In our last Partners In Crime broadcast, we discussed Ace Atkins continuing Robert B. Parker’s Spenser series with Lullaby. This lead to a discussion about which author we would choose to revive a series character. We put the question to some of our author friends and here’s what they had to say:
Barry Graham (When It All Comes Down To Dust): “Christa Faust doing Fu Manchu in contemporary LA.”
Ace Atkins (The Broken Places): Robert Crais taking on Marlowe with an old case that connects to Elvis Cole.
Kenneth Wishnia (The Glass Factory): I’d like to see Megan Abbott do a story from the perspective of one of the classic femme fatales of the hardboiled era, like Phyllis Nirdlinger (Double Indemnity), Brigid O’Shaughnessy (Maltese Falcon) or Carmen Sternwood (The Big Sleep).
Chris F. Holm (The Big Reap): Duane Swierczynski taking on Parker. For one, I happen to know he loves the character as much as I do, which is saying something — so you can be sure he’d honor Westlake’s greatest creation at every turn. And for two, it’s clear from Duane’s own fiction that he truly learned at Westlake’s feet, writing taut, propulsive, thrilling novels that still manage to go down less like a handful of Pixy Stix than a full-fledged meal. Could a Swierczynski Parker novel reach the giddy heights of Westlake at his prime? That I couldn’t say. But it’d be a kick to see him try.
Hilary Davidson (Evil In All It’s Disguises): I’d love to see Chris F. Holm continue Dashiell Hammett’s Continental Op series. The nameless, crafty, and preternaturally intelligent Continental Op wrestles with morality and his diminishing sense of humanity in a way that has intriguing parallels with Holm’s Collector series, which features a dead-yet-earthbound soul collector. In both cases, smart, sharp, incisive writing make Hammett’s and Holm’s exploration of shades-of-gray characters intriguing. And, having seen Holm’s take on demons, I’d love to see what he’d do with the boss of the Continental Op’s agency, the Old Man.