Parker’s Pooch Passion

By now, readers don’t give a second thought to Sunny Randall’s creepy relationship with her dog. She kisses the mutt 10 times a day, eats meals at the same table and worries herself into a depression that the doggie may love Sunny’s ex-husband’s new wife more deeply than she adores Sunny. But nobody among us readers wastes a second thought on such odd behavior. That’s just Sunny.

That’s also Spenser.

The quote is from Toronto Star reviewer Jack Batten’s take on MELANCHOLY BABY, Robert B. Parker’s fourth “Sunny Randall” PI novel. Sunny is a virtual carbon copy of Spenser, only far less appealing. And, as Batten notes,

Both of them spend almost as much time in making up to their pooches as in tracking down the killers.

All of this is told in crisp Parker style, with the usual compliment of wisecracks and psychological insights of the Dr. Phil sort, ending on the last page in a scene which finds Sunny in bed with the dog.

They not only obsess about their pets, they both have a loyal sociopathic sidekicks named like dogs (Sunny’s “Spike” to Spenser’s “Hawk”). All of which got me thinking…

Perhaps Parker should write his next book from the point of view of Sunny & Spenser’s crime solving dogs!

Think of the possibilities.

Pixar could buy the movie rights, turn it into one of their family-friendly CGI tales, add a few songs and, woof… before you know it, Parker is sitting on a new entertainment franchise worth BILLIONS.

You read it here first, friends.

3 thoughts on “Parker’s Pooch Passion”

  1. I was wary from the start, but I ended up liking Pearl’s capacity to humanize Spenser for about three books. As a rule, I don’t like how Parker has increasing blurred the lines between himself and Spenser, Joan and Susan, his real life and his fiction.

  2. I thought Pearl’s death in WIDOW’S WALK (?) was a decent way to show the passage of time, but any real after-effects were blunted by the fact that Spenser just went out and bought another Pearl.
    As I recall he named the dog who debuted in PASTIME after a dog he had as a boy in Wyoming. So there have been three Pearls.
    I’m not a pet person myself.


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