Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Book ~ "Painted Ladies" (2010) Robert B. Parker

From Amazon ~ In this posthumously published novel, the Boston PI tries to retrieve a priceless work of art and deals with the rarefied and nasty world of academics. Thirty-seven novels later, Spenser can still nail a person’s foibles on first meeting, still whip up a gourmet meal in a few minutes, still dispatch the thugs who haunt his office and his home, and do it all while maintaining a fierce love of Susan Silverman and English poetry (which he quotes frequently and always to good effect). The plot this time spins off from Spenser’s shame over the murder of a client, a college art professor who asked him to provide backup during a delicate ransom exchange for a rare seventeenth-century Dutch painting. Spenser, ever true to his modern-day chivalric code, cannot let himself off the hook for the professor’s death. His investigation unveils the professor’s avocation as a sexual predator of coeds, and it digs deeply into both the world of art theft (reaching back to Nazi thefts of great European works).

I've been reading Parker's Spencer series for years and have enjoyed them. Over the years, though they are entertaining, they have gotten fluffier.

The story was interesting and could have been meatier. The pages that are thick, the type is large and there is a lot of white space to give you the illusion that it's a big story in a big book. The characters were bland and the ending seemed to be wrapped up quickly. Perhaps Parker's estate (he died in January 2010) wanted to put out another Spencer novel and this was all they had. It almost seemed like the book wasn't finished.

Susan, Spencer's love interest, is still as annoying as ever. I missed Hawk (he was apparently in Asia) as I like his interaction with Spencer.

It sounds like I'm not recommending this book and that isn't the case. I enjoyed it for what it was ... a light fluffy quick read with an amusing character.

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