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On "Castle," mystery novelist Richard Castle has a regular poker night with his writing buddies — who just happen to be famous real-life authors. Several episodes feature the gang gathering around the poker table and discussing Castle's most recent case. In the latest episode, "The Dead Pool," the veteran writers hazed a newbie writer, Alex Conrad, and it was hilarious. But how many "Castle" viewers actually recognize these writers by their faces? It's time to get to know them.
Stephen J. Cannell
This man has done it all. He's written books, movies, and televisions shows, all while having dyslexia. Many of his mystery novels revolve around the character Shane Scully. Some of the more notable TV shows created by Cannell include "The Rockford Files," "The A-Team," and "21 Jump Street." Cannell appeared in three episodes of "Castle" before his death in September 2010. He was in "A Deadly Game," "Deep in Death," and "Flower for Your Grave."
"Castle" has played homage to Cannell twice. The first time was shortly after his death, in the episode "Punked." The episode ended with a shot of Cannell typing away (taken from his signature end-of-show producer-credit clip) with the words "Stephen J. Cannell: Colleague, mentor, friend. We'll miss you, pal." And this past Monday, during the poker game in "The Dead Pool," Conrad attempts to sit in Cannell's chair but is informed that the guys are keeping it vacant for a year out of respect for their departed colleague.
Everyone knows this name whether they've read his novels or not. This man has written so many best-selling books that he probably writes with his eyes closed. He doesn't stick to one genre, either. While he's a best-selling mystery writer, Patterson has also brought in lots of money in fiction and romance. His most famous character is Alex Cross. Many of the books are a play on words using the name, similar to Castle's "Naked Heat" and "Heat Wave." Guess that makes Patterson one of Castle's influences. Other popular Patterson series include the Woman's Murder Club, for those crime-solving ladies, and Maximum Ride for the teens.
Patterson has had a cameo in two episodes of "Castle." He took part in poker night in "Flower for Your Grave" and "A Deadly Game." He has written so many books that Castle even makes a joke about it. When Castle's mother tells him that Patterson was going to be late to poker night, Castle says it's because he's using the time to write another book. Of course, he's had some help. Many fans want to see Stephen King at the poker table, but it is unlikely that King and Patterson would get along. King has outwardly condemned Patterson as a bad writer.
Mystery writers, even fictional ones like Richard Castle, all have their famous character. For Connelly, it's Hieronymus Bosch. Not only an interesting character, but he has the best name. Another of his characters is Mickey Haller, a defense attorney. His book "The Lincoln Lawyer" was made into a movie with the lead role played by Matthew McConaughey. He's been in three poker-night episodes on "Castle," and he had the best quote in "The Dead Pool" when he helped to put the newbie writer in his place: "Know what I did after I wrote my first novel? I shut up and wrote 23 more."
Dennis Lehane is a newbie to the poker table on "Castle." He made his first appearance in "The Dead Pool" and helped Michael Connelly put Alex Conrad in his place. With only nine books, Lehane could be considered a rookie writer himself compared to the other poker-night writers. That shouldn't fool anyone into thinking that Lehane isn't a top writer, though. Ever heard of "Shutter Island" or "Mystic River"?
- Dennis Lehane
- James Patterson
- Stephen J. Cannell
- Michael Connelly
- Alex Cross