‘Castle’ Book Series To Continue: Nikki Heat Novels Outlive ABC Series

Castle may have been canceled, but Richard Castle’s book deal hasn’t. On the heels of the cancellation of the long-running ABC crime drama, fictional mystery novelist Richard Castle has two new books coming out, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The first of the Castle-inspired Nikki Heat crime novels is titled High Heat, and it will be released on October 25. THR posted an excerpt from the book, which deals with an ISIS-like group operating in New York City who targets NYPD detective Heat’s husband, magazine writer Jameson Rook. The second Castle book, Heat Storm, will be released in spring 2017.

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High Heat and Heat Storm will be the eighth and ninth Richard Castle novels featuring crime solver Nikki Heat. The book series was launched in 2009 with the novel Heat Wave, which was published just six months after Castle’s debut on ABC. Now it appears the books will live on for at least a year after the demise of the series—and maybe even longer.

Castle showrunners have always stood behind the façade of the Nikki Heat novels. Nathan Fillion’s Richard Castle character penned Heat Wave as he shadowed Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) during the first season of the ABC crime drama, and Fillion’s picture even appears on the back cover of the real-life books. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Castle creator Andrew Marlowe said his character is the real author of Heat Wave, not a ghostwriter.

“Richard Castle [is the writer],” Marlowe said of the first Nikki Heat book. “The roguishly handsome best-selling author of the Derrick Storm mystery series. He’s charming. He’s a good writer. And I don’t know why you’re trying to take credit away from him. The guy worked hard on it.”

The real name of the author of the Castle/Nikki Heat books has long been a mystery. According to Parade, Castle producers and Hyperion, the publishers of the mystery series, have only admitted that the real author has appeared on an episode of Castle.

The Heat Wave jacket states that the book received the Nom DePlume Society’s prestigious “Tom Straw Award for Mystery Literature,” and real-life mystery novelist Tom Straw appeared on the show in 2009 in an uncredited cameo in the episode “When the Bough Breaks.” Straw is the man Richard Castle is sitting with when he is first seen at the launch party for his book Heat Wave.

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While Castle star Nathan Fillion has done Nikki Heat book signings in the past, he told Parade, “I don’t show up and pretend to be Richard Castle.”

And the guy who played Castle has no interest in living the life of a novelist, either, so don’t expect any Nathan Fillion-penned Nikki Heat novels when he’s done with his acting career. In an interview with Collider, Fillion made it clear that when he retires from acting, his plans won’t involve putting pen to paper.

“I’m going to buy a houseboat and go somewhere tropical,” Fillion said. “It’s going to be one of those three-story houseboats and I’m going to live on the top two floors while the bottom floor is a general store for odds and ends.”

The Richard Castle book series currently boasts seven published titles, including Frozen Heat and Heat Rises. While Fillion’s Castle’s TV persona has been permanently shelved, diehard fans can’t wait for this fall when their favorite crime novelist gets a second life with a new novel.

Take a look at the video below to see Castle at a book reading in a memorable scene from the ABC series.

[Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Disney]