Saturday, June 28, 2008


I did something in the past 24 hours that I don't normally do: I polished off from cover to cover a nearly 300 page book. The book would be Robert B. Parker's 2001 novel Potshot, the 28th book in the Spenser series. (Okay, we had a big thunderstorm roll through last night for about an hour, so I couldn't watch TV or be on the computer, etc. Reading was a good way to pass the time while the storm passed.)

In this one, Spenser is hired by a woman in California to investigate the murder of her husband. When Spenser goes out to the town of Potshot, CA, he finds that there is a seedy element on the edge of town that appears to be responsible. At least, that's what the woman and most of the townfolk claim.

In trying to solve the murder, a number of the town's business men and the mayor decide to hire Spenser to clear our the seedy element as well. Since it is forty against one, the Boston detective decides to balance the odds a bit. To do that, he assembles his own "magnificent seven" - and the author uses this to bring back six characters from past novels for another adventure. Of course, Hawk is first. Then Vinnie Morris who has helped in the past. From Nevada comes Bernard J. Fortunato, from California comes Chollo and Bobby Horse. And from the previous novel Hugger Mugger, Tedy Sapp makes a return appearance.

This novel was very gripping (as evidenced how I couldn't put it down really). The story has a good mystery, which Spenser solves in the end. And, like a number of the last few novels, things don't always end up in as tidy a little package as one would expect. It shows the author is finding more gray in the world, especially in writing in this new millennium.

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