I am convinced there are TV script writers who are avid mystery fiction fans. How else to explain the little references to mystery fiction that slip in now and then into TV series?
Years ago, the visiting mother of a character on Northern Exposure praised Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone and how, even though they were worlds apart, she could relate to the fictional detective.
A couple of seasons ago, two of the con people on TNT's witty Leverage took the aliases of Elmore and Leonard.
And on a recent episode of the NBC comedy 30 Rock, Liz Lemon (played by Tina Fey) asked if Rizzoli and Isles were friends in real life. Liz was, of course, referring to the TNT series Rizzoli & Isles, based on the novels by Tess Gerritsen.
Frankly, I could believe that Rizzoli, played by Angie Harmon, and Isles, played by Sasha Alexander, could indeed be friends in real life.
Last year, I interviewed both actresses for Mystery Scene. The interview is here.
The first season of Rizzoli & Isles will be out on DVD in June.
Rizzoli & Isles will be back on TNT in July. Tess Gerritsen's next novel in the Rizzoli & Isles series will be The Silent Girl, scheduled to hit the bookstores in July.
But meanwhile, Gerritsen's last Rizzoli & Isles, Ice Cold, is now out in paperback.
Ice Cold is a gripping thriller that shows the author and her appealing characters at their best.
Any one else notice mystery fiction references on TV? Let us know!
For fans of the TV series -- and the authors -- these scenes were an extra treat, a wink for avid readers and viewers.
But the scenes haven't been a part of the ABC series since the death last September of Cannell.
The poker games will be back with Castle's April 11 episode, which airs at 10 p.m.
And the poker buddies will be commenting on the loss of their colleague.
"There's a nod to Cannell in that a chair at the poker table. [The chair] is left empty and a glass of scotch is placed there," Connelly told me in an email.
The scene is quite humorous as Connelly and Lehane -- and Castle -- talk about the movies that have been made from their novels. Connelly and Lehane prove to be quite the actors and both are a pleasure to watch. They seem as if they had a great time doing the scene.
This is a poker game to gamble on. And here's a sneak peek.
Cannell, who died from melanoma, held myriad roles in Hollywood. He produced such popular TV series as The Rockford Files, The A-Team, Wiseguy, 21 Jump Street and The Commish.