Who really writes the Richard Castle books?

For those of you who watch the TV show Castle, you are probably aware that even though Richard Castle is a fictitious character, you can actually purchase his Nikki Heat books in real life. Sales figures from stores such as Barnes and Noble and Amazon illustrate just how popular his books are with Castle fans.

But let’s be honest, a fictitious character can’t write a book, which explains why one of the most frequently asked questions online is “Who writes the Richard Castle books?”

I’m pretty sure I know (spoiler: it’s not Justin Bieber).

1. The person who writes the books is female (No, it’s still not Justin).  Richard Castle’s ghostwriter is a woman. I have read six of the seven Castle books, and I like them a lot. But the one thing I notice is that at least twice in each book, Castle thinks or acts like a woman. It’s nothing obvious like leaving the toilet seat down, or enjoying a corn dog just a little too much, it’s simply that, occasionally, he seems to sound an awful lot like Nikki Heat or the female medical examiner. Sometimes he just oozes estrogen.

2. The person who writes the books is probably married. The banter between Nikki Heat and Jameson Rook sometimes plays out like a married couple. It sounds too comfortable. It doesn’t depict playful dialog or the sexually charged atmosphere of two co-workers flirting with each other.

3. The person who writes the books has a very distinct “voice”. “Voice” describes the style or inflection of the writer. It’s the way someone describes scenes or creates dialog; no two writers do it exactly the same way.

For example, if I asked Stephen King and JK Rowling to write a short story about the first day of kindergarten, we could probably figure out who wrote which – we recognize the voice of our favorite authors. Of course, if the story is about a kindergarten teacher being disemboweled by a psychopathic six-year old, and buried in the school sandbox, we might have a clue as to the author’s identity.

4. Finally, this particular writer has a “tell”. In several of the books, the detectives speed off to the crime scene, but before doing so, place the portable light and siren on the roof of the squad car. Our writer likes to use the term “gumball” when referring to this light, as it slightly resembles an old-style gumball machine. This term is not very common; I believe the last time it was used was during the Starsky & Hutch era of television. I have only heard this term used in two of the Castle television episodes, and they were both written by the same author.

The person, who penned these two episodes, and the obvious ghostwriter of the Richard Castle books, is Terri E. Miller, one of the Castle writers and producers.

Mystery solved!

**UPDATE September 1, 2015** I just finished reading the sixth book, Raging Heat, which was great, but I have to say I think this book was written by someone other than Terri E. Miller. The voice on this one sounds totally different than the last five books. I guess it’s time to figure out the new author author now- maybe Terri’s husband, Castle creator, Andrew Marlowe? He’s also an amazing writer- so it could definitely be him.

Another mystery to be solved!


  1. Anonymous says:

    I really love this show and hope it continues for many years to come. Both Castle and Beckett are gorgeous and deserve to be together.

  2. mary humphrey says:

    I really like this mysterious writer one day I will figure out who he or she is.I just would like to know if they have written anything else so I can read those books too.

  3. Steen Rancher says:

    To my shame, I am new to watching Castle. Gave me a lot of watching without waiting for the next episode though.

    I am betting on Michael Connelly as the author because his name gets used a lot more than Patterson’s and Steve, well, he ain’t writin’ no mo’.

    1. Anonymous says:

      The author is of course Terri E Miller.

  4. I recently started watching Castle and just found out about the book series. I’m very curious as to who writes the books. I personally want it to be Connelly because I love his books (which by the way he is still writing, he has a new one out right now).

  5. Maggie says:

    I agree with you, Steve, that Richard Castle is a woman. I think it stands out a mile. Thanks for the clue about the use of ‘gumball’. Sounds plausible that the author is Terri E Miller. It’s good fun guessing, anyway.

  6. Chris says:

    It’s also worth noting that in at least one of the books, the author credits Terri E. Miller as his/her partner in crime. And, finally, Terri E. Miller is married to the show’s creator Andrew W. Marlowe.

  7. Anonymous says:

    “Castle thinks or acts like a woman”? What sexist, reductive bullshit. If the author does turn out to be a woman, you’ll be correct only through luck rather than by your narrow-minded ‘analysis’.

    1. Maggie says:

      Why so angry? We’re just having fun trying to guess the real author. I agree with Steve that sometimes Castle’s thoughts or actions are iINCONSISTENT with the character’s USUAL, male persona and could suggest that the (female?) writer’s own modus operandi is peeking through.

    2. Another Anonymous says:

      More proof that SJWs have no sense of humor.

      1. Maggie says:

        Sorry, what’s an SJW?

        1. Laurie says:

          It is a social justice warrior: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=social+justice+warrior
          It is basically someone who pretends to have a cause because they like to argue.

    3. …you sound like a woman. Did I come to the right conclusion, based solely on your writing style?

      1. Maggie says:

        It’s not so much writing style as small things like what the character observes, is concerned about, simply writes about. Of course we could all be wrong but it’s funny that I and lots of others thought the writer was a woman before we even found this site and confirmed it.

  8. Laurie says:

    This is a very good theory. I read up on Terri Miller E. Miller and she is a very good writer with a ton of Castle credits, and also her husband created the show. I think it is her too!

  9. TheRealSheldonCooper says:

    It does make sense as she is married to the executive producer.creator. She’s a great writer and she has her husband there to help with the plot problems.
    It could also be Penny.

  10. Redkitten says:

    I read that the author has been on Castle. Has she ever been on the show?

    1. Nimbus says:

      Ooooooh. Good question.

    2. John Uce says:

      It appears as if Ms Miller has appeared in a Castle episode: http://castle.wikia.com/wiki/The_Lives_of_Others.

  11. John Uce says:

    Here’s the appplicable citation from the link:

    Watch: Both for Andrew W. Marlowe and Terri Edda Miller make a cameo appearance as the couple who are in the building across from Castle’s loft, in a nod to Hitchcock making cameos in his own films.

  12. Diddlebug says:

    Maybe the last book was written by the new husband and wife team that write the show’s episodes now.

    1. Maggie says:

      That makes sense. It feels different somehow

  13. Debbra W says:

    Oh fooey. After reading this article and several others on the Internet I was so hoping to find who really did write all the R.C. books. I suppose I will just have to continue enjoying the fun grown-up pretend. It is fun too.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I Love Richard castle

    1. I totally love this show. The Castle character is so funny at parts and the faces. They really do act married. I think people want that kind of relationship in their own lives.I need more.

      1. Bonnie says:

        We all want more of the Castle series, so what is wrong with the network cancelling the show!!

  15. Actually, pretty sure the author is Tom Straw. His website spells it out pretty clearly.

  16. Lenore Ziff says:

    Don’t know who really writes this series but I love the books!!!!!

  17. Barbara Clerkin says:

    The minute I read the first Nikki Heat novel, I could tell it was a woman who wrote it. Regardless of how some people insist that everyone is equal – we are not exactly the same. We are individuals whose voice is determined by nature, nurture and experience. Unless an author deliberately makes an effort to write against his or her natural instincts and tendencies – which requires effort, thought and a high degree of concentration to maintain consistency – it is usually obvious if a typical male or female is writing. These novels are written by a female – the language and style include perceptions which are just not typical of male mystery/thriller authors. The descriptive passages, the interactions between Heat and Rook, the fact that the author takes far more care with Nikki’s thoughts, making them far more authentic than those of Rook – who comes across as deep as a puddle after a sun shower most of the time, and the somewhat inaccurate portrayals of NYPD activities, procedures, descriptions of sites, all come across as someone not familiar with the reality of policing, NYC itself, and whose focus and attention are likely to be attractive to women, not men. For instance, a lot of care is lavished on descriptions of places, people’s appearances and food. The romance scenes are rather circumspect and the appearance of profanity is jarring, as if the author just threw the f-bombs to sound more macho. Male authors who write in this genre tend to write profanity into the narrative more matter of factly. Also, Nathan Fillion said during an interview that the ghost writer of the novels had been on the show and the name started with T.

    1. stevemargolis says:


    2. Carrie says:

      According to Mystery Scene, the author is “out” as Tom Straw:


      1. stevemargolis says:

        Thanks Carrie! This is a great find!


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