I'll start with a confession: I've never read Robert B. Parker before. And I didn't know anything about Spenser before I met him in Crimson Joy. I don't know - I thought maybe Sam Spade; dark, rainy nights, bare light bulbs in a dingy office.
Boy, was I wrong.
In this book, Spenser and friends are up against the Red Rose killer. The bad guy is quite obviously a psychological case, so Spenser's psychologist girlfriend gets to be a partner in crime as well as in bed, with delightful humor and good will. They're both such really great people, it's fun to be around them.
Spenser is in great physical shape; he's brave and witty; he's a gourmet cook. He's never ruffled. Faced with a slime talk show host or a five-thug citizen pressure group, his wit, strength, and courage save the day.
Okay, it might all be too good to be true, but this is a story. It's comfortable, funny, fast-paced, breezy and uncomplicated. The plot is clever enough to interest, even if the outcome is surly a foregone conclusion.
In Spenser's words, "To be who I was and do what I did had to assume I'd win." That's how I felt from the start and I was glad he was who he was and did what he did and I loved every minute of it.