How big a Robert B. Parker fanboy am I? Well, even though this is a Young Adult (12 and up) novel, it says "A Young Spenser Novel" right there on the jacket, so… I hit the "Two-Day 1-Click®" button before I knew what I was doing.
Even at 176 pages, it's a quick read. It's framed around the contemporary Spenser and his beloved Susan Silverman in the Boston Public Garden, talking about his days as a young 'un out there in Wyoming. (The story breaks every so often so Spenser and Susan can do their usual psychobabble about Spenser's character; I don't know why they bother, because Susan hasn't had an original thought about Spenser for at least the last twenty years or so.)
But the story itself is pretty good. Spenser's mom died at his birth; his upbringing is shaped by his father and his mother's two brothers, an untraditional but effective child-rearing team. Young Spenser's adventures involve confronting a bear in the woods; rescuing a damsel from her abduction by her abusive father; and bodyguarding a Mexican kid from a bunch of bigoted bullies. All purporting to show how he came to be his current menschy self.
No real detecting involved, low on Spenserian wit, and I'm not sure I can recommend it to anyone besides diehard Spenser freaks. I enjoyed it, though.