cover image Taming a Sea-Horse

Taming a Sea-Horse

Robert B. Parker. Delacorte Press, $15.95 (250pp) ISBN 978-0-385-29461-4

The TV series Spenser: For Hire is adding to the fame of Parker's Boston private eye, star of 12 book thrillers. The witty, tough, idealistic Spenser recounts his latest exploits in this 13th tale, starting when he meets April Kyle again. The young prostitute settled in a safe New York City bordello at the end of the novel Ceremony, April leaves to hook for Rambeaux. She refuses to believe the man who ""loves her'' is a pimp supported by sad girls Spenser finds walking the streets. One of these victims and Rambeaux himself are murdered. At the same time, April vanishes, involving the detective in a search that takes him to Maine (where the dead girl was first sold), to St. Thomas and finally to a playboy-type mansion in Boston. Spenser's lover Susan and their intrepid friend Hawke team up against a virtual army of hitmen ordered to protect the profits from prostitution, among other lucrative operations run by mobsters through hirelings fronting for them in legal enterprises. The suspense never slackens in the swift, eventful novel until its surprisingly touching close. Mystery Guild main selection; Literary Guild alternate; author tour. (June 6)