Robert B. Parker's Old Black Magic

Robert B. Parker's Old Black Magic

by Ace Atkins

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Robert B. Parker's Old Black Magic 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Did not like this story it was not Credible and the ending was very disappointing.
Anonymous 7 months ago
Love Spencer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Captures the Spenser story. It was fun to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
4/5 because no Hawk. Great quick read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ace truly has stepped into the shoes of the old master. Well done
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The continuation of the Jesse Stone novels stumbled at the beginning; not so with Spenser. Ace Atkins has mastered the character and he and the stories live on. Old Black Magic had me smiling and laughing out loud. While I love the darker Spenser novels, every now and then having Spenser’s journey take a more light hearted path is a nice change. If that’s what you’re looking for, Old Black Magic is just the ticket!
1335sj More than 1 year ago
Spencer is approached by a dying gentleman, Mr. Locke who is also a Private Investigator who was hired twenty years ago by The Winthrop museum to recover three pieces of art that seem to have vanished off the face of the earth. This heist wasn’t a professional hit by any means, it was sloppy and one of the pieces were torn. Mr. Locke has been all over the world and back looking for these three pieces, one is a small Picasso, Goya but the prize is an El Greco, “The Gentleman in Black”. The El Greco had a bit of a shady history behind it as well, but it was Winthrop’s main concern. Mr. Locke’s dying wish is that these pieces would be recovered to the museum before he passes on. Spencer agrees to meet with the board of Winthrop, it seems they are getting a lot of activity regarding these pieces since the statute of limitations has run out on the theft itself, plus there is still is a hefty award awaiting anyone who recovers these pieces Spencer, of course, clashes with the board immediately, they are a snobby lot, but he does help them up to a point, but there is only so much pretentiousness he’ll take. They are not too impressed with him either, but he’s used to being underestimated. After one failed attempt, where he takes all the blame and deserves none, he’s fired off the case. This is where the fun begins, he’s flying solo on this caper no Hawk or Z for back up, but he can always count on Vinnie Morris. I love what Ace Atkins has done with this series, he’s done a great job and they are still a pleasure to read. Spencer hasn’t lost his acerbic wit and he’s still a force to reckoned with. I look forward to reading the next book in this series. I would like to thank the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy in exchange for my honest opinion expressed above.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Long drawn out. More geography lesson than action. Sorry Ace.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Too many characters, confusing, and the bottom line, you really don't care if Spencer finds the painting or not.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved it. I felt like Robert Parker himself wrote it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MonnieR More than 1 year ago
I won't say I liked the plot in this book as well as others I've read, but my husband and I - both long-time fans of the "Spenser" series - agree that the Boston private eye's "voice" here is more true to that of original series author, the late Robert B. Parker. In 2011, Parker's estate chose Ace Atkins to carry on the legacy, and he's written - if my research is correct - six "Spenser" books prior to this one (all of which we've read and enjoyed). Twenty years after an extremely valuable El Greco painting was stolen from a ritzy Boston art museum, it's whereabouts remain unknown. One of Spenser's old friends who's spent years trying to solve the case is dying, and he doesn't want to exit this world amid unfinished business. So, he asks Spenser to take on the case and insists that the museum director and chief board member go along with the arrangement. Uppity creatures that they are, they hold their noses and agree - or so it appears. Sweetening the pot is the chance at a $5 million reward, and the lengths to which some characters will go to get a piece of that action isn't surprising. The trail leads to some very shady characters, several with mob connections and not-so-pleasant past encounters with Spenser, who gets capable assistance from Vinnie Morris - a criminal Spenser has come to (for the most part) trust. Conspicuous in his absence, though, is Spenser's long-time pal and back-up guy, Hawk, who's said to be somewhere in South America cavorting with a woman (despite the fact that the official book description inexplicably claims Spenser gets help from both Vinnie and Hawk). Since Hawk's presence has been rather limited in the last couple of books in the Atkins series, I can't help but suspect that he's being phased out. Frankly, IMHO, Hawk hasn't been the same since his words were crafted by his creator; still, I love the guy and hope he's just on hiatus. Most of the book is just Spenser doing what he does best; following leads, chowing down (sometimes with his girlfriend, Susan Silverman), interjecting amusing one-liners and trying his best not to get killed. The investigation puts him in contact with old police colleagues and members of the aforementioned mob, most of whom would never get invited to Spenser's wedding (should he and Susan ever decide to tie the knot, which is unlikely). Along the way, the list of characters with names ending in "i" or "o" grew too long for me to keep them straight, but in the end, Spenser prevails as usual (and with a little twist, yet). Bottom line? A quick and easy read and another solid entry in an excellent series.
Deb-Krenzer More than 1 year ago
4.5 Stars Three precious works of art were stolen from the Winthrop Museum in Boston and never recovered. It's now 20 years later and the statute of limitations is up. Now, someone wants to sell these works of art. Who has them and what's the mystery behind all of this? I loved this book. I never read Robert Parker before (I know, my loss), however, this is the second book using his PI Spenser character written by Ace Atkins. I love the nostalgia of these books seeming like an old time PI noir. There was so much nostalgia written in, such as, "Jonathan Winters doing Maude Frickert". I remember the character but not the name. So, a little bit more trivia to add to this brain of mine. HA!! The strange adages throughout were hilarious. "My new coffeemaker spit out the coffee faster than Usain Bolt in the hundred meter". These were used over and over again and truly added to my reading enjoyment while giving a sense of humor to the book. Spenser is racing all over the place to try to find these works of art, behind him a trail of death is left, but not by Spenser. Someone is out to kill anyone with any knowledge of these paintings. And Spenser is under a deadline due to the museum hiring some British PI who was certainly most annoying. His biggest part in the finding of anything was following Spenser. (rolling of eyes). Ha!! An excellent read that I just sped through and enjoyed every minute. Huge thanks to Penguin Group Putnam and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
gloriafeit More than 1 year ago
From the publisher: Iconic, tough-but-tender Boston PI Spenser delves into the black market art scene to investigate a decades-long unsolved crime of dangerous proportions. The heist was legendary, still talked about twenty years after the priceless paintings disappeared from one of Boston’s premier art museums. Most thought the art was lost forever, buried deep, sold off overseas, or, worse, destroyed as incriminating evidence. But when the museum begins receiving detailed letters about the theft from someone claiming to have knowledge of the whereabouts of the paintings, the board enlists Spenser’s help to navigate the delicate situation. Their particular hope is to regain the most valuable piece stolen, The Gentleman in Black, a renowned painting by a Spanish master and the former jewel of the collection. Soon the cold art case thrusts Spenser into the shady world of black market art dealers, aged Mafia bosses, and old vendettas. A five-million-dollar-reward sets Spenser and pal Vinnie Morris onto a trail of hidden secrets, jailhouse confessions, murder, and double-crosses. For some reason I had allowed myself to fall behind in reading the “new” books in this wonderful series, just as wonderful when authored by Ace Atkins, of which this is the newest. The preceding entry in the series was “Little White Lies,” which I finally caught up to in the last few weeks. With apologies for redundancies, as I said in my review of that book, “the author has captured many of the expected patterns of Robert B. Parker’s writing. But Mr. Atkins, besides giving us a very absorbing tale, has retained some of the most typical Parker patterns, e.g., nearly every character’s choice of clothing and headgear is noted, particularly caps declaring the owner’s love for a particular local sports team, whether Braves or Red Sox. (In fact, very near the end of the book we find Spenser escaping a close call and thinking “I’d hoped these guys didn’t plan ambushes like Branch Rickey planned ballgames.”) One character appears dressed in a “light blue guayabera, his white hair loose and scattered as always, with some black reading glasses down on his nose.’ There is also a lot about food. When he prepares a Cobb salad for himself and Susan, and she hands him a vodka martini, he thinks “You couldn’t eat a Cobb salad without [it]. It was a law in California.” Then there are the nicknames, e.g., “Fat Freddy,” “Famous Ray.” The terrific plotting and action are always present, as Spenser goes about solving “the biggest theft in Boston history,” a painting worth sixty or seventy million. Spenser’s love of jazz is always present, from Coltrane playing from speakers in a restaurant, to the final scene where Tony Bennett “reached for the tree of life and picked him a plum,” and Spenser saying “The Best Is Yet to Come,” to which Vinnie replies “You better believe it.” I loved the author’s tip of the hat to another terrific mystery writer, Hank Philippi Ryan, reporting on Boston’s Channel 7 with a live shot from a crime scene. Set against the high-society art scene and the low-life back alleys of Boston, this is classic Spenser doing what he does best. As was “Little White Lies,” “Old Black Magic” is also highly recommended.
mzglorybe More than 1 year ago
I’ve been a Spenser fan for many years. I enjoy his quick witted sarcasm, his cooking, choices of music and drinks and his true loyal nature. He takes on cases that matter to him sometimes just for the fact that he doesn’t like to see an underdog taken advantage of. His personal relationship with the lady in his life, Susan has always been entertaining to me as he is fiercely loyal to her and their dog Pearl, and he seems satisfied with their close relationship, sans marriage. In this latest effort Susan and Pearl are mentioned a couple of times but mostly this is just Spenser trying to solve an old mystery of some very valuable paintings stolen many years prior, and his efforts in recovering them for the museum from where they were stolen. Actually, it got a bit boring for me and I found myself skimming through several parts. In my opinion this novel is missing most of those factors that have kept me interested through the years. Being written now by Ace Atkins, who has in fact still captured the character of Spenser quite well in previous novels, somehow this one lacked what it takes to draw me in and keep me interested or even caring about whether or not he accomplished his goal. These Spenser novels are all beginning to sound a lot alike. He enlists aid from the same thugs with the same bad language. I didn’t mind it much before but I think it may be time for this reader to part ways with Spenser, although I probably won't, as I have enjoyed the series so much. My thanks to the publisher and to NetGalley for my complimentary e-copy of this ARC for my honest and unbiased review. This novel will be released today May 01, 2018.