Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Spenser 2.0

This week, I devote my Kirkus Reviews column to an assessment of Robert B. Parker’s Lullaby--the first installment in Ace Atkins’ new series of Spenser novels--and In Pursuit of Spenser: Mystery Writers on Robert B. Parker and the Creation of an American Hero, a collection of essays about Parker’s work and life, edited by Otto Penzler.

Of Lullaby, I write in part:
... Atkins spends so much time trying to capture the wit and melody of Parker’s prose, that it can be hard to spot his peculiar fingerprints on Lullaby. Some of Atkins’ contributions may be perceived only by veteran readers of Spenser’s adventures, as they’re subtle allusions to the gumshoe’s original outings. At one point, for instance, Spenser recalls watching Fourth of July fireworks with Brenda Loring, a “nubile secretary” he dated before falling for Susan Silverman (“I wondered what ever became of her…”). Elsewhere he considers working on a long-neglected chunk of wood that he probably last took his carving knife to in Parker’s first couple of books. And Spenser has started to drink Amstel Light beer again, once a staple of his diet.

What’s also distinctive about
Lullaby, though, is a seemingly renewed sense of interest in Boston as a setting.
You can look up--and, I hope, enjoy--my whole Kirkus piece here.

1 comment:

Winifred said...

Mmmm. Must check these out. I remember the series so I'll take a look.

Thanks for this.