Sunday, April 6, 2008


I hate when I miss an episode of a TV show and then see the next one and am lost. Same thing happens when I have to skip a book in a series. My library did not have The Widening Gyre, the tenth book in the Spenser series - turns out that's one of a few they never got. So, I jumped to the eleventh, Valediction, which Robert B. Parker wrote in 1984. First chapter - I realized I was missing something.

I did consider buying the book I missed, but not for $7.99. That's crazy! I'm saving money here by reading for free, so I'll avoid the loss. Thank the stars for the Internet so I could get a summary somewhere to catch up on the one I missed - most particularly the details of the relationship between Spenser and Susan.

Anyway, book eleven opens with Susan leaving town. This throws Spenser into a funk that not even the attractive art director from the office across the street can fully get him out of. He takes a case to find a dancer that has supposedly been kidnapped by a religious group. Investigating uncovers a lot more than just a church. With the help of his buddy Hawk, Spenser tries to solve the case and solve his life problems at the same time.

And then everything takes another unexpected turn - a near fatal one!

Definitely a good read. Clearly Parker has a grand scheme in mind as the art director has been in the background of the books now for three or four novels. Also, he brings back Paul, the young man Spenser helped out in An Early Autumn. I'm looking forward to the next book which I'll start later today.

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