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The Boston Globe

Arts

Atkins, for hire, helps keep detective ‘Spenser’ on the case

It wasn’t just the detective sitting in his office at the corner of Berkeley and Boylston, munching on a doughnut and “drinking coffee with a little milk and sugar,’’ that got to Joan Parker.

Sure, she loved the first paragraph of the new manuscript. It was vintage Robert B. Parker, describing his alter ego, the iconic detective Spenser, and Joan had always been her husband’s first reader and biggest fan.

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