Saturday, March 4, 2023

Why Book Authors End a Favorite Series

 A review of a few favorite authors of fiction series and why they wrote a final one.

A Shelf of Books

What is a Book Series?

In fiction, a series typically shares a common setting, timeline or set of characters. They are usually found in genre fiction, such as my favorite, crime fiction (murder mysteries, police procedurals, etc.). A series can be any length, the most common one being a Trilogy. 

When a fan of a book series discovers a favorite author has ended the long loved series, there is first disappointment that there will not be any more. And one wonders why the series has to end. 

Margaret Maron, author of the 9-book Sigrid Harald series and her 20 Deborah Knott novels explained it best in a 2017 interview. 

I've said almost everything there is to say (about her characters) and I don't want to start repeating myself. Margaret also admitted that she was more than ready to be done with deadlines.

I feel the way many other fans of novel series such as Maron's books felt when faced with the final book featuring favorite characters; I wish they could go on forever. But Margaret Maron was 76 years old when she wrote her final Deborah Knott book Long Upon The Land. And she  died in 2021 at age 82. She gave all her long-time fans terrific memories that will continue on in her books. 

More Endings

A few more of my favorite authors of series who have ended long series are worth mentioning here. 

Faye Kellerman

Faye Kellerman's 'The Hunt' novel
I just finished reading Faye Kellerman's The Hunt – Book 27 of 27 in her: Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus. On the dedication page, Kellerman states that this is the final book in this series.

I've been a fan since Book #1 – The Ritual Bath – published in 1986. Twenty-seven books in 37 years. Quite a record. I can see that there is not much else to say about these wonderful characters, but they will be dearly missed. I've followed Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus since they met, then married, through their kids growing up and getting married. Now that these favorite characters are grandparents and author Faye Kellerman is 70 years old, I can understand why Book #27 has become her final one in the series, but I'll still miss them. Luckily I can re-read them any time I want. One of the joys of book collections. 

Sue Grafton

A Sue Grafton novel
One of my deepest reading regrets is that Sue Grafton – she of the Private Eye Kinsey Millhone “Alphabet” series – is that she didn't live long enough to finish the series. I've been a big fan since 1982 when I met the character 'Kinsey' in “A is for Alibi”. Grafton died in 2017 at age 77 before she could write the Z book. So her series ended with “Y is for Yesterday”. I own every one from A through Y and recently reread them all. 

John D. MacDonald

A Travis McGee novel by John D. MacDonald
The very first time I realized that a series could end was in 1985. I had recently joined a book subscription service and you could choose 4 books for a low starter price. I had picked out 3 books I wanted to have and for the 4th book chose a book by an author new to me. The book was the Lonely Silver Rain (1985) by John D. MacDonald. I fell  in love with the main character Travis McGee and immediately became a fan. Come to find out, that book was #21 in the series and was published just a year before MacDonald died at age 70. It was not intended to be the final novel in the series. I was terribly disappointed to discover such a wonderful writer of a character that was so fascinating would not be writing any more Travis McGee novels. Eventually I acquired every one of the previous 20 Travis McGee novels – all with a color in the title - and enjoy them to this day.  Some were difficult to find since the first Travis McGee novel was written in 1964, but used book stores and, later, eBay and Amazon were a good source for out-of-print books. 

Endings Are Also Beginnings...

The End image
Image Source: Pixabay

Over the years I have collected all the books in favorite series by favorite authors. It is delightful to me to reread a series beginning with the first book and continuing book after book until the last one. Many people say they don't like reading this way, but I love being able to stay with the characters I love one book after another. If I really like an author, like their style and the characters they have created, I enjoy staying with them until I have read/reread them all. Currently, I have over 8 different authors' complete series. Additionally I have many non-series novels by favorite authors. I haven't counted the number of books I own, but suffice it to say that during year one of the panendemic when my local library was closed, I re-read every book I own. Kept me going for many months! 


So there you have it – the reasons why authors end a series. Either the series has reached it's natural lifespan or the author has retired or died. But each series has given me a wealth of memories and a great deal of enjoyment.

For more book reviews, click on 

*Book Review of book series ending by Wednesday Elf

 Long Upon the Land: A Deborah Knott MysteryCheck Price The Hunt: A Decker/Lazarus Novel (Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus Book 27)Check Price Y is for Yesterday
(A Kinsey Millhone Novel
Book 25)
Check Price
 The Lonely Silver Rain by John D. MacDonald(March 12, 1985) HardcoverCheck Price


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. I love reading book series. You really get to know the characters and feel a loss when the series ends. Thanks for a very interesting review on why a series would end.

    1. I feel the same way, Mary Beth. The trouble is it seems there are quite a few of my favorite series authors ending favorite series right now. Will have to find another group of authors to follow in a series now. LOL.

  2. I agree, I do like reading a series and when it ends I often wish there was more. Thanks for the review of your favorites. I haven't read any of the series in your review so now I have something to look forward to. Thanks

    1. Happy I could introduce you to a favorite series, Sam. Happy Reading!

  3. I do love a good series! I have read several of John D. MacDonald’s Travis McGee books (great lead character) and quite a few of Sue Grafton!/ wonderful “alphabet” series. What a shame she died before writing her planned finale to the series!

    1. I love the Travis McGee books. One of my very favorite characters. And I dearly miss Sue Grafton's main character - she was great.

  4. Like you, I do love a great series where I watch characters mature. And like you, I always hate to see a series end, but I certainly understand why that his necessary. It amazes me how authors, like the ones you have featured, can write dozens of books. Since I have never read either of the series above, I am excited to have these recommendations. I might see if anyone has the whole set(s) listed on Ebay.

    1. That is exactly what I like best about a series with continuing characters, Mouse. Watching favorite characters mature - grow - etc. Love it when within each story these same characters, while contributing to the plot, also have personal lives where you meet their wives and enjoy their babies. Feels like they are more than characters; that they could be your friends. So enjoyable.

  5. Book series with developing characters you can really get to know can be lovely to read. I can understand why the authors end the series though, the good thing about books is they are always there to read all over again !

  6. I end up watching book series when they bring them to the screen - I've never actually read a series - I think that could be in my future - my fave book to tv series is Outlander right now - And sorry read about Deborah Knott's passing in 2021; she certainly left her mark on this world. My mom was like you with books, she had so many she ended up donating buckets of them to the hospital before she passed away. Every time I come across a book I think she would enjoy, I think of her.


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