I read this because Jim has read so many Parker novels that he feels all the characters are his friends, so I thought I should get to know them as well.
This book is part of a series about a Boston P.I. known only by his last name, Spenser. The plots all involve murders to be solved, but the crimes don’t appear to be the main focus of the books; rather, they seem to be just an excuse to highlight Spenser’s witty repartee with everyone else, but especially his partner/bodyguard Hawk.
In this story, a wealthy bank manager has been shot through the head while lying in bed at night, without any evidence that a break-in had occurred. His much younger wife Mary is the chief suspect, and her alibi is pretty flimsy. Spenser is hired by Mary’s attractive lawyer Rita Fiore to see if he can find out if someone else actually committed the crime. As a complicating factor, almost everyone Spenser interviews gets murdered.
Evaluation: Spenser and his bantering friends are indeed very funny but in my opinion a bit too funny to be realistic. In addition, almost every beautiful woman is inexorably attracted to Spenser. No wonder Jim likes these books; they are entertaining guy-fantasy books. Even so, I enjoyed this book; I laughed out loud often, and if you take this series with a very small grain of salt, this installment at least will provide an enjoyable way to pass a couple of hours. (The Spenser books are very quick reads.)
Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons, an imprint of the Penguin Group (USA), 2002