Since it came out lo, these many years ago that Janet Dailey had cribbed entire chunks of Nora Roberts' books, I have not bought another Janet Dailey book or allowed her books to be in my house. I've been very regretful about that, because there were some of Dailey's books that I really liked (mostly in her Harlequin Presents Americana collection).
Well, now it turns out that historical romance author Cassie Edwards has done something similar, although her choice of material to copy is much older. Edwards has plagiarized material for her western romances from some text published early in the 20th century. Her publishing house stood by her at first, denying that it was plagiarism, but as the details came out, had to admit that one of their bestselling authors had, indeed, copied entire passages from this older source.
I've seen the text, and it's clearly copied, right down to the word choices. Yes, she made minor variations here and there, but an author of her experience could have not doubt that what she was doing was cheating. Unlike Dailey, who had the chutzpah to copy one of the bestselling novelists in the world and then be kind of huffy about it when caught (including giving a throwaway "apology" that managed to offend many who read it), Edwards ripped her material from a more obscure source, and must have been fairly confident that she would not be caught out.
Unfortunately, the publishing world is smaller than ever due to the internet, and people have access to a lot more material than ever before. It's just crazy to think you can get away with this type of thing in this day and age.
I'm deeply grateful that I've never been a big Edwards fan, having read only one or two of her books. Nevertheless, she will join Dailey on my list of authors who, under no circumstances, will be allowed in my house. What a pity.