Richard Castle is the fictional hero of the TV series Castle, which ran for eight seasons between 2009 and 2016 and was only recently cancelled. In the show, Richard Castle (played by Nathan Fillion) is a best-selling author who uses his celebrity to inveigle his way into the NYPD, shadowing Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) whom he uses as the basis for a new character, Nikki Heat.
Over the 173 episodes, the overarching storyline is the romance between Castle and Beckett and this is reflected in a series of spin-off novels that have appeared over the past few years. Castle initially fantasizes about Beckett and this can be seen in the way Nikki Heat is portrayed in his books.
One question that has remained unanswered is... who is actually writing the Richard Castle novels? I've seen a couple of suggestions on the internet, ranging from best-selling authors James Patterson, Michael Connelly and Dennis Lehane – the one clue that Hyperion have offered is that the ghostwriter has appeared in the TV series, and all three have appeared in the show – to Castle writer and producer Terri E. Miller.
However, I suspect the truth was revealed in the very first novel. The biography given to Richard Castle notes that he "received the Nom DePlume Society's prestigious Tom Straw Award for Mystery Literature." The Nom DePlume Society is, of course, fictional, but Tom Straw turns out to be a real person and author of a novel The Trigger Episode as well as various credits as writer and producer for television shows, including Grace Under Fire, Cosby and Whoopi. He was head writer and executive producer on Nurse Jackie.
According to Straw himself – via his website – "Straw's first mystery novel, The Trigger Episode, was published in 2007 by Carroll & Graf. Under a pseudonym, he has since written seven more mysteries, all of which have been New York Times Bestsellers.
In the debut novel, "Castle" gives special credit to Tom and Andrew, Andrew being the show's creator, Andrew Marlowe. In Heat Rises, "Castle" reveals: "Tom, you had a hand in this one again." This admittedly circumstantial evidence is backed up by the fact that Straw has signed at least one copy of that novel and his authorship has been outed by no less a person than Nathan Fillion, who, at Salt Lake Comic Con FanX 2014 (video here, Fillion answers an audience question about 34 minutes in), describes how, in season 2 episode 5 of the show, which features the launch party for Heat Wave, he can be seen talking to the author of the books. And the author he is talking to is Tom Straw.
(* I should note that I'm not the first person to spot all this... Straw was in the frame at least as early as 2011!)
Nikki Heat series
Titan Books 978-1781-16627-7, Oct 2012
Titan Books 978-1781-16627-7, Oct 2012 (c.2014), 283pp, £7.99. Cover design by American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.
Titan Books 978-1781-16629-1, Oct 2012, 409pp, £7.99.
---- [4th imp.] Oct 2012 (c.2014), 409pp, £7.99. Cover design by American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.
Titan Books 978-1781-16631-4, Oct 2012, 397pp.
---- [2nd imp.] (c.2014), 397pp, £7.99. Cover design by American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.
Titan Books 978-1781-16633-8, Oct 2012 (Jul 2013?), 447pp, £7.99.
Titan Books 978-1781-16772-4, 2014, £7.99.
Raging Heat (2014)
Titan Books 978-1783-29533-3, 2015.
Driving Heat (2015)
(no UK paperback)
High Heat (2016)
(no UK paperback)
Derrick Storm series
Titan Books 978-1781-16781-5, 2013, £7.99.
Titan Books 978-1783-29430-5, 2014, £7.99.
Titan Books 978-1783-29186-1, 2014, £7.99.