Saturday, October 23, 2010

Painted Ladies

The good news is, Robert B. Parker's next to the last Spenser novel, Painted Ladies, is a much better read than what I previously thought was the last Spenser, The Professional. In a scene reminiscent of the Raymond Chandler novel, Farewell My Lovely, a stuffy college professor hires Spenser to come along as protection for the ransom delivery for a valuable painting.
A wheel comes off and the professor is blown to bits by a rigged package. There doesn't seem to be any way Spenser could have prevented this from occurring, but being Spenser he feels that he's failed, and after returning his fee to the college, he sets out sans client to find out who killed the professor. This being a Spenser novel, things quickly turn complicated and Spenser is almost killed in his office by a couple of hired guns.
As I said, this one is better than the previous book. There's still too much Susan and no Hawk, but the plotting is better and Spenser spends more time actually being a detective. As usual, Parker's dialog sparkles. There are call backs to earlier books as Spenser recalls a case in London (The Judas Goat) and visits with series regulars like Rita Fiore. It's a fun book.
So anyway, that's the good news about the next to the last Spenser book. What's the bad news? It's the next to the last Spenser book.


Sam Jones said...

Hi Chas,

You don't know me but we have someone sort of in common. Beth/Sum of Me. This may seem weird or strange but I'm hoping you could pass on ..a message? Comment? to her for me because there is no way to me to contact her or comment on her posts...and I think you actually know her right? From the sound of some of her posts, I'm under that impression...

I've never met her, don't know who she is outside of her blog but have been reading it for months now (I don't even recall the original blog that led me to hers but I suppose that's not really important is it? :P I didn't keep up with that, but I look forward to reading what Beth has to say...)

Anyhoo...would you mind terribly passing on that I'm still reading and that I care. That I'm sorry that whatever is troubling her is troubling her...and that I hope she keeps finding some peace in the good things in her life.

I think she is funny, insightful and I always looking forward to reading her, whatever she writes, because she sometimes says what I never knew I wanted to say but have to say too. Hope that makes sense.

Anyway, thank you.

Sam J.

Charles R. Rutledge said...

Hi Sam, Yes, Beth and I are friends in real life. I'll pass your message along. Thanks for caring.