"Robert B. Parker has taken his place beside Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, and Ross MacDonald".-The Boston Globe.
This is the first Spenser book. Spenser is hired by a local university to recover a rare stolen manuscript and along the way gets embroiled with campus politics and murder.
A former L.A. homicide cop with a drinking problem, a broken marriage, and some lost dreams, Stone has just been hired to be police chief of the small Massachusetts town of Paradise. The Paradise power brokers are sure surprised when Stone not only doesn’t look the other way at various goings-on but also starts looking into such matters as money laundering, militia activities, and murder.
A blazingly original new novel from the undisputed dean of American crime fiction, featuring a sharp, tough, sexy new P.I., Sunny Randall.
Sunny Randall is a Boston P.I. and former cop, a college graduate, an aspiring painter, a divorcee, and the owner of a miniature bullterrier named Rosie. Hired by a wealthy family to locate their teenage daughter, Sunny is tested by the parents’ preconceived notion of what a detective should be. With the help of underworld contacts she tracks down the runaway Millicent, who has turned to prostitution, rescues her from her pimp, and finds herself, at thirty-four, the unlikely custodian of a difficult teenager when the girl refuses to return to her family.
But Millicent’s problems are rooted in much larger crimes than running away, and Sunny, now playing the role of bodyguard, is caught in a shooting war with some very serious mobsters. She turns for help to her ex-husband, Richie, himself the son of a mob family, and to her dearest friend, Spike, a flamboyant and dangerous gay man. Heading this unlikely alliance, Sunny must solve at least one murder, resolve a criminal conspiracy that reaches to the top of state government, and bring Millicent back into functional young womanhood.
Chief of Police Jesse Stone returns to investigate the murder of a troubled teenager in a seemingly bucolic New England town. The Paradise Men's Softball League has wrapped up another game, and Jesse Stone is lingering in the parking lot with his team-mates, drinking beer, swapping stories of double plays and beautiful women in the late summer twilight. But then a voice, scared, calls out to him from the edge of a nearby lake. He walks to the sound, where two men squat at the water's edge. In front of them, face down, is something that used to be a girl. The local cops haven't seen anything like this, but Jesse's LA past has made him all too familiar with floaters. This floating girl hadn't committed suicide, she hadn't been drowned: she'd been shot, and dumped, discarded like trash. Before long it becomes clear that the dead girl had a reputation and a taste for the wild life; and her own parents can't even be bothered to report her missing, or admit that she once was a child of theirs. All Jesse has to go on is a young man's school ring on a gold chain, and a hunch or two. At the same time, Jesse must battle two demons from his past: a renewed struggle with the bottle, and a continuing relationship with his ex-wife. Neither one will help him solve the case, and either one could jeopardize his career – and his life. Filled with magnetic characters and the muscular writing that are Parker's trademarks, Death in Paradise is a storytelling masterpiece.
Family ties prove deadly in the brilliant new Jesse Stone novel from New York Times-bestselling author Robert B. Parker.
The body in the trunk was just the beginning.
Turns out the stiff was a foot soldier for local tough guy Reggie Galen, now enjoying a comfortable "retirement" with his beautiful wife, Rebecca, in the nicest part of Paradise. Living next door are Knocko Moynihan and his wife, Robbie, who also happens to be Rebecca's twin. But what initially appears to be a low-level mob hit takes on new meaning when a high-ranking crime figure is found dead on Paradise Beach.
Stressed by the case, his failed relationship with his ex-wife, and his ongoing battle with the bottle, Jesse needs something to keep him from spinning out of control. When private investigator Sunny Randall comes into town on a case, she asks for Jesse's help. As their professional and personal relationships become intertwined, both Jesse and Sunny realize that they have much in common with both their victims and their suspects-and with each other.
April Kyle, the damsel in distress that Spenser rescued in two earlier books, Ceremony (1982) and Taming a Sea Horse (1986), again turns to the iconic Boston PI for help in the 34th entry in Parker's popular series. Cynical yet romantic, Spenser easily handles the immediate threat of some men trying to muscle in on the high-class Boston whorehouse April is running. Unfortunately, that isn't the real problem, and Spenser without much surprise finds that April, the thugs and everyone else involved is lying to him. Instead of walking away, Spenser continues to probe, following trails that lead to New York, a con artist, mob connections and other complications. This is vintage Parker, with Spenser exchanging witty dialogue with the faithful Hawk, sexy dialogue with his beloved Susan and smart-alecky dialogue with cops and villains. The old pros can make it look easy, and that goes for both the author and his hero as they deliver the goods smoothly and with inimitable style.
The Barnes Noble Review
Much of Robert B. Parker's fiction – his recent Spenser novel, Potshot, is a notable example – has straddled the boundary between two traditional forms: the private-eye novel and the Western. Parker's latest, the spare, evocative Gunman's Rhapsody, represents his first attempt at a pure, unadulterated Western, moving from Boston and environs to Tombstone, Arizona and focusing on one of Spenser's true spiritual forebears: Wyatt Earp.
Gunman's Rhapsody begins in 1879. Wyatt, whose exploits have already found their way into the dime novels of the period, has just arrived in Tombstone, accompanied by several of his brothers and his common-law wife, Mattie Blaylock. The Tombstone of this era is a semi-lawless boomtown located in the heart of the silver mine district. It also serves as a kind of crossroads, a meeting place for some of the iconic figures of the Old West, figures such as Johnny Ringo, Bat Masterson, Ike Clanton, Katie Elder, and the drunken, slightly demented gunfighter, Doc Holliday.
A single romantic encounter dominates this rambling, almost plotless narrative: Wyatt's discovery of the love of his life: beautiful showgirl Josie Marcus, who happens to be engaged to Johnny Behan, the shady, politically connected Sheriff of Tombstone. Wyatt's affair with Josie – which takes on an obsessive, almost mythical dimension – forms the central element in an interlocking series of personal rivalries and political enmities that will culminate in the gunfight at the OK Corral, and in its bloody, extended aftermath.
Parker's clean elegant style and essentially romantic sensibility prove perfectly suited to the peculiar material of this novel. Without a false note or wasted word, Parker recreates the ambiance of the West, bringing its saloons, jails, and gambling halls and its endless, wide-open vistas, to immediate, palpable life. He brings that same effortless authority to bear in describing the lives and motivations of violent, hard-edged men who live – and sometimes die – according to highly developed codes of personal behavior. The result is a fascinating historical digression that illuminates a piece of the American past while simultaneously illuminating the central concerns of Parker's large, constantly evolving body of work. (Bill Sheehan)
A richly imagined novel of the Old West, as spare and vivid as a high plains sunset, from one of the world's most talented performers.
It was a long time ago, now, and there were many gunfights to follow, but I remember as well as I remember anything the first time I saw Virgil Cole shoot. Time slowed down for him. Always steady, and never fast...
When it comes to writing, Robert B. Parker knows no boundaries. From the iconic Spenser detective series and the novels featuring Sunny Randall and Jesse Stone, to the groundbreaking historical novel Double Play, Parker's imagination has taken readers from Boston to Brooklyn and back again. In Appaloosa, fans are taken on another trip, to the untamed territories of the West during the 1800s.
When Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch arrive in Appaloosa, they find a small, dusty town suffering at the hands of renegade rancher Randall Bragg, a man who has so little regard for the law that he has taken supplies, horses, and women for his own and left the city marshal and one of his deputies for dead. Cole and Hitch, itinerant lawmen, are used to cleaning up after opportunistic thieves, but in Bragg they find an unusually wily adversary-one who raises the stakes by playing not with the rules, but with emotions.
This is Robert B. Parker at his storytelling best.
A hurricane hinders a kidnapping and Spenser goes on a search for the man responsible – the infamous Gray Man, who has both helped and hunted Spenser in the past.
Heidi Bradshaw is wealthy, beautiful, and well connected – and she needs Spenser's help. In a most unlikely request, Heidi, a notorious gold digger recently separated from her latest husband, recruits the Boston P.I. to accompany her to her private island, Tashtego. The reason? To attend her daughter's wedding as a sort of stand-in husband and protector. Spenser consents, but only after it is established that his beloved Susan Silverman will also be in attendance.
It should be a straightforward job for Spenser: show up for appearances, have some drinks, and spend some quality time with Susan. But when Spenser's old nemesis Rugar – the Gray Man – arrives, Spenser realizes that something is amiss. A storm, a kidnapping, and murder tear apart what should be a joyous occasion, and Rugar is seemingly at the center of it all. The only thing is that the sloppy kidnapping is not Rugar's style – as Spenser knows from past encounters. With six dead bodies and more questions than he can process, Spenser begins a search for answers – and the Gray Man.
With its razor-sharp dialogue, crisply etched characters, and high-wire narrative tension, Rough Weather once again proves that 'Robert B. Parker is a force of nature'