Painted Ladies is the best Spenser mystery in the last 10 or so years. Very faint praise as fans of the Robert B. Parker series know Spenser has been going downhill for a long, long time. In Painted Ladies the detective is actually working a case and spends less time waxing about how wonderful Susan Silverman is and describing their suppers in detail.
Spenser is hired by a college art professor as a bodyguard. The professor is to exchange a ransom for a valuable Renaissance painting. The professor and the painting get blown up. Spenser being a man's man and a detective's detective must of course find the culprits who made him look bad. He also reimburses the museum for not coming through on protecting the professor.
Like in most novels in the series the detective muddles about, exchanges quips with recurring characters, is hit on by Linda Feore, and tells anyone who will listen how wonderful Susan Silverman is. The only real difference in Painted Ladies is his dog gets a mate.
The story here is generic and the solve reads like it was cobbled to make things fit. This is a case where a reader should not ask too many questions about the solve. It would not even satisfy Matlock.
Painted Ladies is for Spenser and Robert B. Parker completists unless, like me, you found a free epub copy on the internet
Other Robert B. Parker Reviews
Cold Service - A Spenser Mystery: A little less than a Spenser novel should be.
Double Play: Double Play, a suspense built around the story of baseball great Jackie Robinson
Melancholy Baby - A Sunny Randall Mystery: An entertaining whodunit.
Sea Change - A Jesse Stone Mystery: The fifth Jesse Stone novel and a solid read.
School Days - A Spenser Mystery: One of the better Spenser mystery novels. No Hawk, no Silverman.
Jesse Stone : Death In Paradise DVD: Third Jesse Stone DVD starring Tom Selleck, really really good mystery.
Jesse Stone: Night Passage DVD: First Robert B. Parker Jesse Stone second DVD in the series.
Hundred-Dollar Baby - A Spenser Mystery: A dreadful Spenser mystery. A waste of time and money
Blue Screen - A Sunny Randall Mystery: Very ordinary Sunny Randall mystery with stupid ending.
Jesse Stone : Sea Change DVD: Good stuff if subdued
High Profile - A Jesse Stone Mystery: Readable? Yes. Believable? Hmmm.
Spare Change - A Sunny Randall Mystery: Sunny Randall and her dad team up to find a serial killer. Not a bad novel.
High Profile - A Jesse Stone Mystery: Banal mystery by writer who puts out too much.
Night and Day - A Jesse Stone Mystery: Good read and toss kind of mystery.
Jesse Stone - No Remorse DVD: Very moody but very good made for TV mystery
Rough Weather - A Spenser Mystery: Decent enough for a later Spenser.
Jesse Stone - Innocents Lost DVD: 2011 TV movie. Good but formulaic
Jesse Stone - Benefit of the Doubt DVD: Eighth in the series and just as good.