Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Spring Reads: Robert B. Parker's Little White Lies

Putnam; 320 pages; $27.00; Amazon
Available today in bookstores from Putnam is Robert B. Parker's Little White Lies written by Ace Atkins, which marks the 45th title in the popular Spenser series. (Well, the 46th if you can't 2009's Chasing the Bear: A Young Spenser Novel.)

Created by the late Robert B. Parker, the Spenser novels centers on a Boston private detective named Spenser, who's first name is never mentioned in the books. The first novel in the series, The Godwulf Manuscript, was published in 1973, and quickly became popular with mystery readers. Many sequels followed, as well as a short-lived television series called Spenser: For Hire (1985 - 1988) starring Robert Urish as Spenser. A spin-off television series, A Man Called Hawk, aired for only 13 episodes. Four made-for-TV sequel movies aired during the 1990s. The novels Small Vices, Thin Air, and Walking Shadow were later adapted into made-for-TV movies on A&E starring Joe Mantegna as Spenser.

After Robert B. Parker's death in 2010, journalist/writer Ace Atkins was picked to continue writing the Spenser novels. Little White Lies marks the 6th Spenser novel written by Mr. Atkins. The other Spenser titles written by him are: Lullaby, Wonderland, Cheap Shot, Kickback and Slow Burn.

Spenser's newest case in Little White Lies has him helping Connie Kelly, a woman who gave a three hundred thousand dollars investment to her online boyfriend, Mr. Brooke Welles. Of course right after she gave Welles the money, he broke all ties with her and disappeared without a trace. After confiding with her shrink, Dr. Susan Silverman, Connie contacted Spenser to investigate Welles.

Final Thoughts: I'm new to the Spenser series; having only read Slow Burn (read my review here) and somewhat remembering seeing a few episodes of Spenser For Hire during my childhood. Little White Lies a big improvement over the previous installment, with a better plot, snappy dialogue, and well-written descriptions. The basic plot of a man, Welles, conning a woman he met on a dating site might seem like a real headline in the news, but Mr. Atkins tosses about several twists and turns that makes the it slightly unbelievable, but in a not in a bad way. I don't want to give away too many spoilers, so lets just say Welles isn't anything like he appears to be.

If you're wanting to know if Spenser's pals are in this novel, well, yes, Hawk and Ted Sapp do help Spenser solve the case.

Overall, Robert B. Parker's Little White Lies is a fun and entertaining read. Mr. Atkin's writing skills shine really well in this installment, and I'm hoping he'll continue this route in future sequels.

*I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

About the Author: Ace Atkins is the New York Times Bestselling author of nineteen novels, including The Innocents and Robert B. Parker's Slow Burn, both out from G.P. Putnam's Sons in 2016.

One of the best crime writers working today, Ace has been nominated for every major award in crime fiction, including the Edgar twice for novels about former U.S. Army Ranger Quinn Colson. A former newspaper reporter and SEC football player, Ace also writes essays and investigative pieces for several national magazines including Outside and Garden & Gun.

He lives in Oxford, Mississippi with his family, where he's friend to many dogs and several bartenders.

Find out more about Ace and his novels on his official website: aceatkins.com, on Facebook Ace Atkins, and on Twitter @aceatkins.

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