3 November 2011 2 Comments

The Next Big Series Detective

I began my career as a novelist with a series of four Omar Yussef Mysteries, in which the protagonist was a Palestinian sleuth. I’ve followed those books with two stand-alone novels, as they’re called. The first is published this week in the US. MOZART’S LAST ARIA is the story of Nannerl Mozart, who goes to Vienna in December 1791 to find out who really killed her famous brother Wolfgang. Next year I’ll publish a novel about the mysterious end of Caravaggio, the Italian artist who disappeared in 1610.

As I figure out what to do next, I’ve been considering a new series character. Publishers like a series. Readers can come back every year for a new book where they’ll meet up once more with familiar figures – the detective, his family and friends, the exotic locale. If they like the new book, they might buy all the previous ones. So perhaps it’s a good move.

Here are a few of the series I’ve been considering. Let me know which of these sleuths would be the one you’d most like to read (and which are clearly only placed here as a joke):

1. A woman of 70 who’s active in Jewish philanthropy. At the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, a leading member of her women’s organization is murdered. Malki Blatt must find the killer. (Who turns out to be from a rival Jewish women’s group which is much more right-wing on Israel.) The character is based on my mother-in-law.

2. A children’s clown has been abducting mothers. The victims are found naked and dead, bound by balloon animals. A father, Jim McCoy, must hunt down the killer clown within 24 hours, because he’s booked a magician for his son’s birthday party and fears his own wife may be next.

3. Kill My Wife, Please. It’s 1964. Lenny Weiss is a comic and emcee at a Catskills resort when a serial killer murders some holidaying women. Lenny must find which of his warm-up acts is behind the slaughter.

4. Wake Me Up Before You Die-Die. DJ Elvis Gilmore is accused of murdering dancers at his nightclub. To clear his name Elvis must find the real killer. The clues seem to be contained in an old Wham! song.

5. Latisha Bone is a school nurse. One day she finds more than just lice in the children’s scalps. So begins a race against time in which Latisha finally overthrows the regime of the mullahs in Iran.

6. The Amyotropic Lateral Sclerosis Detective. Without the use of his arms, legs, or voice, PI Kermit Baines lacks clients. Until a series of murders that seems to have been carried out by someone with motor neurone disease. Usually scornful of Kermit, the police turn to him.

Or I might just write another Omar Yussef novel. Let me know what you think?

2 Responses to “The Next Big Series Detective”

  1. B. Backbeat 3 November 2011 at 6:31 am #

    Can you put Omar on an El Al flight from Miami to Tel Aviv where he is forced to sit in the middle seat between the window-seated and weak-bladdered Hadassah Women’s Organization representative Grossie Tushe and the Turrets-Syndrome suffering Evangelical Pastor Salade Bowill? Heads start to turn when he orders the Hallal Meal.

  2. Matt Beynon Rees 4 November 2011 at 4:44 am #

    …I could, except that Omar doesn’t really like to eat anything but his own wife’s cooking…

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