Shawn's Reviews > Robert B. Parker's Old Black Magic

Robert B. Parker's Old Black Magic by Ace Atkins
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really liked it
bookshelves: mystery-detective
Read 2 times. Last read May 15, 2018 to May 19, 2018.

I'm torn. The 20 year old art heist is interesting and fun; it's a decent, though not difficult, mystery. Atkins does a reasonable enough imitation of Spenser and the other characters. There are nice touches with accents and slang typical of Boston that gives flavor to the book. I like the updating of the BPD and more realism with Spenser's interactions with them (without losing Belson and Quirk).

But Atkins is missing some important elements of Spenser. He's still a smart-ass tough who quotes Thoreau, Frost, and Shakespeare. He still has his code. But Spenser qua detective is not quite there. He gets tailed several times in ways that would make Hawk lose all respect for Spenser. And he's not quite as perceptive or intuitive as Parker's Spenser was.

Compared to Parker at his best, this doesn't compare. But it's still better than Parker at his laziest.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
May 15, 2018 – Started Reading
May 18, 2018 – Shelved
May 18, 2018 – Shelved as: mystery-detective
May 19, 2018 – Finished Reading

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