Book Review: Spare Change

Author: Robert B. Parker

Publisher: Putnam, 2007

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Format: Audio (Narrated by XX

Source: Public Library

My Rating: B+

So many people have recommended this series to me that I just had to give it a try. First I checked the Robert Parker website to see how many books were in the series (6) and which one was the first (this one). While there I learned that actress, Helen Hunt, urged Parker to create the character of Sunny Randall so she could play her on the screen. I loved the actress in Mad About You and the film As Good As It Gets and I kept her in mind as I “read” this book.

Sunny is a former cop, now working as a private investigator in the Boston area. Her father, Paul, is a retired police detective and a person that Sunny greatly respects. When her father is asked to come out of retirement to help solve a set of serial murders, he asks Sunny to join him.

Thirty years earlier Phil Randall was the lead investigator into a series of murders that came to be known as the “Spare Change Killer.” The murders were never solved and then they suddenly stopped. Now, after all this time, the murders have started again. There is no particular pattern other than the three coins left at the scene of the crime. First, Sunny and her dad must decide if this is the same killer or a possible copy-cat.

Sunny is smart and also has good instincts. While interviewing one particular suspect, she has a very strong hunch that something is up with this guy. She’s convinced of it even after extensive investigation proves nothing. He enjoys meeting with Sunny and she can feel the sexual tension within this guy when they talk about the murders. As the murders pile up the detectives begin to notice the victims eerily resemble Sunny. It looks like she could be the next victim.

The story covers more than just the investigation. We also get a good look at Sunny’s dad, mom and sister. The family dynamics are interesting. In addition, Sunny shares a dog with her former husband. It’s obvious she’s still in love with him even though he has remarried. The good thing about a Robert Parker story is that you always get a little biit extra worked into the basic story.

I read this book with my ears. The audiobook was narrated by Kate Burton who did an excellent job. I loved how some of the characters had good old Boston accents.

Now I know why lots of people like this series. Just add my name to the list of enthusiastic fans.
Check you local library for copies of this book. It’s also available at Amazon. (I am an Amazon Associate.)

This entry was posted in A C Book, Audiobooks, B Plus Book, Library Challenge, Mysteries and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Book Review: Spare Change

  1. Cath says:

    Oh! I like the sound of this series. (Not that I need another series to start…) Will add it to my ‘keep an eye out for at the library’ list.

  2. Beth F says:

    Oh no . . . a new series? And on audio? *grumble* Off to see if my library has it.

  3. I love how you say “I read this book with my ears.” :–)

  4. Rural View says:

    I loved Robert B. Parker’s books and Sunny Randall was a good series, not my favorite, but really good. I have a few Parker’s that I’ve been parceling out to myself slowly since he died. Can’t bear to think that there won’t be any more.

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  6. kaye says:

    I love Helen Hunt too. Sounds like a good series.

  7. Tami says:

    I love anything written by Robert Parker. I assume you’ve tried his other series, but if not, check out Spencer and the western series (Virgil & Hitch? I think?)

  8. Martha says:

    I’ve never read any Robert Parker but have always meant to get to him. Maybe I should try this series.

  9. Bumbles says:

    Ah – I never thought about how an accent could make or break and audiobook like it does in the movies. That was my topic for today’s movie meme. Glad to know SOMEONE out there gets the Boston accent right :0)

  10. Staci says:

    I love it when you have a face that you can put with the character. Whenever I read Harry Potter they all come to life for me! this sounds like a great series to start!!

  11. stacybuckeye says:

    Interesting about Helen. I cannot possibly start one more series 🙂

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