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ROBERT B. PARKER'S FOOL ME TWICE by Michael Brandman

ROBERT B. PARKER'S FOOL ME TWICE

By Michael Brandman

Pub Date: Sept. 11th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-399-15949-7
Publisher: Putnam

Autumn brings a major new headache for Jesse Stone, police chief of that summer hot spot, Paradise, Mass., along with two supporting headaches.

One of the cases seems so modest it’s hardly worth mentioning. Busybody spinster Belva Radford and nursery owner Renzo Lazzeri insist they’re being charged more money on their water bill even though their consumption hasn’t changed. But when Jesse mildly confronts meter reader Oscar LaBrea and his diminutive boss, William J. Goodwin, they shut up and lawyer up. The second case is annoying but routine. After spoiled debutante Courtney Cassidy’s texting causes a serious auto accident, Jesse keeps citing her for other phoning-while-driving violations, and her wealthy parents keep shielding her from their consequences—until a judge gives her six months’ community service at the police station. The meatiest case revolves around starlet Marisol Hinton, in town to shoot A Taste of Arsenic, who tells Jesse she’s scared of her drugged-up estranged husband, nothingburger actor Ryan Rooney. In between bedtime rounds with the film’s line producer, Frances Greenberg, Jesse persuades Frankie to hire his friend Wilson "Crow" Cromartie as Marisol’s bodyguard. When trouble predictably arrives, Crow plays a refreshingly unexpected role.

Though one of the three cases shows Jesse at his most annoyingly sensitive, the other two both reveal welcome and unexpected complications. Not bad for Brandman, who’s only on his second installment of the Paradise franchise (Robert B. Parker’s Killing the Blues, 2011).