Heat Wave by Richard Castle … or is it?!?

Hmmm… I should preface this by pointing out that I have not read Heat Wave…

As I have written before, I am a fan of the ABC show Castle. I found out about the work of actor Nathan Fillion when he was on Firefly, and have enjoyed watching him ever since. I think that his comedic timing is to be commended. He is able to be the funny character or the straight, dead-pan character with what appears to be the same ease. And, he is usually very self-deprecating… I don’t know why I find that so charming.

Several people have written to tell me that they got the book Heat Wave, which is “authored” by Richard Castle. Don’t get me wrong… but isn’t Richard Castle a fictitious character on a show called Castle?!? Yes, being a fan of the show, I can tell you that he is just that! A fictitious character on a show.

So, why is it that the book doesn’t list a ghost writer?

Personally, I would rather know who the person (#1) behind the person (#2) is. (You can substitute “ghost writer” for #1 and “fictitious character” for #2.)

I looked around on the internet hoping to find exactly who the author is, but was not able to come up with anything concrete. I did, however, find a lot of speculation. Here are a few of the names I found being tossed around as possibilities:

Stephen J. Cannell (True, he is a best selling author and creator of television shows…)
James Patterson (True, he’s another best selling author…)
Nathan Fillion (Isn’t he an actor?)
Oh, and did I mention Tom Straw?


  1. Bill says

    I am a fan of “Castle” too.

    I haven’t read the book, but I like the way the “Jessica Fletcher” (Murder She Wrote) books are handled – the author is listed as “Jessica Fletcher and Donald Bain”. It seems that this would be a better approach – allowing the fictional author to remain in our imagination, but also giving credit to the “real” author too.

    • Anonymous Castle Fan says

      I found someone who did an extensive investigation of the “Real Richard Castle” and then put it into a neat little article on their blog. http://jeannieruesch.com/wordpress/?p=3213
      By the end, the writer mysteriously concludes that they believe it is another mystery writer named Tom Straw, but decides to let other fans decide instead of actually answering the freaking question. Just thought someone might find this point of view enlightening or educational. I’m still dying to find out who the real life Richard Castle is.

      -Anonymous Castle Fan (Hope someone else found this useful!)

  2. says

    Bill, that is a good point. I can remember finding Murder She Wrote mystery books under Fletcher a lot of times. I think that if Donald Bain actually does all the work, then it’s only right that he’s right there on the books’ covers with “Jessica”…

  3. Anne says

    I am a fan of the show, too, and one who received the book as a Christmas gift. It read just like an episode of Castle. It was delightful. Knowing it was all done tongue in cheek and that it was simply an advertising ploy for the show took none of the delight away. Even the “author blurb” on the back flap listed Castle’s fictitious family. I thought it was very clever…

  4. says

    Anne, thanks for telling us how good the book is. It does sound like it is cleverly interwoven with one of our favorite television characters. I am guessing that the family blurb is fun… I love Castle’s mom on the show >>> a real treat to watch. I hope that they expand her part so that we can get more regarding her current/high school boyfriend.

  5. Sandra says

    I read tons of comments from readers on Amazon.com and other book sites…most people seem to think it is Stephen J. Cannell. Some even say they have compared book covers and see similarities. Hot topic it looks like with a lot of readers and fellow lovers of the show, Castle. Lots of good guesses people have had too. I like the show too…just started watching it when I couldn’t find much else on. Glad I did.

  6. Tom says

    I bought the book as a Christmas gift for my son. As I was checking out, the clerk saw Mr. Fillion’s photo on the back. She asked if he wasn’t an actor. I briefly explained the book was published as if written by the actor playing the part of Richard Castle. Her response was wonderful “Ohhh, poor author.” It does make you feel sorry for the author but since it is so true to the series, my guess is it may be written by one or more of the scriptwriters, a la Lee Goldberg and the Monk series.

  7. says

    I cannot imagine the ghostwriter would be Cannell or Patterson. There’s no percentage in a best-selling author of their name recognition doing a book in secret. It’s way too much work. (Not to mention, Patterson needs co-writers to write his OWN books … why in the world would he have the time and energy to do one that WASN’T his?)

    My guess would be that it’s more likely to be an author who writes tie-ins already. Most of them seem to be generally able to turn books around quickly and are accustomed to working with someone else’s characters. But, like I said, just a guess.

  8. Jerrella says

    “Dancing with the Stars” introduced me to “Castle”. I am so thrilled to see such a show on ABC. I agree that the writer should be given credit. That doesn’t take away one bit from the magic.

  9. Pamela says

    I am also a huge fan of Castle. It is one of the few network shows I watch. I think the “real” author is probably one of the guys in Castle’s poker game.

    My favorite shows are found on cable— Burn Notice, White Collar and The Closer.

  10. Dawna says

    I read the book, which reads like an episode of the show. One of the blurbs on the jacket says something about Castle winning the Tom Straw Nom De Plume award. I searched the library database and found a book by Tom Straw. The photo on the jacket looks like the poker player I didn’t recognize on the show. The new book, “Naked Heat” is scheduled for release September 28th, according to the “Castle” Facebook page or is (mostly) available to download at abc.com

  11. Judith says

    Sy may be referring to the fact that Ellery Queen was the pseudonym used by two cousins to write about the fictional character, Ellery Queen. By the way, the tv show came out on DVD today – I’m looking forward to watching it again as I have fond memories of Jim Hutton and David Wayne, who played Ellery’s father

  12. DR Darke says

    I’d heard when HEAT WAVE was first coming out that ABC had hired Donald Bain, who wrote all the “Jessica Fletcher” novels tying in with MURDER, SHE WROTE, to be the literary voice of Richard Castle as well. Any independent confirmation of that?

    Of course, I *also* hear J.D. Robb wrote them, which I don’t believe. Having read every Eve Dallas IN DEATH novel and novella out there (several times – I’m a huge fan), I don’t get the slightest whiff of Nora Roberts’ storytelling ability – and I’ve read several of her non-Robb books as well.

  13. Tasha says

    Having just begun reading “Heat Wave” I realized quickly they didn’t give a ghost-writer anywhere. I simply assumed that one of the scriptwriters (or possibly a couple of them) filled in. But then I stopped dead in my tracks when I found one word that I always thought was VERY SIGNIFICANTLY Nora Roberts. I’ve never read any other author using it as frequently as she does. (In case you are wondering: It’s “fisting”. Nora Roberts characters keep fisting things – hair, guns, and of course, hands 😉
    On the other hand: Which bestselling author would agree to write a novel without any credit to their name?
    So I’m back with the screenwriters – who just might happen to like Nora Robert’s style. Maybe it’s the only time the “Heat Wave” characters fist something (even though they only made it to page 10 before using it!)
    And maybe it’s really Tom Straw, which I would find kinda cunning!

  14. Mike says

    Just throwing this out there both Fillion’s parents were English teachers so it’s not a far stretch that Fillion, has them good writin’ skills.
    But in that same hand, while I have never done it, writing a novel can not be an easy process. Now with a tv show, a video game here and there, and other side projects, does he have the time to write this? I don’t know.
    Really I just want to know so I can go out and buy more of the author. Oh well, the world might never know.

  15. Chris says

    I still suspect Fillion is the author behind the author (behind the author?). I’d imagine, realistically, he’s the least likely suspect as far as everyone it could be. Plus, he’s genuinely in possession of *MOST* of his character’s qualities (wit & charm falling into prominence). As an actor, and a likeable, casual guy, he’s least likely to demand his name be in the book (especially since his name effectively is given the most visibility despite it being his character’s name). Personally, as much ‘fun’ as trying to guess who wrote the book may be, I believe they should put it in fine print somewhere inside. He/she/they deserve FULL credit, not just a knowing nod by whomever might be in the loop.

    • says

      Chris, I totally agree with you about providing the identity of the author of Heat Wave. It doesn’t seem fair that the person who actually took the time to write the novel, especially since it has done so well, shouldn’t be able to reap the benefits for his/her future endeavors…

  16. Betsy says

    I’ve read both Castle books and found them to be delightfully entertaining. The real author’s name is in the Castle “bio” on the inside leaf of the book cover. It states that Richard Castle won the Nom DePlume (pen name) Society’s prestigious Tom Straw Award. Unraveled: “Richard Castle” is the pen name for Tom Straw! Now read Straw’s bio. He’s a novelist and has written for many TV comedy shows. Mystery solved, Watson!

  17. Lori says

    I believe the ghost writer for Heat Wave and the new upcoming Castle book is John Grisham. I just watched where Castle shows Alexis the jacket art for “Naked Heat” and the whole episode played homage to John Grisham. but, those are just my ideas.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      I don’t know, Lori>>> I would have thought that John Grisham wouldn’t ghostwrite for anyone or anything. He is so phenomenally popular on his own credits…

      But, I have been known to be wrong more times than I like to admit!

  18. Emeli says

    I saw an interview w/ Nathan Fillion who mentioned a “Tom” writes the books and that the writer also appeared in an episode, which Tom Straw did.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Emeli, I think it’s pretty obvious that Tom Straw is the author, but I guess they want a mystery within their mysteries.

  19. Legacy says

    First, don’t feel sorry for the anonymous author who is not getting his/her just credit. No doubt, this entire “mystery” was that author’s choice. So please don’t be concerned about the ” unfair” situation. The real author(s) are enjoying the situation immensely. It is sheer entertainment for that individual to watch and listen as we all speculate. The real writer is loving this game as he/she should. That individual is famous and talented enough not to have to worry about not receiving the credit for the marvelous ” play within a play” he/ she created.

    Second, another observation is Beckett’s frequent use of “I’m sorry for your loss.” That is Eve Dallas personified. Rourke is a civilian consultant to the NYPSD, Castle is a civilian consultant to the NYPD. My gut tells me JD Robb is involved. Has she ever appeared on the show?

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Legacy, I believe there is a lot of speculation that the anonymous author is Tom Straw.

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