Now that summer’s here, the advent of the tourist season brings the same old crime-based problems to idyllic Paradise, Mass., but now at the hands of a different author.
Has anything changed since the death last year of series creator Robert B. Parker? Not really. Police chief Jesse Stone still misses his girlfriend Sunny Randall (Split Image, 2010, etc.), off in Europe on a job. Dispatcher/receptionist Molly Crane still gives him a hard time over his requests for coffee and monosyllabic responses to her questions. When somebody starts stealing cars from the streets of Paradise, Jesse’s take-charge reaction is still the same. He shows the same omni-sensitive side when 14-year-old Lisa Barry holds her school principal hostage at gunpoint to protest her bullying by the Lincoln Village girls, and the same reliable intuition when he hears that Rollo Nurse, whose skull he fractured while arresting him in L.A. years ago, is out of prison and may be looking for him. He’s still catnip to women like Alexis Richardson, who got the job of organizing and publicizing summer events through her uncle, selectman Carter Hansen. He still wrestles with the bottle, shares confidences with his therapist and cleans up his town with his usual laconic aplomb. The only differences are his new rental place right on the bay; Mildred Memory, a cat who finds him equally irresistible; and the unconvincing voices that bid the worst of the bad guys to do the bad things he does.
Film and TV producer Brandman, who collaborated on several of Jesse’s TV adaptations, obviously believes that no news is good news. Series fans will probably agree.