"Heat Rises," the third book written by "Richard Castle" debuted on the New York Times Best Seller list in the number 1 spot on October 9, 2011. So far, the success of the "Castle" franchise spans far beyond the grip of your run-of-the-mill remote control.
The book series is based on detective Niki Heat who is, in turn, based on detective Kate Beckett in the television show, who is played by Stana Katic, the actress. If that wasn't a complex enough little factoid, no one really knows who is authoring the books. We know it's Richard Castle, but we don't know if it's Richard Castle played by Nathan Fillion on the television show. However, if there is one thing "Richard Castle" doesn't mess around with, it's success, even if it works its way backwards from the norm, going from series to book, instead of book to series. - Frankly, I'm still scratching my head, but I guess it works.
The first book, "Heat Wave," debuted on the New York Times bestseller list at spot number 26. The second book, "Naked Heat," rose to the number 7 spot on the list and with "Heat Rises" doing just that - rising -- , catapulting to the coveted number one spot on its debut week, "Castle" fans have plenty to keep them busy in between episodes.
Of course, as any true die-hard fan knows, the books and the series are not one in the same. Reading the book won't bring you up to speed on the series and vise versa. While intertwined with the characters, the books are little more than works of fiction based on the real life world of "Richard Castle." Truly, brilliant marketing that is hat tip worthy to creators of the show, albeit a backward tip.
It doesn't stop with the mystery novels, though. "Richard Castle" is also releasing graphic novels based on his first book hero - according to the show --, Derek Storm. The graphic novels, published alongside Marvel Comics, make them not just something fun to read, but collector's items. This type of marketing genius keeps the "Firefly" fans in the fold, and Fillion (television's Richard Castle) coming back to Comic Con year after year.
Yet, the biggest mystery has yet to be unraveled. Who is really writing the mystery novels? Is it the same person writing the graphic novels? Will we ever find out? Probably not as long as there is still a breath of life left in the television series, which will (hopefully) be for a very long time.