Melancholy Baby (Sunny Randall Series #4)

Melancholy Baby (Sunny Randall Series #4)

by Robert B. Parker


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When Sunny Randall helps a young woman locate her birth parents, she uncovers the dark truth about her own past.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399152184
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date: 09/23/2004
Series: Sunny Randall Series , #4
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.32(w) x 9.36(h) x 1.28(d)
Age Range: 14 Years

About the Author

Robert B. Parker was the author of more than fifty books. He died in January 2010.

Date of Birth:

September 17, 1932

Date of Death:

January 18, 2010

Place of Birth:

Springfield, Massachusetts

Place of Death:

Cambridge, Massachusetts


B.A. in English, Colby College, 1954; M.A., Ph. D. in English, Boston University, 1957, 1971

Table of Contents


Ransom Notes Interview with Robert B. Parker

Ransom Notes: One of the most obvious differences between your Sunny Randall books and your two other bestselling series is the fact that you're working with a female point-of-view character. Is there anything that you find particularly challenging about that?

Robert B. Parker: Sunny Randall was originally invented for Helen Hunt to play, so I had little choice about writing her with a female point-of-view. I am fortunate to be married to the best-looking, smartest, and toughest female person in the world, and that's been very useful to me in this series. Joan can offer easy corrections ("It's not called rouge anymore, Bob") and also keep me on track with more difficult things -- like what women think and feel when they look at men, how they feel when men look at them, etc. I'm not sure I would have undertaken Sunny if I hadn't had Joan available.

RN: Is there anything different about the types of cases you choose for Sunny to investigate, as opposed to those for her fellow P.I. Spenser and/or police officer Jesse Stone?

RBP: Not really, though Sunny is less likely to use direct muscle. Of course, we have her fierce friend Spike on tap for that.

RN: Is that why Sunny refers to both guns and Spike as "equalizers" and mentions that with guns matters are pretty much black-and-white, while people can be modulated -- that is, are more flexible?

RBP: Sunny recognizes that there are times when guns are decisive. But I think it is in keeping with her femaleness that she be interested in how best to achieve results through human interaction as well. I don't see such interest in human interaction as exclusive, among my characters, to Sunny, or even as exclusively a female trait. But it does certainly suit Sunny.

RN: Sunny has said she left the police in part so she could focus her efforts only on cases she cared about. How does that compare to the way she sees her artistic talents?

RBP: James Dickey once said that poetry allowed him to live life on his own terms. That is also Sunny's goal in both her work and art.

RN: Family issues are central in the case Sunny is working on in Melancholy Baby and in the elements that focus on her personal life (coming to terms with her feelings about her beloved ex-husband's marriage to another woman). What made you decide to explore both Sunny and her client Sarah's alienation from their families in Melancholy Baby?

RBP: I think each aspect of familial circumstances resonates with the other. I was aware of it and was hoping for that resonance.

RN: In several of your books you've had lawyers as bad guys -- bending and/or breaking the law. What do you think this element adds to your mysteries?

RBP: Some lawyers are better than others (Rita Flore, for instance). I figure if you write books about broken laws, you're going to need some lawyers who help break them.

RN: Can you tell us anything about your future writing plans?

RBP: I plan to publish a Spenser novel every spring, and alternate Jesse Stone and Sunny Randall each fall. There will also be a very good western novel out sometime next spring or summer [2005].

Customer Reviews

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Melancholy Baby (Sunny Randall Series #4) 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book has a very thin story line that made me skip over many fluff paragraphs to get back to the story. Disappointing. Mr. Parker is one of my favorites and I recommend he stick to the male detectives he writes so well about. This book had little humor, unlike his other books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
drebbles on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Boston college student Sarah Markham is convinced that she was adopted and hires PI Sunny Randall to find out the truth. Sarah's parents insist that she isn't adopted but they say they can't find her birth certificate and they both refuse to take a DNA test. The Markham's are so vague and uncooperative when Sunny questions them she is sure they are lying and sets out to find the truth about Sarah's birth. Sunny is also finding out some truths about herself - her ex-husband is getting married and she sees a psychiatrist (Susan Silverman of Robert Parker's Spenser series) to deal with her conflicted feelings about her, her ex, and her parents. This is the first non-Spenser Robert Parker book I've read and I was a bit apprehensive thinking Sunny would just be Spenser in a skirt. I was pleasantly surprised. Sure, Sunny has some of the same characteristic traits as Spenser, including being a dog owner and having a sidekick she can call on if she's in trouble (gay Spike is Sunny's Hawk). But Sunny is a more complex character than Spenser and her visits to Susan Silverman, interspersed with her search for the truth about Sarah's parents, add a dimension to this book that's missing from the Spenser series. While it's interesting and refreshing to see Susan Silverman from the viewpoint of someone other than Spenser, Parker's a little too in love with his own character and his repetitive descriptions of Susan's manicured nails wear thin very quickly. Parker's writing is mostly dialogue driven and doesn't vary much beyond "I said", "he said", and "she said". Still, Parker has a keen sense of humor and his new character, Detective second-grade Eugene Corsetti, is a perfect example of Parker at his best. This was a quick, enjoyable book to read.
shelleyraec on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A good story -but prefer the Spenser novels
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the book,I really enjoy these and hope that they continue.
bookwormRW More than 1 year ago
Don't stop here, read the whole series! If it's by Parker, you know it's going to be good.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Robert B. Parker's "Melancholy Baby" is a great read, although I did guess the ending about halfway through. Still, the chapters are short, the paragraphs are well-written and my attention was easily kept.

This was my first Robert B. Parker book, and I'm already happily onto the next.

J.R. Reardon
author, "Confidential Communications"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
The vocabulary and dialogue of MELANCHOLY BABY are a bit simple. However, the fast paced plot about a young woman searching for her biological parents and why someone is going to so much trouble to keep her from knowing will keep the reader engrossed until the end. Likeable, believable characters make the story enjoyable, a definite reccommendation for fans of mystery.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Another great PI story from Robert Parker, that as usual, is far more than a PI story. Parker is obviously highly intelligent and very human, as are all of his principals, like Sunny Randall. A fine read about an interesting woman.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sunny Randall comes of age with the help of Susan Silverman of Spencer fame! An excellent 4th installment to the Randall series. Many twists in the story with an interesting out come. Parker is a superior writer with a sense of wit and character development like no other
Guest More than 1 year ago
A highly enjoyable read from a convincing and emotionally honest story teller. For me, in contemporary fiction, it's the female ``tough guys'' who have interesting things to say, and are the most fun to follow around through the pages.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I believe that this is one of the better ones. I couldn't get enough. The dark secrets that came up, made you want to read more.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Boston private detective Sunny Randall goes into an emotional tailspin when her ex-husband Richie tells her that he is getting remarried. Even though she divorced him she never stopped loving him. She just couldn¿t be married or live anyone else except her bullterrier Rosie. Unable to cope with the pain of Richie¿s remarriage, Sunny visits psychiatrist Dr. Susan Silverman. Although she doesn¿t know it, Susan is the girlfriend of the famous Spencer.---- Needing something to occupy herself, Sunny takes on the case of Sarah Markham, a twenty year old college student, who wants her to find out who her real parents are. When Sunny talks to the Markhams they insist that they are Sarah¿s real parents; Sunny catches the husband in a lie about where he worked when Sarah was conceived. Two thugs beat up Sarah, telling her to drop the investigation or else. The same musclemen come after Sunny who meets them with her gun and some backup. The information she gets from these two goons leads her to the people who hired them. By the time the case is finished, two men are dead, one person is going to prison, Sarah learns who her biological mother is and Sunny is beginning to understand her fears of marriage.---- Robert B. Parker¿s Sunny Randall series is not a female version of Spenser. She is a troubled woman who seeks help to regain her mental health as s she shows her emotions more than Spenser does and her methods of investigation are quite different as is her circle of friends. MELANCHOLY BABY is one of the author¿s best works with its stark prose, eccentric cast and a climax it is impossible not to love.---- Harriet Klausner