James Patterson's Violets Are Blue had to settle for the #2 slot its first week out this past December, unable to unseat John Grisham's Skipping Christmas. Now, Patterson's latest, 2nd Chance, knocks Grisham's The Summons off its high perch, taking the #1 position after one week in the stores. First printing for this book was one million, up from the 850,000 copies Little, Brown did for the author's 1st to Die, which launched the series featuring the female PIs of the Women's Murder Club. That title enjoyed a 13-week run on PW's weekly charts. Last year was a good one for the popular author. He had three titles among the top 20 fiction bestsellers of 2001—Violets Are Blue in the #10 position, Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas at #15 and 1st to Die at #19 (our Facts & Figures analysis of last year's bestsellers begins on page 53).

With reporting by Dick Donahue