Robert B. Parker’s “Ceremony” is vintage Spenser adventure
Robert B. Parker is the master of private detective mysteries. Ceremony is no exception. Ceremony is the ninth book in the Spenser series, written in 1982. Spenser’s girlfriend Susan Silverman asks him to locate a teenage girl who has run away from a dysfunctional home. Spenser’s adventures take him from tony suburbs to sleazy urban streets where he confronts a variety of misfits, pimps, and mobsters in his search for the runaway who has become a prostitute. When Spenser finds the runaway and tries to rescue her, she doesn’t want to go home because she thinks her home life is worse than life on the street. Spenser and Susan rack their brains on how to help this confused girl. Their solution will be a surprise to some readers. Spenser and Susan tackle a moral dilemma and develop a real-world compromise between the ideal and the practical. This is a thoroughly satisfying adventure where Hawk and Susan both take center stage to defeat the bad guys and bring a semblance of justice.