Spencer Manning

Created by Rick Polad

Very much inspired by Robert B. Parker’s Spenser, the SPENCER MANNING book by Rick Polad were set in the Chicago of the late seventiess and early eighties.

As a P.I., Manning is likable enough, a nice-guy P.I. who stomps around town cracking wise, knocking on doors and generally annoying people until he solves the case.

But he’s no Spenser — even with the too-cute-by-half shout-out.

This Spencer’s dad was a cop, for one thing. This Spencer seems curiously lukewarm about women, for the most part, and surprisingly gunshy, worrying he may have to use one someday. And his wisecracks don’t really crack — they bend gently. In fact, any similarity to the acerbic, confrontational Boston sleuth seems more like wishful; misguided thinking on the author’s (or is it the “indie” publisher’s?) part.

But what do I know? Every book has plenty of gushing, enthusiastic five-star reviews on Amazon (as expected), so he clearly knows how to play to his crowd. He even had a name-the-dog contest for his readers.

Semi-retired and a long-time mystery fan, Rick Polad teaches Earth Science, plays jazz trumpet, and is a docent at Fermilab, the country’s largest particle accelerator and the world’s leading facility in neutrino research. He’s also an editor with Calumet Editions and, before that, edited the English version of Living With Nuclei, the memoirs of Japanese physicist, Motoharu Kimura.


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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