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Robert B. Parker's Old Black Magic by Ace Atkins

Book design by Amanda Dewey
Twenty-five years after the brazen theft of three of its paintings, Boston's Winthrop Museum receives fresh leads in the unsolved case. Succumbing to cancer, art crimes investigator Locke trusts Spenser to pick up the trail.

Spenser rose to fame as a man in the mold of Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe in the time and place Robert B. Parker lived, fighting its crime. The series grew to thirty-nine books in Parker's lifetime, but Spenser stopped aging in his forties, the later books no longer reflecting the changing times but drawn mostly from Parker's imagination.

Rather than keep things timeless in his continuations, Ace Atkins takes Parker's original approach, setting Spenser in the present day, somewhat older, still ably plying his trade. This has allowed Atkins to put his own stamp on the series, basing the new cases on compelling true crimes like the unsolved 1990 Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum theft.

Atkins' earlier continuations proved how well he knows Parker's work. His more recent entries forge into territory Parker didn't cover. This seventh one notably deepens underworld stalwart Vinnie Morris, who joins the hunt for the Winthrop's paintings out of loyalty to murdered art collector crime boss Gino Fish.

Robert B. Parker's Old Black Magic by Ace Atkins goes on sale May 1.

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