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Painted ladies
Robert B. Parker
Adult Fiction PARKER

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From Publishers' Weekly:

At the start of the lackluster 38th Spenser novel from late MWA Grand Master Parker, the iconic Boston PI agrees to protect art historian Ashton Prince during the exchange for cash of a rare painting held for ransom, 17th-century Dutch artist Franz Hermenszoon's Lady with a Finch. When a bomb kills Prince during the botched exchange, Spenser naturally plans to even the score. And naturally, Spenser's probing-into the painting's complex history, Prince's twisted life, the museum that owned the painting-leads to violent reactions. Spenser's habitual wisecracking often comes across as merely smart-alecky, but as always he backs the attitude with performance. While this crime thriller is short on the kind of grit and character that earned Parker (1932-2010) an Edgar Award and numerous Shamus nominations, fans should still relish this probably final opportunity to enjoy the inimitable Spenser, who made his debut in 1973's The Godwulf Manuscript. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

Parker died this past January, making this the last in his long-running and popular series featuring wisecracking Boston PI Spenser. Like the series debut, The Godwulf Manuscript, the plot involves a missing artifact, a murder, and Spenser's determination to do the job he set out to do no matter who or what stands in his way. The missing artifact here is a stolen painting, and Spenser's client is an art professor who wants protection while ransoming it. Things, of course, are not quite what they seem, and the path to resolution is full of twists, betrayals, secrets, and good intentions gone horribly wrong. Parker's dialog is as sharp and snappy as ever. Verdict Fans of the series and of mystery fiction in general will enjoy one last outing with Spenser, longtime lover Susan, and Pearl the Wonder Dog. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 5/1/10.]-Bradley A. Scott, Texas A&M Univ., Corpus Christi (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Agreed to protect an art historian during an exchange for cash of a rare painting being held for ransom; he fails and the painting remains stolen.
Private investigator

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