I was wondering what you all felt about the use of families in books?
Let me try and explain. I have read a lot of books and series of books, but I often find that a winning formula falls flat when a main character is given a family. If a bachelor, or spinster detective gets married or even has a boyfriend/girlfriend, it can totally change the way that character is able to act or react.
It seems to me that most successful books in series have some main character who is, for whatever reason, alone.
I mentioned detective fiction and think that it is particularly noticeable there. I have known authors introduce a wife and then manage to lose her a couple of books down the line. And I've known some books where I dearly wish the author would dump the partner.
This is not the same as the occasional sibling or family member who happens to crop up now and again. Those are often very welcome.
Can you think of any successful introductions into a series?
My thought was Sybil to Sam, but Sam was still an unformed character when he met Sybil. And Sybil has the grace to stay at home, out of the way, and not ask too many questions about what Sam has been up to.
What are your thoughts - if any, on this subject?