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Melancholy Baby
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About the Author

Robert B. Parker was the author of more than fifty books. He died in January 2010.

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Boston P.I. Sunny Randall is unhappy to learn that the ex-husband she still loves is getting married to someone else. Her life seemingly a mess, Sunny seeks the help of psychiatrist Susan Silverman. In between sessions that probe her relationship with her insufferable mother and beloved father, Sunny works on the case of Sarah Markham, a distraught 21-year-old woman who wants to track down her biological parents. The only trouble is that the couple who raised her claim she's theirs but refuse to take a DNA test to prove it. Sunny soon learns that Sarah's parents have lied about their past. The deeper she delves into their lives and her own mind, the more dangerous her situation becomes. But when things get too rough, she has her bull terrier Rosie to ground her and her gay friend Spike to defend her. In his fourth Sunny Randall novel (after Shrink Rap), Grand Master Parker, as always, leavens his story with sly wit while relying on dialog to advance the plot and develop character. Recommended for all popular fiction collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/1/04.] Ronnie H. Terpening, Univ. of Arizona, Tucson Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

The title refers to two characters: Boston college student Sarah Markham, convinced that her parents adopted her, and Boston PI Sunny Randall, hired by Sarah to certify her parentage. Sarah is melancholy because her parents refuse to take a DNA test to settle the issue and seem furtive; Sunny, because her ex-husband, Richie, has just remarried. In this excellent fourth Sunny Randall PI tale (after Shrink Rap), Sarah's sadness leads to murder, as Sunny's questioning of the parents results in one of their deaths at the hands of the person who would suffer most if the truth comes out. Sunny's own blues lead her to Dr. Susan Silverman and sessions on the couch that, however well observed, will have fans of Parker's PI Spenser who are terminally tired of Susan (Spenser's longtime girlfriend) gritting their teeth at her intrusion into another series. Still, Sunny's own regulars, particularly tough gay pal Spike, hold their own in the tale. There's little here that Parker hasn't done before, like his protagonist's side trip to New York and her tangling with venal lawyers and reptilian celebrities as well as Parker's sensitive exploration of the meaning of family and maturity and of the tension between self-reliance and love for another, but he does it so well here, with his impeccable prose and charismatic heroine, that fans will tremble with delight. Agent, Helen Brann. (Sept. 27) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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