotswolds one day soon.
(7/29/15) Sorry, how is the 46th book coming along?
How is the 45th book coming along?
We've just started writing the 46th novel in the MSW series, which means we've created the title page. One of my hang-ups is that I can't start writing a book until the title has been agreed to by all concerned. It looks like the title will be "Hook, Line & Murder," but that hasn't been finalized yet. The story obviously will involved Jessica fishing in Cabot Cove. Assuming that it will be the title we'll start writing the book today. It's due at the publisher in early December. Thanks for asking, and enjoy what's left of the summer.
(7/26/15) So glad you were able to bring back the discussion page. Love to hear the latest on the Murder, She Wrote book series! Thank you for taking the time to talk with us fans. Love the books!!!
Ayce from Wisconsin USA
Hello Ayce from Wisconsin -- Many thanks for your sunny message on a hot, humid, overcast day here in Connecticut. I really missed having the "Discussion" page up-and-running and glad that readers again have the opportunity to communicate on it. The bottom line for any writer is whether readers enjoy what's being written, and hearing positive feedback makes it all worthwhile. Thanks again, Ayce, and enjoy what's left of the summer that's flying by.
(7/16/2015) Re: the MSW prison plot line you're currently writing, there is an episode in season two of Murder She Wrote titled JESSICA BEHIND BARS that you could watch for inspiration. Great episode. I am sure the book will be just as wonderful. Joan. I love these books as well. Also, does you editor know the character of Jessica Fletcher? Does she watch the TV series to understand how your books work? Keep writing! :)
We're fortunate that our editor, Laura Fazio, has a solid understanding of the Murder, She Wrote series and of the characters, especially Jessica Fletcher. But your point is well-taken. I've worked with editors in the past on other books who hadn't a clue about the subtleties of the characters or setting. Working with Laura is a joy. Working with those other editors wasn't especially joyful. Thanks for the question, and for the very kind words about the series. By the way, we've toned down the importance of the prison break in the new storyline we've submitted to our publisher and to Universal. And we will check out the TV episode you cite. We have DVDs of all the seasons.
(7/14/15) Design for Murder sounds fun fun fun. It is available for preorder. I cannot wait for the book. Will any of Jessica's detective friends from the TV series make an appearance in NYC? Thanks for writing these great books. They make me happy. Shelly.
Hi Shelly -- We had a ball with DESIGN FOR MURDER, and hope that you'll enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed writing it. To answer your question, none of Jessica's detective friends from the TV series will make an appearance in this one. There is a NYC detective, however, a recent widower, who takes a shine to Jess and begins to attempt to woo her. He's a great character who we enjoyed creating. Many thanks for the very kind words about the series. Have a great summer of reading.
(7/14/15) Hi Donald
Any teases you can give on the 46th Murder She Wrote book?
Funny you should ask. We developed a storyline for Book #46 but our editor wasn't crazy about it and asked us to make changes, which we're working on at the moment. I will say that it involves a prison break that places Jessica at jeopardy, although the escape from prison will take a less important role in the storyline we're rewriting. Will bring it up to date once everyone on the team agrees. Many thanks for asking. Stay tuned!
(7/10/15) During edits for your Murder She Wrote books, have you ever disagreed with your editor's comments or suggestions? I think it would be difficult to give up your creative power to somebody else. I love the Murder She Wrote books. Keeps writing. Penny.
Hi Penny -- A very good question. I sometimes debate suggested changes made by my editor, but not often. A good editor is worth gold to a writer. An editor reads a manuscript for the first time just as a reader will, and often picks up things that have gotten lost in the writing. Of course, a lot depends upon the editor's skill, experience, -- and often age. We work with a top-notch editor on for the "Murder, She Wrote" series, Laura Fazio, who is especially astute at catching mistakes and questionable actions or character motives. When she raises a question we listen. The manuscript is also copyedited after Laura's edits have been incorporated, and copy editors train an eagle-eye on every word and sentence. In the case of MSW, the manuscript is also vetted by the folks at Universal that owns the rights to the series. I've had run-ins with editors in the past concerning other books I've written, and in two cases I really went to war over suggested changes that I considered not only ridiculous, the reasons behind the changes were personal on the part of the editors. I write about those experiences in my autobiography, "Murder HE Wrote." Many thanks Penny for the good question and for taking the time to write. Have a great summer.
(7/2/15) Hi, Donald and Renee.
It is nice to see the discussion page up and running. I've missed the interaction with two of my favorite authors. I have yet to read the new Murder, She Wrote novel, Killer in the Kitchen. I preordered the book in October, The Ghost and Mrs. Fletcher. WIll the publisher offer a new contract for more books? I hope you will continue writing about Jessica Fletcher. Like the TV series, these books are comforting. I would be sad not to have a new Jessica Fletcher novel every six months. And personally, I do not care where the books are set. As long as Jessica is on the case! My best, Joan.
Hi Joan -- We're pleased, too, to have the Discussion page up-and-running again. Without it we lose the opportunity to hear directly from favorite folks like you, and we're glad that you're back on the site. We've just this week delivered to our publisher the storyline for the next MSW novel for their approval (and the approval of Universal which owns the TV series). That's the last book on the current contract, and we assume that a new contract will be offered in the coming months. In the meantime THE GHOST AND MRS. FLETCHER will be out in October, and our editor is beginning to lend her deft editorial hand to DESIGN FOR MURDER, which takes place during Fashion Week in NYC and will be published in the spring of 2016. So we've been busy. My latest Margaret Truman Washington-based thriller/mystery, INTERNSHIP IN MURDER, has an August 25th pub date, and I'm at work on another novel in that series. Our motivation is people like you, Joan, and we deeply appreciate your constant support. Have a terrific summer, and hope it includes lots of reading.
(6/39/15) What happened to all the ideas for setting future Murder She Wrote novels away from Cabot Cove? Texas, Virginia, Los Angeles, Austraila or somewhere in Europe? I like when Jessica travels. Her life in Cabot Cove gets tiresome. Jennifer.
Hi Jennifer -- Thanks for your post, In defense of where we set the novels, I have to point out that there are as many readers who agree with you (prefer that Jessica travel away from Cabot Cove) as there are those who complain about books in which her adventures take her away from Cabot Cove. That old saying "You can please some of the people some of the time, but you can't please everyone all of the time" comes to mind. I checked back and of the last 10 novels in the series (including the one we're still to write which will take place in Cabot Cove) six of them are set in places other than Cabot Cove -- Italy, Bermuda, Cuba (partial), Hawaii, the British Cotswolds, and New York City. A number of factors go into choosing settings for the books and we try to both satisfy our own needs from the standpoint of research as well as providing geographic scope in order to please the majority of our readers. Texas, Los Angeles, and Australia are in our file of potential settings, and if the publisher wants to issue a new contract