Sunday, March 9, 2008

the Godwulf Manuscript

Kevin Coupe, the author of the Morning News Beat - a retail industry news page I read each day, often recommends books by the author Robert B. Parker. Parker has written a number of novels in various series featuring detective characters he has created. One of those detectives is Spenser.

The Spenser books, it turns out, were the inspiration for the 80's television series Spenser For Hire which starred Robert Urich. While I am familiar with the show, I never really watched it that much. Still, I wanted to check out the books so when I was at the local library last Wednesday night I went down the fiction aisle under the P's. Needless to say, I was caught off-guard by all the books they had by the author - and it was a little hard to try and find the first book in the series. Luckily I landed upon a volume that had all three of the first Spenser novels in it, thus I checked it out.

the Godwulf Manuscript is the first of the Spenser series, written in 1973. The mystery takes place in Boston where Spenser has been hired by a local university to find a stolen manuscript. That investigation leads to a couple murders and a lot of tangled webs. The main character is a hard-hitting, sharp-tongued private eye who quickly intrigues the reader. While there are references in the book to the time it was written, it isn't so bogged down with them that it throws you off at all. Change some clothing styles and some technology references and it could be very contemporary very easily.

I'm looking forward to reading more in the series, to see how the character and the author's style develops over time.

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