RHYS BOWEN: One of my favorite stories was Robert Crais telling about his experience signing books in a Costco store

MysteryWriters OnBeulahHeight RobertCrais TheLordOfTheRings WinnieThePooh

(Can you imagine it?) A man came up to him and demanded "Who do you write like?"  Bob replied, without batting an eyelid "Michael Connelly."  Then the man said, "Who is he?" which is reassuring to all of us who have experienced someone saying "Should I have heard of you?"

So I've thought about this. Who do I write like? I'm not sure. In my early days of mystery writing I was always compared to M.C Beaton. But I'm not sure who else does a historical humorous mystery series. My stand-clones are, I suppose, is the same vein as Kate Morton--at least I like to think they are!
And more than that. As I approach a lifetime of having written: which of my books might possibly endure. Wouldn't it be nice to have that one definitive book, that one "To Kill a Mockingbird" for which one would be forever known. Oh, Rhys Bowen, didn't she write The Tuscan Child?  I can't think that any of mine are more than entertainment. None of them delve into the depths of the human condition, and let's face it, none of them are depressing enough to be called great literature!

 Which leads me to thinking about the book I wish I had written. Pride and Prejudice?  The Lord of the Rings? The Handmaid's Tale? These are my absolute favorites. Would I like to have written the first Poirot? The first Miss Marple? All of the above.  And how about Winnie the Pooh? That's certainly one book I wish I had written, but then my son was not Christopher Robin, and having seen the movie, I would not have treated my son the way he was treated.

So I'm throwing out the questions to the Reds. Who do you write like? And which book do you wish you had written?

HALLIE EPHRON: At my best, I like to think that I channel Ruth Rendell. If only! And the book I wish I'd written? Definitely GONE GIRL. Word for word, sentence for sentence, Gillian Flynn is a terrific writer. And that story was so original. Though truly nasty -- that part I could never do, but I wish I could make that kind of money off a single piece of work. Imagine!

LUCY BURDETTE: Oh I love the idea of Winnie the Pooh or The Wind in the Willows! Those creatures were so wise and I still remember and treasure entire scenes from those books. I would have liked to have written Barbara O'Neal's THE ART OF INHERITING SECRETS, or Juliet Blackwell's THE PARIS KEY, or Ann Mah's THE LOST VINTAGE, or Ann Cleeves' RAVEN BLACK. And it goes without saying that I would happily be compared to any of the Reds' writing! I certainly haven't and never will write high-brow literary fiction. If I can develop a character whom readers love and feel touches their lives in some way, then I will be happy.

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Who do I write like? Ah--huh. One wonderful reviewer said:  "If John Grisham and Lisa Scottoline had a book baby, The Murder List would be it." SO, yeah, those two.  Scott Turow.  Edith Wharton. Yes, I know, it's crazy, but if you read The Age of Innocence, now, its astonishing. Powerful, and sinister, and shocking. That's what I'm going for, at least. I wish I had written PRESUMED INNOCENT. Can you imagine writing the first Poirot? Or Sherlock Holmes? Brings tears to my eyes.

DEBORAH CROMBIE: My books are often compared to both PD James and Ruth Rendell, but although I'm flattered, I honestly don't think I write like either. I would like to think my writing was half as sharp and witty as Dorothy Sayers, or that my prose was as brilliant as A.S. Byatt's or Reginald Hill. As for books I wish I had written, Lord of the Rings would probably top the list. I'd add in Sayer's Gaudy Night, and Reginald Hill's On Beaulah Height. And Deborah Harkness's A Discovery of Witches!

RHYS: Thank you for reminding me of two of my favorites, Debs. On Beulah Height--one of the best mysteries ever written. I'd put it right up there with Dreaming of the Bones by a certain Red!
And A.S Byatt. Brilliant! I wish I'd written Possession.

JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: Who do I write like? Debs! Seriously, you'll find her books and mine on many "read-alike" lists. Which is the only way I can answer the question - I have no idea what my writing, per se, is like, so i can only suggest "If you like my books, you'll like..." Kent Krueger, Steve Hamilton's Alex McKnight series, and Jenny Milchman's stand-alone thrillers, in the "Places where the weather can kill you" genre. If you like the strong romantic storylines in my novels, try Tasha Alexander's Lady Emily series, Dana Stabenow's Liam Campbell books (which also fall under the Terrible weather umbrella) and of course, the grandmother of us all, Dorothy Sayer's Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane novels. I'm so glad I never read them until after I had launched by own series; I would have been too intimidated to even start my first book.

And what would I have liked to have written? Richard Russo's EMPIRE FALLS. Decaying mill town, complicated romantic relationships, a mystery...it's just like my books, except, you know, it won the Pulitzer.

HANK: Julia! That is so brilliant. I just went to amazon, and it says: Customers who bought The Murder List also bought: Shari Lapena, Ruth Ware, Lisa Scottoline. YAY. Love that.

So dear fellow writers and readers: What book do you wish you had written? #RobertCrais #WinnieThePooh #TheLordOfTheRings #MysteryWriters.ThrillerWriters. #OnBeulahHeight
RobertCrais WinnieThePooh TheLordOfTheRings MysteryWriters OnBeulahHeight

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