Crimson Joy - Robert B. Parker Someone is killing black women using the same MO: duck tape, shot with the same gun, a rose, and leaving evidence of masturbation. He also claims, in a note to the homicide detective in charge, to be a cop. Lt. Quinn asks Spenser to help from outside the department. Soon they are forced to deal with a copycat who has confessed. And then the real bad guy. Predictable.

OK story with the usual humorous banter, but I do get annoyed with the therapeutic babbling indulged in by Susan and Spenser. In this case it even becomes a distraction as the killer and his therapist -- one suspects it's Susan who is bound by confidentiality not to say -- reveal the inevitable: It was Mommy's fault. I mean, really. It's unnecessary and, IMHO, detracts from the story and brings little to their relationship. I mean, really. I still prefer the Jesse Stone series. Spenser can't decide whether to be a gourmet cook or detective.

Parker does have the occasional turn of phrase. I particularly liked, "It was one of those days in April when the wind was a velvet conceit on the lingering days of winter." Can't say if that's good writing or not, not having a graduate degree in English, but I liked it. Then again, I could never see what was wrong with, "it was a dark and stormy night," either.