Robert B. Parker •
Early Autumn •
It’s the voice that brings me back to the Spenser series time after time—crisp and funny and smart. “You look like the runner-up in a Mortimer Snerd look-alike contest,” Spenser tells Paul Giacomin in this book.
Spenser makes his living as a private investigator, and he isn’t satisfied until he finds out what’s really behind a case. He loves food and sex and baseball and drinking, not necessarily in that order, and hates pomposity. Asked why he got fired from the cops, he quips, “Insubordination. It’s one of my best things” (The Godwulf Manuscript). He struggles to find workable solutions in a flawed world. He feels like a guy you know, or want to know.
And he outlived Robert B. Parker: There are 39 Spenser novels in all, two published posthumously. Any book in the series can stand alone, but reading chronologically is helpful for background on the many recurring characters.
It’s become a cliché for the jackets of mysteries to yell that the author is “the legitimate heir to Raymond Chandler!” In Parker’s case, however, the claim has some basis. Fans of Chandler will feel right at home in Spenser’s Boston.