I have a list of 25 authors and books sitting next to me, and deciding which one to start with was no easy task. I chose Robert B. Parker for a couple of reasons: first, he passed away on January 18, 2010. Prior to learning of his death, I'd never read one of his books, and I decided I'd read the first Spenser book, THE GODWULF MANUSCRIPT, as a result. I really enjoyed it.
Second, when I had my ACL reconstruction surgery in June, Parker's Sunny Randall series turned out to be an unexpected comfort. During the first ten days of my recovery, I read most of the books in the series, and they were the perfect antidote to the forced inertia I experienced during that time.
What's to like about Sunny Randall? Well, she's a female P.I. living in Boston, one of my favorite cities. She's a strong character, confident and good at her job, but with enough vulnerability so that readers relate to her. For me, the books are like a favorite snack food; delicious, making me want more, but not so complicated that I can't just sit and enjoy Sunny's world for awhile before slipping back into my own reality.
If you're buying books as gifts this holiday season, please consider purchasing from your local independent bookshop. The level of customer service you'll receive is unmatched, you'll have the added benefit of making new friends of the staff, and you'll help support a local business.