As the events described in The Hollow Girl play out, Moe Prager is roughly sixty-five years old. And while we’d all like to believe that sixty-five is the new fifty-five, Moe’s recent battle with stomach cancer has left him a more frail version of the man we’ve come to know through the earlier books in the series. He’s also suffered a great personal tragedy. So although I find it perfectly plausible for another author to write a viable senior citizen detective, I can’t make that claim for Moe. As Moe jokes, the only thing he can flash with any authority is his AARP card.
I’ve also been asked if I will miss Moe. The answer for now is no. I love Moe as much as the fans do. Moe has been responsible for whatever critical acclaim I have received. He’s responsible for all but two of the awards I have won. He is responsible for much of the joy I have experienced as a writer. I often wonder where I would be without him. Yet, I always knew, even from the first word of Walking the Perfect Square—the inaugural Moe Prager Mystery—that the series, successful or not, would not go on indefinitely. Moe’s age, bruises, scars, gains and losses, have always been an integral part of the series. What is a character without growth and change? With The Hollow Girl, I have said all I have to say with Moe. I cannot squeeze anymore out of him without his life becoming parody. I couldn’t do that to Moe or to his fans. There’s an adage in sports that it’s better to trade an aging player one year too soon than two years too late. And so it was with the series. I decided that it was better to end it one book too soon rather than two books too late. Maybe I will regret my decision, but probably not. Regret is an enormous waste of time and energy.
Although the Moe Prager series is done, I hope to produce new interesting characters like Gulliver Dowd, that will capture people’s hearts and imaginations. My ride with Moe has been a great one. And just between you and me, I should be making an announcement pretty soon about how my career will be taking quite a different and important turn. Believe me, I wish I could share it with you now, but I just can’t. So please check my website www.reedcoleman.com and visit me on Facebook for the big news.
Praise for the Moe Prager series:
In Reed Farrel Coleman’s hands, the Moe Prager novels are turning into one of the great series on PI literature. These are soulful, beautifully written investigations into an American Dream that slipped through our fingers when no one was looking. The series would make the greats—Chandler, Hammett, Ross and John D. McDonald, and James Crumley—very proud indeed.
Praise for the Gulliver Dowd series:
A little man with a huge heart and a huge chip on his shoulder, Gulliver Dowd swaggers into the crime fiction world and takes his place with the great investigators. Smart, vulnerable, wounded, heartbreakingly hopeful, I just adore his company.