Secrets Typed in Blood

As the third, most recent, and best-so-far novel in Stephen Spotswood’s great Pentecost and Parker series, Secrets Typed in Blood is an outstanding detective novel that takes place in the year of my birth. I reviewed the two previous books in this series on August 14, 2021, and January 31, 2022, and they just keep getting better and better!

If you’ve read the first two, or even just my reviews of them, you know that detective Lillian Pentecost is unsubtly based on Nero Wolfe, and that her assistant Will Parker is equally unsubtly based on Archie Goodwin. There are, of course, a large number of differences, starting with the fact that both of these protagonists are women. And they don’t grow orchids. But they do live in Manhattan, and they do have a cook-housekeeper (another woman), and Pentecost rarely leaves their house. Despite all this, the series is definitely not a parody of Wolfe and Goodwin—more an homage to them.

As you would expect, there are some nitpicky reviewers who love to find anachronisms, a few of which naturally creep in when an author is writing about a time three-quarters of a century before the year of the writing. But in fact most of these are not really anachronisms and are adequately (if briefly) explained in the text.

So just relax, and enjoy both the flavor of 1947 and the details of the story.

Categories: Books