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Melancholy Baby

Parker, Robert

2,671 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0399152180 / ISBN 13: 9780399152184
Published by Putnam Pub Group, E Rutherford, New Jersey, U.S.A., 2004
New Condition: New Hardcover
From Flash Books (Audubon, NJ, U.S.A.)

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SIGNED on Title Page. 1st Printing. New copy. Never read. Not price clipped. Not a remainder. BEAUTIFUL copy of Book and Jacket. COLLECTOR'S COPY. Bookseller Inventory # 000787

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Melancholy Baby

Publisher: Putnam Pub Group, E Rutherford, New Jersey, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 2004

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

Dust Jacket Condition: New

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

About this title


Upset by her ex-husband Richie's upcoming marriage, private detective Sunny Randall takes the case of college student Sarah Markham, a troubled young woman searching for her birth parents, but her investigation uncovers dangerous secrets that could not only shatter Sarah's life but also lead to painful secrets about her own past. 175,000 first printing.


Some of Robert B. Parker's most distinctive novels over the years (God Save the Child, Early Autumn, Ceremony, etc.) have centered on young people in trouble, so his return to that theme in Melancholy Baby is hardly a surprise. What's more remarkable is how deftly he uses the case of an angry, confused college student searching for the facts about her family background as a means to pry open the hardly less troubled psyche of Boston private eye Sonya "Sunny" Randall, a character at serious risk of one day outshining Parker's better-known but less reflective gumshoe, Spenser.

Twenty-one-year-old trust-fund kid Sarah Markham suspects that her parents aren't really related to her at all. "They can't find my birth certificate," she tells Sunny in amazement. "They don’t remember which hospital I was born in." This isn't the sort of inquiry Sunny likes to take on, especially not now, when her ex-husband of five years, Richie Burke--whom she still hasn't given up loving--is marrying another woman. However, Sunny needs a distraction from self-pity, and she can see that "everything about Sarah and her parents seemed fraudulent ... like something that had been built on the cheap, with shoddy materials and no craft, to conceal something unhealthy and mean." As she tears at this façade, though, traveling to Illinois and New York City in order to expose secrets not only in Sarah's father's past but in the history of a holier-than-thou radio celeb, Sunny discovers that her client isn't the only person being kept in the dark. But is it worth destroying Sarah's sense of herself--not to mention attracting the malicious notice of well-armed thugs--to set the record straight? And can Sunny even accomplish this, while struggling (with help from Spenser's psychiatrist girlfriend, Susan Silverman) to understand why she's 37 years old and "just can’t be married"?

Any halfway-conscious reader will spot the solution to this story's mystery from miles off, and Parker's use of central-casting figures--the hypocritical moralizer, the oleaginous but natty shyster--should earn him free admission to a "How to Create Credible Characters" seminar. Still, it's hard not to be charmed by a novel that's as willing as Melancholy Baby is to knock the pins out from under its protagonist, and see where the angst falls. At Dr. Silverman's rates, Sunny had better figure her life out soon. --J. Kingston Pierce

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