Attorney-turned-mystery-writer Barbara Parker, best known for her "Suspicion" series, died this weekend in Boca Raton. The Sun Sentinel ran this tribute. Two years ago, our contributing editor Dennis Drabelle raved about her novel "The Perfect Fake":
"There's a lot going on in Barbara Parker's The Perfect Fake. Several people die violent deaths in Florida; a Renaissance-era map is ruined by bullet holes and blood from one of the victims, who was holding it when shot to death; an ex-con who works as a graphic artist is hired to make a perfect copy of said map; the wife of the man who hired the ex-con offers him money not to duplicate the map; most of the cast crosses the Atlantic Ocean; gangsters ship arms illegally; cars are forced off European highways; necks are broken. After a while, I began to fear that the book might burst into flames from sheer overheatedness, rather like that poor timed-combustion-belt guy in The Hunter. Somehow Parker, a former prosecutor in Dade County, keeps her centrifugal material under control. Even so, this novel demands that you hold on to your seat with both hands. How, then, will you turn the pages? Not to worry, they pretty much do it themselves."
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