cover image Robert B. Parker’s Wonderland

Robert B. Parker’s Wonderland

Ace Atkins. Putnam, $26.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-399-16157-5

In his solid second estate-authorized Spenser novel (after 2012’s Robert B. Parker’s Lullaby), Atkins explores the plot potential of the Boston PI’s last sidekick—recovering alcoholic Zebulon Sixkill, introduced in 2011’s Sixkill, the final series entry written by MWA Grand Master Parker (1932–2010). An old friend, boxing trainer Henry Cimoli, asks Spenser for help. Thugs are pressuring Cimoli and his Revere Beach neighbors to sell their property, to advance a plan for a casino. It’s easy enough for the detective and Sixkill, his new muscle, to drive the bad guys away, but harder to get to the bottom of the cascading violence that follows. Atkins’s ability to perfectly mimic the originals will please diehard fans hungry for familiar pleasures, but this outing won’t change the minds of those who feel that the lead character should have been retired many books ago. Author tour. Agent: Helen Brann, the Helen Brann Agency. (May)