Lily Ellsworth--erect, firm, white-haired, and stylish--is the grand dame of Dowling, Massachusetts, and possesses an iron will and a bottomless purse. When she hires Spenser to investigate her grandson Jared Clark's alleged involvement in a school shooting, Spenser is led into an inquiry that grows more harrowing at every turn. Though seven people were killed in cold blood, and despite Jared's being named as a co-conspirator by the other shooter, Mrs. Ellsworth is convinced of her grandson's innocence. Jared's parents are resigned to his fate, and the boy himself doesn't seem to care whether he goes to prison for a crime he might not have committed.

As the probe goes on, Spenser finds himself up against a number of roadblocks--from the school officials who don't want him asking questions, to Jared's own parents, who are completely indifferent to the boy's defense. Ultimately, Spenser discovers a web of blackmail and some heavy-duty indiscretions--and a truth too disturbing to contemplate. Before the case reaches its unfortunate end, he is forced to make a series of difficult decisions--with fatal consequences.


From the Compact Disc edition.
Praise for School Days

“Crackling prose and juicy repartee.”—Entertainment Weekly

“The best Spenser novel since Early Autumn.”—The Associated Press

“Plenty of entertainment...The two-fisted P.I. is in good form and his creator in fine fettle here.”—Los Angeles Times

“Spenser fans...will be thrilled to have their wise-cracking Boston private eye back again...navigating the perilous shoals of suburban discontent and ripped-from-the-headlines horror stories—with only his fanciful German pointer, Pearl, to keep him company.”—New York Post

“Spenser returns! He fights, he flirts, he cooks, he wisecracks, he quotes poetry. This thirty-third outing for the Boston private eye is one of the most psychologically astute and well-choreographed entries in the entire series. This is a high point in one of the genre’s classic series.”—Booklist

“A pleasure...another solid installment in this fine, enduring series.”—Publishers Weekly

“Vintage Parker...Everyone interested in mystery and contemporary writing in general should read at least one of the Spenser novels.”—Library Journal

“Parker is at the top of his game...School Days [is] one of the best and most timely books Mr. Parker has ever written.”—Midwest Book Review

“A crackling yarn.”—Boston Magazine