Last January, Robert B. Parker died.
I posted about it in this blog. I had read every single Spenser mystery, every Jesse Stone mystery, all the Sunny Randalls, and a few books by Parker that starred none of the aforementioned. I'd read Spenser books every summer since 1981.
This summer a posthumous Jesse Stone book was released, which I read by the pool on the Cape. 2010 was a very nice summer and that helped.
Then I checked Amazon.
Okay, my wife did. Turns out that there was one more Spenser book to be released in October. I got it, and tried my best to read it slowly. Parker featured very short chapters, so it was easy to tell yourself, "I'll read just one more, then go to sleep" and wind up reading eight or nine more.
But this was really it, and I wanted to savor it.
Painted Ladies, the final Spenser book, featured lots of typical Spenser stuff, which is a good thing. It had too much drooling about how fabulous Susan is, but almost every Spenser book did. What surprised me a little is that only a few of the other regulars made an appearance.
State Police Homicide Commander Healy was there, as were his Boston cop friends Frank Belson and Martin Quirk. Rita Fiore, a lawyer with whom had a brief fling about 2o books ago and pops in with legal advice and flirty talk in a number of the books - including some of the Jesse Stones - has a cameo. He introduced a new Boston Police detective, Kate Quagliossi. A character with lots of potential that we'll no doubt never see.
Hawk (that may be a first) , Henry Cimoli at Harbor Health Club, his bad guy posse members Vinny Morris the Shooter, Chollo, and Tedy Sapp. Boston drug lord Tony Marcus and his posse of Ty Bop and Junior. It was just Spenser doing it himself.
But wait...Spenser's not completely dead yet.
(A nod to Monty Python's "Holy Grail" for that line.) I just found out that there's still one more Spenser novel yet to be published. The title is Sixkill and the expected release date is May 3, 2011. I've already pre-ordered it.