Originally Posted by DiapDealer
Published order (or written order, in the event those two conflict, as in this case) is always
the way to read a series (IMO) unless the author(s) expressly indicates otherwise. Internal series chronology is of relatively little importance. Otherwise, the term prequel
would have no meaning.
Think about what order someone would have read them in had they started reading them before
they were all published.
So, since this is the 2nd book written
in the series, there's a valid concern that some important background may be missing from the first written book (I just happen to think it's a very small concern since it was van Gulik's first
). But I think it would be silly to expect someone to verify that a book is the very first according to the series' own internal chronology before nominating it for the book club.
The OCD side of me now hates this series!
He went forward to go back!?!
I'm actually one who will read a prequel first if I am new to a series, regardless of publication date. It is important to me to get the story in the correct order, even if it can be read in any order.
I've never knowingly had a prequel come up while I was already into a series, so I don't know what I would do in that situation.