FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND marks the tenth Jonathan Stride novel, going all the way back to IMMORAL in 2005. Which naturally begs the question: Do you need to start at the beginning?
In fact, I deliberately write my series books as standalones, so that you can begin anywhere and get a full, rich experience of the characters. I tell readers: You wouldn’t expect to limit yourself to friends you met in your teens or twenties. You’ll meet people throughout your life, and if you enjoy them as people, you’ll want to find out more about the stories that made them who they are. That’s the way a good series should work, too. Once you meet Jonathan Stride in FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND, I hope you’ll want to go back and read some of his earlier stories, too.
Critics agree! Here’s what North Carolina’s Mountain Times says: “Ten books into Brian Freeman’s Jonathan Stride series, “Funeral for a friend” traverses a literary tightrope that few authors can manage: the novel works equally well as a standalone for a first-time reader, or as part of the fuller Stride canon for his longtime fans….Freeman’s characters here are as developed as his plot, and even if this is your first foray into the Stride universe you’ll come to know Serena, Stride, Cat, Maggie and others as family.”
They also praise the book’s “masterful diversions, deceptions and angular plotting.”
So even if you’re new to Stride, dive in.