by | Jun 14, 2019 | The Real Book Spy | 6 comments

by The Real Book Spy

I’ve been saying this for a while now—Clive Cussler works with a lot of talented co-authors, including Boyd Morrison, Jack Du Brul, Graham Brown, Justin Scott, and, of course, his own son, Dirk Cussler . . . but none of them are as talented, in my opinion, as Rogue Women Writer’s own Robin Burcell.

I’ve been a fan of Burcell’s since the moment I picked up Cold Case, the fourth book in her Kate Gillespie detective series about a decade ago. (Fun fact: my mother’s maiden name is Gillespie, and I have a first cousin named Katie Gillespie) Since then, I’ve read just about everything Robin has written and was thrilled when she began working with Clive Cussler on his Sam and Remi Fargo books back in 2016.

In just a few years, the Fargo franchise has gone from one of Cussler’s most underrated series to one of his most popular, in no short part because of Robin Burcell, who brings a whole lot to the table and somehow finds a way to deliver every time out. That is certainly the case with The Oracle, her latest thriller in stores June 11, and when I sat down to make my rogue pick for this month, it was the first title that popped into my head.

Here, the Fargos set out to uncover clues to the location of a mysterious scroll that traces back to 533 A.D. when Gelimer, the king of the Vandals, was told by an oracle that the only way his kingdom would survive the invading Byzantine army was to find and return the scroll to its rightful owner. That never happened, though, and in the present day, the scroll is still missing, it’s location unknown—that is, until Sam and Remi’s archeological dig inadvertently unearths more than they bargained for.

Think Indiana Jones meets Tomb Raider’s Lara Croft. . . . The Oracle is Robin Burcell at the very top of her game, and the best book in Cussler’s bestselling series to date.

Robin Burcell

EDITOR’S NOTE: We Rogues are so proud of Robin. What a wonderful and well-deserved review by The Real Book Spy. We’re delighted (but not surprised) he saw what we knew all along. You go, Rogue Robin!

And now here’s the inside scoop from herself, Robin Burcell, about collaborating with the great Clive Cussler. She writes:  What an incredible surprise to find out that The Oracle ended up as The Real Book Spy’s ROGUE RECOMMENDATION! I’m fairly certain that none of us Rogues expected to be included in TRBS’s list of great reads—least of all me.

Still, I’m only half the equation in this venture. If not for Clive Cussler picking me as a cowriter in the Sam and Remi Fargo series, I wouldn’t be here. I’m currently the fourth cowriter in the series, which originated with Grant Blackwood. While I don’t know the stories behind the past authors and how they ended up writing with Clive, I am happy to say that my involvement came about after he contacted Barbara Peterson (who owns the iconic Poisoned Pen bookstore in Scottsdale, Arizona), wanting to know if she could recommend a writer who might fit into the Cussler universe.

Clive & Robin, not working. Go write another book!

Clive was looking for someone who could write strong women and men. When Barbara gave him my name and a couple of my books, I’d like to say he enthusiastically agreed with her. He’d never had a female cowriter, so this would be a new venture for him. But the biggest hurdle he felt was that mysteries/police procedurals (my background) were quite a bit different than action/adventure (his background).
Once Clive read The Bone Chamber and The Kill Order(books 3 and 5 in my Sydney Fitzpatrick FBI Forensic Artist series), he was ready to see if I could make the switch in genres. (It was much harder than I thought!)
In case you’re wondering what it’s like working on a series with the “Grandmaster of Adventure,” I can tell you it’s every bit as thrilling as our books. He really is a master craftsman, and I’ve learned so much writing the last four books with him. 
To me, the best part of writing in an international action/adventure thriller series is being able to research so many wonderful locations. Clive, fortunately, has been to the vast majority we use as settings. While I’ve been to a few countries in Europe, there are so many more I can only dream about. One day, perhaps.
In the meantime, I’ll visit them vicariously in our books. I hope you’ll join me!
EDITOR’S NOTE:  We’d love to know what draws you to Clive and Robin’s books, too, Rogue Readers.  Please leave a comment and tell all!
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  1. Lisa Black

    It has to be the sense of worldwide adventure mixed with true history!! That’s what I love—learning something about an event or a part of the world I didn’t know before, and having fun doing it!

  2. Robin Burcell

    Exactly, Lisa! I call it armchair traveling. While it's exciting to (research and) read the historical stuff, I think I'm happy I'm alive now! I'd miss my refrigerator, my car, my… well, you get the drift!

  3. Chris Goff

    I started reading the book yesterday and I can't put it down. I stayed up until 3:00 p.m. last night. I'm loving this book!

  4. S. Lee Manning

    Love Sam and Remi. Can't wait to read their latest adventures.

  5. Robin Burcell

    So glad to hear this, Chris!

  6. Robin Burcell

    They're definitely a fun duo!