Back Story: Spenser (who should be an old man by now) shows no signs of slowing down

Many of the reviews I’ve read about Robert B. Parker’s 30th Spenser novel, Back Story, suggest that it is unlikely to win any new Spenser fans. This may be true, but Parker’s latest Spenser offering seems to be designed not with new fans in mind, but for old Spenser junkies like myself who have grown older along with the gumshoe, Susan, Hawk, Lt. Quirk, and the rest of the series characters. After several novels, a series become less story-driven and more character-driven. Back Story is a classic example.

Continue reading “Back Story: Spenser (who should be an old man by now) shows no signs of slowing down”

Hundred-Dollar Baby features the return — again — of a familiar character

Spenser, the protagonist of Robert B. Parker’s classic detective series, should be about 70 years old. But a few years back, Parker decided to stop aging him. He’s older, maybe a little slower, but Spenser is just as tough, brave and sarcastic as ever in Hundred Dollar Baby, Parker’s 34th installment of the series.

Continue reading “Hundred-Dollar Baby features the return — again — of a familiar character”

Flood: The first entry of a one-of-a-kind crime series

In November 2008, Andrew Vachss released Another Life, the final installment in one of the most hard-hitting and unusual series in the history of American detective fiction. Vachss’ shadowy protagonist, Burke, and his “family” made their final appearance in the author’s 18th book, much to the chagrin of readers who like their mysteries extra-hardboiled.

Continue reading “Flood: The first entry of a one-of-a-kind crime series”