Castle is the title of a television cop show in which a mystery novelist, Richard Castle, teams up with a female NYPD detective (under the pretense of conducting research). In the show, Castle writes novels about a female New York cop, Nikki Heat, who reluctantly pairs up with a writer, Jameson Rook, who’s a fictionalized version of Castle himself. Got all that? Anyway, Naked Heat is the second Nikki Heat novel, credited, like the first (Heat Wave, 2009) to “Richard Castle.” Leaving aside the fiction-within-another-fiction conceit, it’s a pretty fair mystery. Heat and Rook are written in the familiar “contempt-breeds-familiarity” style: they start out antagonists and wind up partners (and more). We’ve seen them before, with other names in other stories, and we like them because they’re comfortable. The story, which begins with a pair of murders that appear to be connected only by their MO, is slick and enjoyable without being too taxing on the reader’s imagination. The book is exactly what it’s supposed to be: an entertaining but undemanding mystery that should draw attention to the TV series from which it’s spun off. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The TV series Castle is a big hit, and many of its fans will be curious to read a “real” book by their favorite fictional mystery writer. --David Pitt
About the Author
Johnny Heller, a two-time winner of the prestigious AudieAward, was named a top voice of 2008 and 2009 and selected as one of the Top 50 Narrators of the Twentieth Century by"AudioFile"magazine. His adult and children s book narrations have earned him multiple AudioFile Earphones Awards.