“Nikki’s death is not written into any of the books. However, in Undue Influence, the reader learns for the first time about her illness and death, which had occurred the year before.
Why did Nikki die? After a couple of books, it became clear to me as well as my publisher that the relationship between Paul and Nikki was headed nowhere. She didn’t have a major part to play in the stories as they took place almost entirely in court, and she curbed the ability to bring romance into the stories that might work in the court or investigative setting. The fact is that when I wrote the first Madriani book, “Compelling Evidence”, I never really intended for it to be a continuing series. When the publisher offered more contracts for a series, I was confronted with a relationship in the stories that was not destined to work over the long haul.”