15 April 2024

Time to Say Adios

Okay, I haven't known Marcia Muller for 47 years but perhaps a little closer to 37 years. I'm sorta on shaky ground but reasonably sure my first Bouchercon was 1989 when I met Ms Muller. By 1992, I knew her well enough to invite her to come do an author signing at Mysteries and More bookstore, which Elmer and I owned from 1990 to 1999. Or maybe it was 1995, when she and her husband Bill Pronzini came for a duo signing.

They drove to Austin from Houston where they had done an event earlier at Murder by the Book store. It was a Saturday and our event wasn't scheduled until Tuesday as our store was normally closed on Monday. The next day happened to be Easter Sunday when we understandly were closed. It all turned out fine as they joined us at Elmer's niece's house where we had family and a delicious Easter dinner.

The next day we took them to see our beloved Hill Country where the Texas bluebonnets and other wildflowers made it a fabulous weekend. Elmer and Bill bonded then which led to visits back and forth through the years. On one trip to CA, I was able to finagle a plane ride with Marcia and her flying instructor. Another time, a drive with Marcia along the coast, led to a visit to the "real week-end getaway belonging to Sharon McCone & Hy Ripinski."

I read EDWIN OF THE IRON SHOES soon after it came out and decided then and there I'd be friends with Sharon McCone through all her adventures. I am totally thrilled she found true love and is happy with her life. Although it makes me a little sad to know CIRCLE IN THE WATER is the last Sharon McCone book, as a fan and a friend, I can totally understand. I will advise you readers and fans to get your copy on the 24th. However, I'm also sure you can pre-order now.

— Jan Grape

by Marcia Muller

Marcia Muller

Creating a long-running series –47 years– has been a pleasure. Also frustrating. Maddening. Crazy-making. All those story lines to remember. All those characters to make toe the line. All those real-life locations to check out for changes.

Story lines: many of them in my Sharon McCone series are intertwined, dating back to 1977.

Characters: they've moved residences, switched jobs, married, divorced, even– *shock!* –changed their hairstyles.

novel cover

Real-life locations: throughout California and many other areas, they're radically different from those I started out with, particularly in San Francisco.

Which all adds up to why, in my current and last McCone novel (Circle in the Water, Grand Central Books, April 23) I've written an afterword, bringing the reader up to date on where the characters are now and the good things their lives will lead them toward in the future.

I emphasize good things. After all, for 47 years they've been good to me. Why shouldn't I be good to them?

And of course, the book is dedicated in part to my readers, who have made my long career possible. Thanks to them all!



  1. Lovely way to end a series! (Mine have ended through publishers closing lines, sigh) I hope to have similar grace to you, Marcia, with the last book in my current series. Very nice post.

  2. >… they've been good to me. Why shouldn't I be good to them?

    I wish more authors thought like that!

  3. I have been a huge fan for years and one of the highlights of my library career was hosting Marcia and Bill for a presentaton and signing. While I'm heartbroken over the end of the series, I love that it ended with a heartfelt tribute to the characters that made Muller's such a pleasure to read (yes, they were real people to me). Thanks, Marcia, for the many hours of reading pleasure and also for the many times I suggested the McCone series to library patons who always returned wanting more.


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