But now someone I know is having a less clear experience. Perhaps the person who took from her made enough changes that my friend won't be able to make the formal charge of plagiarism? For someone to be formally labeled a plagiarist, they have to steal your very words. Not just your ideas.
That particular formal charge going to take some work. Someone else will have to do a line-by-line. I'm not going to make comparisons. I have Roberts's books. I haven't bought the possibly-plagiarizing copy and I'm not likely to. I've seen enough to know I don't want to give her money.
But .let's just take a quick look:
Wendy Roberts has a Ghost Dusters series, and her first book came out in 2007. They're mysteries and the main character is crime scene cleaner. She can see and hear ghosts, has an employee who's an ex-cop. Her brother is dead. She helps ghosts by solving their murders.
JB Lynn now has a Spring Cleaning series. Her first book came out a couple of months ago. They're mysteries and the main character is a crime scene cleaner. She can see and hear ghosts, has a employee who's an ex-cop. Her brother is dead. She helps ghosts by solving their murders.
Okay, there are plenty of differences. Roberts's book is in third person. Lynn's is in first.
Use that free glimpse to take a look at the very first scene of Robert's book (the one published in 2007). It opens with the heroine cleaning up a death scene and the dead guy's ghost is whining at her. She cleans the scene, helps the ghost move along, then goes to a birthday party.
And how about Lynn's book? The one out at the end of 2013? The book opens with the woman cleaning up death scene. Dead guy's ghost is whining at her. She cleans the scene, doesn't help the ghost, but. . . then she goes to a birthday party.
There's a line in Lynn's book in the first chapter. "at heart, I'm a pretty lazy person.."
edited to add: Wendy Roberts posted this on FB:
I appreciate all the discussion and support. I've sent an email to my editor and agent and will let them decide if anything should be done. I'd like to believe that it was all coincidental but that may be my inner pollyanna lol! The email from a fan pointed out these similarities: “her heroine does crime scene clean up and she hires an ex cop to work with her. She has a dead brother. She talks to ghosts and tells them in order to help them ‘move on’ she needs to know what unfinished business they have. She cleans a meth house, a hoarder house and drives a van. She gets all 4 of her tires flattened. She gets grossed out when a ghost runs through her body. She describes a lot of how hard it is to clean a shotgun suicide in a small bathroom” How may similarities constitute blatant plagiarism? I have no idea and I have a feeling that nothing will come of this. I'm just glad the 5 books in my series all came out long before her new book.
UPDATE 2/11--the new and kindle versions of Lynn's book is gone from Amazon. It's now only available from third party sellers. And there's no trace of it at Barnes and Noble. So I guess someone else thought it was suspect.