When Little Willow from Bildungsroman and Jackie from Interactive Reader discovered they had both selected the Body of Evidence series by Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala for Radar Recommendations, they decided to compare notes on the books. This led to a survey of sorts.
Favorite main character?
Jackie: No choice.
Favorite supporting character?
LW: I'd love to list all of them. Slick is smart, Al is sweet, Melody, Hunter, Danny . . .
Jackie: Oh, Danny. Definitely Danny. But the great thing about this series is that ALL of the supporting characters are fully presented. You kinda like them all.
Favorite book in the series?
LW: Body Bags, then Thief of Hearts and Skin Deep.
Jackie: Soul Survivor, I think. It's a hard question. Maybe Last Breath.
Why did you pick them up?
LW: I started working for Christopher Golden in 1998. I redesigned his website, then started maintaining the site and doing online publicity for his books. Thus, I was there when Body Bags was in the works, and I was beyond thrilled that he was finally writing books for the teen fiction section. Ask Chris. When he told me he was writing a new series that was about murder, forensics, and college, I pretty much screamed.
Jackie: I was in Library School and my YA Lit professor, Holly Ward-Lamb (who is magnificently awesome, BTW), required us to read one book from a paperback series. She was very concerned that her students didn't get elitist about literature, and that we read at least SOME of what the kids actually read, so I tried Body Bags upon her recommendation. I was hooked.
Why did you keep reading the series?
LW: Because Golden Books are the Best Ever. Truly. I
was a reader before I was a friend of his. That is how
I came to know him. I admire his writing. The entire
Body of Evidence series is well-plotted and
well-written. Each book stands alone, yet is part of
the bigger picture -- just as a series should be!
Jackie: Because they are Freakin' Awesome. And I say that as a person who has never met or received monetary compensation from the author. ;)
LW: Hey, now. I'm not partial or anything. :)
Had you read Christopher Golden books before?
LW: Yes, since 1997. See above.
Jackie: Nope. Body Bags was the first.
LW: I hadn't read Rick Hautala's books before he joined the series. I then read his novel The White Room, which was written under the pseudonym A. J. Matthews.
Do you like murder mysteries?
LW: Yes! I love mysteries when they are done well. I also love procedural television series like Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. To quote one of my current stage roles, "What I say is, let justice be done!"
Jackie: Nope. They are usually WAY too predictable and repetitive. What? The bad guy lost? Shocking. (Not that I'd have it any other way.)
Do the books feel accurate?
LW: Definitely. The research is evident.
Jackie: Beats me. I'm not a Science Nerdfighter. But from a literature standpoint, everything hung together.
The books get pretty gruesome, what with the autopsies and the murders. Do you have a strong stomach?
Did you read the series in order?
Jackie: Blasphemy. As if there's another way.
(LW cheers. She obviously feels the same.)
Does the series feel like it's done?
LW: No! It should never be over!
(LW is in denial.)
Jackie: Not really. I think that Jenna's a character that could always be picked up again, even 10 years later. She's strong enough that her story will always be interesting.
If more books were written and released, would you read them?
LW: Yes, immediately.
Jackie: What she said.
Are there more stories to tell?
LW: I think so. I think Jenna has a promising future
in front of her.
Jackie: Uh, what I said.
This is the second of three entries I posted today regarding the Body of Evidence book series as part of the Recommendations Under the Radar project. Part One gives the basic premise of the series and the first book, Body Bags. I compared notes with Jackie from the Interactive Reader blog in Part Two. (Jackie's post is over here.) Author Christopher Golden himself dropped by for an exclusive interview in Part Three.