Picks and Pans Review: Ceremony

updated 05/10/1982 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/10/1982 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Robert B. Parker

They just don't make private eyes tougher, or funnier, than Parker's hero, Spencer, It's impossible to keep track of how much beer he drinks or how many mean guys he beats up. This time he swaggers through Boston's underworld, looking for a teenage girl from a rich suburb. Spencer is doing this as a favor to his girlfriend, a high school guidance counselor. They cook gourmet meals, jog and shower together and make sublime love. Spencer is the kind of guy who would like to order a piña colada when his girlfriend does, but he won't because it might spoil his tough-guy image. The dialogue sparkles. Why on earth hasn't Spencer, a veteran of eight Parker novels, been turned into a movie hero? (Delacorte, $12.95)

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