Reed and Ellery: Yeah or Nah?

With the advent of All the Best Lies, I’ve been getting more reader feedback on whether Ellery and Reed should be a couple or not. Sentiment runs about 90-95% “They belong together forever” with about 5-10% of readers firmly in the “Ew, that’s gross” category. I feel like both sides have a point, which is why Ellery and Reed are so much fun to write. If they were a perfect couple, they’d be boring. But are they too taboo? Let’s review the evidence on the “Ew, gross” side:

1. They met when Ellery was a kid. She was fourteen and Reed was a grown-ass adult in the FBI. For some readers, understandably, this is a non-starter.
2. He rescued her. This fact, plus the age difference, creates the impression of a power imbalance that is sometimes uncomfortable.
3. They met because of a serial killer. He’s always going to be between them.

Reed and Ellery generate plenty of heat, but should they be a couple?

Meanwhile, the “Aw, they belong together” side has points to offer as well:

1. They understand each other in a way that literally no one else on Earth does.
2. They like each other. You should get to date who you like, as long as everyone is a consenting adult.
3. They are both adults now.
4. They fill in each other’s blindspots. Reed’s monied background means he doesn’t understand what it’s like to go without, and he sometimes misses motivations or part of a case that Ellery sees better. He also has a bit of a “fix-it” complex. Ellery is a constant reminder that he can’t fix everything, nor should he try. Ellery rushes headlong into danger while Reed is more circumspect. She is something of a misanthrope. Reed gives her hope for humankind.

The yin-yang of these two points of view is what makes them interesting to me as a writer. I see the “Ew, gross” side even if I do not completely share it. To me, the deal-breakers would be:

1. If Reed had any authority over Ellery, now or in the past. He’s not her boss. He has no control over her job or her future.
2. They had interacted a lot when she was a kid. As it stands, they met once. It was a dramatic meeting, to be sure, but then Reed disappeared from her life. He had no bearing on the kind of adult she turned out to be. He did not know girl-Ellery in any real capacity. He knows her only as an adult.
3. If she were a new adult. If Ellery was twenty-two or twenty-four, still getting her bearings on the adult world, it would be a different story. Reed would feel like a creepy influence. But she’s thirty and stands firmly on her own two feet.
4. If she had nothing to teach him. If their relationship was all about Reed breaking down Ellery’s walls, if he had no emotional learning to do himself, then the relationship would be hopelessly unbalanced.

So, in sum: those crazy lovebirds. Will they make it or not? I have no idea! Stay tuned.

6 Responses to “Reed and Ellery: Yeah or Nah?”

  1. Lynn

    I just DEVOURED all 3 of your books in as many weeks. So good and I’m anxious for more! And I’m in the Reed and Ellery forever camp…they are so right for each other! Thank you and keep writing!

    • Joanna Schaffhausen

      Hi, Lynn! Thanks for your kind words! I’m delighted you enjoyed the books and I’ll add your vote to the “yea” column for Reed & Ellery. 🙂

  2. Ashley

    Yes they very much should be. When does the 5th book come out? I’m yearning for more of the delicious couple!!! Please hurry with the 5th book!!!!!!! Please and Thank you

    • Joanna Schaffhausen

      Thanks so much! I’ll mark your vote in the “yes” column. 🙂 The fifth book, called LAST SEEN ALIVE, comes out in January 2022!

  3. hiro

    Hi, I started reading the Vanishing Season on March 19 and finished the entire series in 5 days. The last time I did such a crazy stunt was long time ago. Your books are absolutely unputdownable! Now I realize that there is no more Ellery / Reed book to devour, I regret that I didn’t take more time and savor them slowly.
    I love Ellery and Reed. Two broken, imperfect, strong people with good hearts. And they are perfect together. Reed is now one of my favorite MMCs in mystery/thriller genre.
    Last Seen Alive delivers very satisfying closure, but I do hope you have more stories for our marvelous crime-fighting duo.
    Please keep writing!

    • Joanna Schaffhausen

      Aw, thank you, Hiro! You are a fast reader…whoa! I’m so glad you enjoyed the books. As for more of them, I’ll never say never. 🙂


Leave a Reply