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Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith
Enter, Night by Michael Rowe
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Fairy Bad Day by Amanda Ashby
Heat Rises by Richard Castle
The Homecoming by Ray Bradbury
The Hotel Under the Sand by Kage Baker
How to Party with a Killer Vampire by Penny Warner
If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This by Robin Black
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Rise of the Evening Star (audio) by Brandon Mull
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The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan
The Southernmost Cat by John Cech
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Tales From Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan
Tell Me the Day Backwards by Albert Lamb
The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan
Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle 04 by CLAMP
Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle 05 by CLAMP
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Witch Eyes by Scott Tracey
Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
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Heat Rises: 08/25/12

cover art

Heat Rises by Richard Castle is the third of the Nikki Heat mysteries. A murdered priest, a stalker and a suicide are enough to keep Nikki busy and maybe cost her her badge.

The shtick remains the same as the previous two: it's a mystery in the style of the Castle TV series, supposedly written by the author who is always following around Kate Becket. The problem though, as this Nikki Heat series continues is that the ghost writers seem to be loosing their grip on how Castle is supposed to write, while Castle the fictional character shows more and more sophistication in his craft on the television show.

Take for instance the opening crime in Heat Rises — a priest is found murdered in a bondage club. Now on television, the writers have to resort to a lot of "nudge nudge, wink wink" to dance around the racier of the clues. The book not being regulated by the FCC could and should have been a bit more blunt with what goes on at the club. Shoot — they could have had fun with it and thrown in a little erotica. But they don't. It's not much racier or explicit than a no-name cable channel.

I think the Castle books have reached a point where the original writers need to let go and hand over the job of writing these Nikki Heat books to other established authors. They could even give credit by making them books a "Richard Castle and."
Despite it's flaws, I did still enjoy the very basic mystery. Part of that is my own fandom, of course. I don't think, though, that fandom alone will keep me interested in the series if it doesn't improve.

Four stars

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