I went to the anniversary party at The Mystery Bookstore today, and a few of us authors started talking about ghostwriters. One of the interesting issues that came up is the story of Lawrence Sanders and Vincent Lardo.
You may recall, some years ago a reader sued a publisher after discovering the “McNally” book he bought by Sanders was actually written by Vincent Lardo after Sanders’ death. The reader, as I recall, won the case and the publisher had to give refunds to anyone who bought a book. From that point forward, all the “MCNally” books had to be credited to Vincent Lardo.
Now here’s the fascinating twist. The publisher is going to be reissuing the early Sanders “McNally” novels… and it turns out the ALL the McNally novels, even when Sanders as alive, were actually written by Lardo. In other words, they were ghostwritten from the start! So now, under the terms of the lawsuit, the early McNally novels now have to say “By Vincent Lardo writing as Lawrence Sanders.”
So the whole lawsuit was a pointless and more than a little bit ironic.