This is summer 2012, and I just finished this book. I took it randomly from the shelf where it had its place in the section Miscellaneous. It was first published in 1990 and I probably bought my copy a year or two later. I must have read it, too, because the only books I own but have not read from page one to the end are dictionaries and encyclopaedias. However, I cannot recall the author's name nor a single line of the text. I read about a fellow called Spenser who, it seems, was a kind of private detective and had to keep fending off a nymphomaniac actress. I settled down, resignedly, for two or three more hours of unamusing reading when Spenser had to call another man for assistance. His name was Hawk, and suddenly I saw in my mind a very impressive black fellow, and Spenser also had a (much more friendly) face. And I remembered the title of a TV series Spenser for Hire of which I must have seen at least one episode.
I became more intrigued and, following Spenser on an errand into the countryside, found myself transported to sceneries reminding me of Raymond Chandler. The further the story went, the more I was caught not by the somewhat stereotype plot but by the vivid language. My reading hours had been much more pleasant than expected.
Of course, I became intrigued aid looked up the author. He had died only in 2010, had been very popular and – surprise! – had not only written a sequel to Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep (which I shall try to find) but also published a novel together with that great master. On my shelf, Robert B. Parker will now find a place not far from Chandler, Dashiel Hammet and Josephine Tey.