Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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In Edgar finalist Lupica’s fine fourth continuation of Parker’s Sunny Randall series (after 2021’s Payback), the PI is consulted by former client Melanie Hall, a mega-bestselling romance novelist. Years earlier, after Sunny freed Melanie from her creepy husband, John Melvin, by getting him convicted of assault, Melanie gave Sunny an opulent Boston house to live in virtually rent free. Melanie’s alarmed that an anonymous email has accused her of stealing the idea for her books, a plagiarism charge that could end her career. The threat came just months after John wrote Melanie from prison, advising her to enjoy her success while she could. The throat of someone associated with Melanie is slit as Sunny tries to find out who’s behind the threat—and whether Melanie is guilty of plagiarism. Meanwhile, Sunny’s retired cop dad, Phil Randall, is at risk from Joe Doyle, a powerful attorney who holds Phil responsible for his son’s death. The climax is a bit of a letdown, but this is Lupica’s best yet in the franchise. Parker fans unfamiliar with Randall will be charmed. Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM Partners. (May)


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Lupica’s fourth effort at the helm of the late Robert B. Parker’s Sunny Randall series finds the Boston PI reconnecting with one of her most annoying clients, best-selling romance author and world-class diva Melanie Joan Hall (Shrink Wrap, 2002). This time Melanie is being stalked by someone who claims to have evidence that the writer’s first novel was actually written by another person. Soon the stalker has progressed from sending Sunny chapters of the plagiarized manuscript to attempted murder. And the life of Sunny’s father, retired Boston cop Phil, may also be at risk. Clearly, Sunny needs help protecting everyone that needs protecting—time to call in some of the old gang, including Sunny’s pal Spike, restaurateur and gay man about town, and the dapper and deadly Hawk, costar of Parker’s Spenser series (Spenser makes a cameo, too, as does his significant other and Sunny’s therapist, Susan Silverman). The plot unwinds with some dexterous dipsy-doodles along the way, but the real treat here is the bringing together of so many members of Parker’s extended family of fast-talking, right-cross-throwing scene stealers.


Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Sunny Randalls absentee landlady and former client wants her help again with an unusual case whose complications grow steadily deeper.Bestselling novelists like Melanie Joan Hall are accused of plagiarism all the time, but its generally by self-identified victims out for some sort of restitution. MJ is disquieted because an anonymous note has identified her as a plagiarist without threatening anything in particularand that may be the greatest threat of all. For a writer, this is like being MeTooed, she tells Sunny. Fearful that her career is under siege, she wants to know whos behind it all. Sunny, whos already running interference between her father, retired cop Phil Randall, and powerful Boston attorney Joe Doyle, whose drug lord son has just died in prison years after Phil incurred Doyles wrath by arresting him, is anything but eager to take MJs case. But the murder of Richard Gross, MJs attorney and manager, ups the stakes. So does Sunnys meeting with MJs second ex-husband, psychotherapist Dr. John Melvin, who stalked and nearly killed MJ in Shrink Rap (2002) before he was convicted and imprisoned. Melvins clearly as bent on revenge as ever, but the more Sunny looks around, the wider the pool of candidates grows. Eventually the trail leads to professor Charles Hall, who taught MJ writing and a few other things at Whitesboro College. Now old and suffering from dementia, hes transfixed by his first sight of Sunny, whom he clearly mistakes for someone else before he withdraws even more completely from the world. Who did he think she was, and what secrets is MJ hiding that could endanger both herself and Sunny?Behind the overgrown subplots is a fleet and absorbing tale of crime and endless punishment. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Sunny Randall’s absentee landlady and former client wants her help again with an unusual case whose complications grow steadily deeper. Bestselling novelists like Melanie Joan Hall are accused of plagiarism all the time, but it’s generally by self-identified victims out for some sort of restitution. MJ is disquieted because an anonymous note has identified her as a plagiarist without threatening anything in particular—and that may be the greatest threat of all. “For a writer, this is like being MeToo’ed,” she tells Sunny. Fearful that her career is under siege, she wants to know who’s behind it all. Sunny, who’s already running interference between her father, retired cop Phil Randall, and powerful Boston attorney Joe Doyle, whose drug lord son has just died in prison years after Phil incurred Doyle’s wrath by arresting him, is anything but eager to take MJ’s case. But the murder of Richard Gross, MJ’s attorney and manager, ups the stakes. So does Sunny’s meeting with MJ’s second ex-husband, psychotherapist Dr. John Melvin, who stalked and nearly killed MJ in Shrink Rap (2002) before he was convicted and imprisoned. Melvin’s clearly as bent on revenge as ever, but the more Sunny looks around, the wider the pool of candidates grows. Eventually the trail leads to professor Charles Hall, who taught MJ writing and a few other things at Whitesboro College. Now old and suffering from dementia, he’s transfixed by his first sight of Sunny, whom he clearly mistakes for someone else before he withdraws even more completely from the world. Who did he think she was, and what secrets is MJ hiding that could endanger both herself and Sunny? Behind the overgrown subplots is a fleet and absorbing tale of crime and endless punishment. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

In a series starter from the ever-popular Armstrong, homicide detective Mallory is in 2019 Edinburgh when she experiences A Rip Through Time and winds up in one of the city's alleyways in 1869, inhabiting the body of strangled-if-not-quite-dead housemaid Catriona Thomson and soon hunting for a killer (50,000-copy first printing). In Atherton's Aunt Dimity and the Enchanted Cottage, the redoubtable sleuth and her English-village neighbors fail in their attempt to befriend standoffish newcomer Crispin Windle until they discover the ruins of a Victorian woolen mill—and the graves of children who worked there, whom they seek to identify (30,000-copy first printing; originally scheduled for July 2021). In Nonna Maria and the Case of the Missing Bride, crusty but beloved widow Nonna Maria—who lives on the isle of Ischia in the Gulf of Naples and was inspired by the No. 1 New York Times best-selling Carcaterra's grandmother—intervenes when a young bride-to-be declares that she's afraid of her fiancé. In Haines's Lady of Bones, Mississippi-based Sarah Booth Delaney of the Delaney Detective Agency is attending a party alit with jack-o-lanterns when she's approached by a woman seeking her vanished daughter, who has been investigating the disappearance of young women in New Orleans every Halloween for the last five years (40,000-copy first printing). The internationally best-selling author of the "Dark Iceland" and "Hulda" series, Jónasson sets his new standalone during an Icelandic blizzard, with four frantic friends sheltering in an abandoned hunting lodge and facing a reignited tragedy that likely makes them wish they were all Outside (50,000-copy first printing). In Klingborg's Wild Prey, Inspector Lu Fei of the Chinese Police travels to a remote region of Myanmar to find a missing 15-year-old girl in a case involving the illegal trafficking of exotic animals (50,000-copy first printing). In Robert B. Parker's Revenge Tour, Lupica assigns PI Sunny Randall the thankless task of investigating actress friend Melanie Joan Hall when Melanie's manager turns up dead, her bank account looks to be wiped out, and details of her past suddenly seem more imagined than real. In Paretsky's Overboard, a seriously injured teenage girl discovered by V.I. Warshawski on Lake Michigan's rocky shore subsequently vanishes from the hospital, and the iconic detective must chase down a monstrous conspiracy with pandemic-ridden Chicago as backdrop (100,000-copy first printing). Pursuing a massive drugs-and-weapons shipment being shepherded across the U.S.-Mexican border by former cops with the warning "You talk, you die" written on their bodies, Patterson/Paetro stalwart Sgt. Lindsay Boxer suddenly has 22 Seconds to decide what her fate will be. Second in the new series from librarian Weaver, who launched her writing career with the delightful Amory Ames mysteries, The Key to Deceit has breaker-and-enterer Ellie McDonnell again approached by stuffed-shirt good-guy Major Ramsey in World War II London: he wants her to discover which side the female spy found bobbing in the Thames was on (40,000-copy first printing).

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