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ROBERT B. PARKER'S GRUDGE MATCH by Mike Lupica

In Lupica's second Sunny Randall continuation, Parker's prostitution kingpin Tony Marcus asks our heroine to find Lisa Morneau, his business partner and lover. Reluctant as Sunny is, she feels guilty for double-crossing Tony in their last encounter, and so takes his case. Meanwhile in Sunny's lovelife, Richie's second ex-wife Kathryn returns from London with young Richard Jr. in tow.

Mike Lupica's familiarity with Parker's canon and the other Parker continuation works again impresses. Grudge Match delivers a more vulnerable Tony Marcus, a side of him perhaps only Sunny brings out, and introduces rivals ready to pounce on his vulnerability.

My thanks again to Katie McKee for the galley. Robert B. Parker's Grudge Match goes on sale May 5.
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Mike Lupica continues Robert B. Parker's Sunny Randall and Jesse Stone

Mike Lupica's second Sunny Randall continuation, Robert B. Parker's Grudge Match goes on sale May 5.


And Lupica picks up the Jesse Stone series with Robert B. Parker's Fool's Paradise, on sale September 8.

Spenser Confidential Trailer Reaction

I don't hate it. There is, of course, the camp who say this isn't Spenser, but I think the trailer shows a balance of action and comedy, as the books do. Robert Urich's and Joe Mantegna's performances largely lacked the books' humor.

I also note three telling lines of dialogue. The first line of the trailer, "Whaddya say, Spense?" had me thinking, Buckle up. He hates being called Spense. Sure enough it came to blows. That's a detail only a reader of the books would get.

"...they framed me" puts to rest fears Spenser's character had radically changed to a felon.

And finally, "You were going to do what was right, with your strong moral code."

Is this the Spenser in the books? No, but the movie looks to depict the books' backstory--Spenser's police career, his meeting Hawk--as more recent events. Fine with that, I look forward to watching and discussing.

Cheater's Game: A Jake Lassiter Novel by Paul Levine

Former Miami Dolphins linebacker-turned-lawyer Jake Lassiter, suffering from what could progress to CTE, must nonetheless defend his beloved nephew Kip when the mastermind of a college admissions scam shifts blame to save himself.

The Lassiter series, which debuted with To Speak for the Dead in 1990, went on hiatus from 1997 to 2011, picking up thanks to the ebook and indie publishing boom. The later novels have likewise ridden today's hot topics smoothly, Levine's talent for narrative in fine form. Cheater's Game was clearly inspired by the USC scam that implicated Hollywood's Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin.

Fiction is best when readers can empathize with characters and their predicaments. At first glance, Kip seems to have grown into a slick moneymaker high on success. We may believe he's getting what he deserves, but we can't deny Jake's fatherly concern. We also feel for Jake himself, his brain damage affecting the last three books.

Cheater's Game

Netflix Spenser Movie Title Change

Netflix, Robert B. Parker's estate, producer-star Mark Wahlberg, and director Peter Berg announced a Spenser movie deal June 26. 2018. Since then I've rounded up details on my personal blog. Having moved my Parker discussion from Yahoo! Groups to this blog, I'll copy further updates here.

Today I learned the movie's title has changed from Wonderland to Spenser Confidential. This seems a move to identify more closely with Parker's character yet not quite with 1980s TV's Spenser: For Hire. Since Brian Helgeland has rewritten the script, though, the new title brings to mind his work on the movie L.A. Confidential.

At least the title change reflects what I previously gathered: the movie includes a few aspects with Ace Atkins' 2012 continuation novel, Robert B. Parker's Wonderland, but largely departs from it.

My friend Nikki Dolson found the synopsis on Twitter:

SPENSER CONFIDENTIAL: Mark Wahlberg reteams with director Peter Berg to play an ex-cop, Spenser, …

My Flash Fiction on Mystery Tribune's website and apps

Published last Monday like an early present to me and DetecToday alumni, "Fred" debuts Florida PI Lisa Regina. I welcome your feedback.

Transitioning Discussions from Yahoo! Groups

I started this blog in 2005 to store the guidelines and related chats from my Yahoo! Groups DetecToday, Spenser's Sneakers, and CrimeSeen. Unfortunately, Yahoo! has announced that as of October 28, 2019, it will no longer allow users to upload photos, files, and other content.

The week of December 16, 2019, many Yahoo! Groups features were eliminated, most importantly message archives and the digest function, and I deleted my Yahoo! Groups.

Present activity in my groups was light enough I decided to move further discussion to this blog and its Comments section. No need to sign up to participate. Simply comment on my posts. I will approve comments as blog owner/moderator. Each post will be labeled with the group it most closely interests: DetecToday, current P.I. fiction; Spenser's Sneakers, Robert B. Parker's works and legacy; and CrimeSeen, crime TV shows and movies. Clicking on a label will display all related posts, latest to earliest.

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