By Mandi Bierly
Updated December 19, 2019 at 11:54 PM EST

Will publishing a mystery novel “penned” by Richard Castle, Nathan Fillion’s best-selling crime writer on ABC’s Castle, win the show a new audience? Probably not. But it’s a pretty genius idea to keep fans interested over the summer until the show’s Sept. 21 return. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the first half of Heat Wave will debut on one-chapter-a-week starting Aug. 10, with the full novel being published by Hyperion on Sept. 29. During the first season of the show, Castle shadowed NYPD homicide detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) for inspiration for Nikki Heat, the heroine of his next series. Presumably, Heat Wave is the first installment in that collection. (It was among the titles Fillion’s Castle playfully brainstormed: Summer Heat, Heat Wave, In Heat…).

The real mystery is who will actually write the book. The identity of the author(s) is being kept secret for now. I hope they at least let Fillion take a final pass on the manuscript. As we all suspected, and he’s confirmed, he’s responsible for a fair amount of Castle’s clever dialogue. Not sure it’d read like Castle without him.

Are you planning on reading Heat Wave? I’m in, assuming it doesn’t blow. (The Hyperion run is hopeful. It’s not like this show’s Lost; you wouldn’t gamble on fans buying it on the title alone.) I want to see if/how Castle incorporates Beckett’s mother’s murder into the character and plot — though I suspect that will come in the second half of the novel so the show has a chance to deal with the fallout first…

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