Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Susan Silverman is Spenser's Manic Pixie Dream Girl, and other ruminations

OK, so for April I decided to give myself a bit of a break. I'd been reading some rather heavy books that were, frankly, unenjoyable in the extreme. And these were sandwiched between books that were amazingly dumb, like The Da Vinci Code. So I thought, "Hey, there are New York Times best selling mystery stories on the Rory list. They must be pretty good. I'll read some of them!"

Accordingly, I read

R is for Ricochet, Sue Grafton (Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge list)
S is for Silence, Sue Grafton (Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge list)

Eh. They were OK. I guess I like my private investigators funnier, more literary, and based in Boston. Basically, I want them to be Spenser. In fact, the last time I was in Boston, I took advantage of my Back Bay location to go running on the Esplanade. I may or may have not looked (in vain) for Spenser and Hawk.

Fixed that for you

However, if I take a minute or two to stop fangirling and force my thoughts along somewhat more intellectual lines, I find myself wanting to do a compare-and-contrast conference paper about female private investigators dreamed up by women, and women characters as dreamed up by men. Because I've always been uneasy about the tiny amount of food Robert Parker allowed Susan Silverman to eat. Susan will sit there and peel apart a club sandwich, nibble on a lettuce leaf, and maybe finish a quarter of a sandwich in half an hour. On the other hand, Grafton's character Kinsey Millhone has the appetite and eating habits of a teenaged boy.

That says something about the two characters and their authors; I just don't know what.

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