Title: God Save the Child
Author: Robert B. Parker
Length: ~180 pages
Plot Basics: Suave PI Spenser is hired by Boston suburbanites to find their son who has run away from home. When a ransom note is delivered, Spenser and the local cops think it should be an easy exchanges -- money for the boy. But when that plan goes awry and a local body builder/muscle-man is Spenser's only lead, his past as a boxer comes in handy (or would that be "fisty" in this case?)
Banter Points: Susan Silverman, the guidance counselor of the missing kid, is a great secondary character in this book. She is a great romantic foil for Spenser.
Bummer Points: The ending... Word Nerd likes Spenser's witty repartee as he investigates so she was disappointed that he solved this story with fisticuffs instead of brains.
Word Nerd recommendation: Onwards to Spenser book #3