Yes, I'm still reading Parker. Yes, I still like the books. I'm pretty sure it's the voice more than anything, certainly not the plots, not in The Professional, in which Spenser is asked to put a stop to an extortionist who's got the goods on four women married to wealthy husbands. Spenser finds the culprit, talks to him, and finds he kind of likes the guy. He also finds there's no way to stop him.
Eventually someone is murdered. Spenser, no longer on salary, investigates. There's no prize for guessing whodunnit. It's all too obvious, and [SPOILER ALERT] if you've ever read Of Mice and Men, you might think that Parker comes dangerously close to over-homaging this time. [END OF SPOILER ALERT]
There is, as usual, more of Susan than is good for the book, and way too much of Spenser's singing her praises. Credit where it's due, though. There's not much of Pearl the Wonder Dog. Also Spenser doesn't say "We'd be fools not to" until around page 50. Admirable restraint. However, on page 172 Susan says, "We'd be foolish not to." Overkill.
There's one thing about this book that's different, though. Or maybe not. Anyway, it's the first Parker book I remember that's not dedicated to Joan. That's a big break with tradition, for what it's worth. Or maybe there are others not dedicated to her that I haven't noticed. Oh, well.