After the success of Heat Wave, the first tie-in novel to ABC's hit mystery/police procedural/comedy Castle (yeah, it even made the New York Times' Bestsellers List), ABC is continuing the adventures of Detective Nicki Heat and reporter Jameson Rook in Naked Heat. Not only does it have an already built-in fan base, but the entire show serves as essentially "free" advertising. Even better, in the Castle episode that aired the day before the book came out (the typically Monday time slot), the writers threw in a casual conversation between characters where they just happened to mentioned that Castle's new book is "coming out tomorrow -the actual release date of Naked Heat.
In Naked Heat, reporter Jameson Rook's juicy piece on Nicki Heat has just hit stands. Though his summer ride-along is over, Jameson is eager to get back on Detective Heat's case. Though Heat would rather avoid her former lover, and the emotional baggage that comes with him, she crosses paths with Jameson while investigating the murder of famous New York gossip columnist Cassidy Towne. As the mystery unfolds, the relationship between Jameson and Nicki heats up.
Much better than Heat Wave, Naked Heat reads like an expanded episode of the show, except that Nicki is a romanticized version of Beckett that is probably drawn from Castle's fantasies about the detective. Even though one of the show's writers probably didn't ghost write this book, the characters' dialog is dead on. I could even hear Castle and Beckett talking in my head. The cast of suspects feels like something out of an episode of the show and while the mystery is somewhat predictable, its obviously drawn from the show.
Though its not great literature (more in the vein of James Patterson), Naked Heat is a fun mystery that's great for Castle fans.