cover image Sixkill


Robert B. Parker. Putnam, $26.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-399-15726-4

An intriguing new supporting character and the usual entertaining dialogue lift the 39th and, sadly, last Spenser novel (after Painted Ladies) from MWA Grand Master Parker (1932%E2%80%932010). When 20-year-old Dawn Lopata expires of apparent asphyxiation after having sex with megamovie star Jumbo Nelson in his hotel room, Spenser's best friend in the Boston PD, Capt. Martin Quirk, arranges for Nelson's defense attorney to hire Spenser. Though it appears the obnoxious Nelson killed Lopata, Quirk has his doubts. Spenser's initial attempt to get Nelson to talk about what happened ends in mutual threats and insults. While the truth about the fatal night takes a backseat for too long to make the resolution satisfying, the scenes featuring Spenser's longtime love interest, Susan Silverman, are as snappy as ever. Zebulon "Z" Sixkill, the actor's American Indian bodyguard with whom the PI develops an unexpected relationship, would probably have gotten more play in future books had Parker lived to write them. (May)