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Literature / Sunny Randall

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Sunny (real name Sonya) Randall is the heroine of one of Robert B. Parker's series of novels. The series got its start when Helen Hunt asked Parker to create a character she could play in a film. The film never materialized, so Parker spun the character off into her own series. The character was introduced in the novel Family Honor (1999).

A former police detective and now a private investigator, Sunny takes on numerous cases while trying to sort out her life and her relationship with her ex-husband, Richie, and taking care of her English bull terrier, Rosie.

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    Books In The Series 
  • Family Honor
  • Perish Twice
  • Shrink Wrap
  • Melancholy Baby
  • Blue Screen
  • Spare Change
  • Blood Feud (by Mike Lupica)
  • Grudge Match (Mike Lupica)
  • Payback (Mike Lupica)
  • Revenge Tour (Mike Lupica)
  • Bad Influence (Alison Gaylin)

The books contain examples of:

  • Amicably Divorced: Sunny and Richie, for the most part. They still get along well and spend quite a bit of time together, to the detriment of their other relationships.
  • Attempted Rape: This happens at the end of "Shrink Rap", though Sunny took something to counteract the drug John Melvin gave her. Unfortunately for Melanie Joan, it got far past the attempted stage.
  • Broken Bird: Melanie Joan. She hides it well under her public persona, but John Melvin did serious damage to her psyche.
  • Canine Companion: Rosie the bull terrier.
  • Can't Live with Them, Can't Live without Them: The simplest way to interpret Sunny's relationship with Richie.
  • Crossover: Sunny's therapist is Susan Silverman. Later on she begins a relationship with Jesse Stone.
  • Daddy's Girl: Sunny was (and still is) very close to her father. (In contrast, her sister was closer to their mother.)
  • Damsel in Distress: Frequently averted by Sunny (she's usually packing heat in that little purse of hers) but she also has a longstanding complex about not turning into one of these, sometimes with disastrous consequences.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: Averted. Sunny states that she can only cook three things competently (one of them being beef stroganoff) but since she spends so much time around Spike, who is a restaurant owner, she really doesn't have to cook much herself.
  • Florence Nightingale Effect: John Melvin intentionally makes his female patients fall in love with him.
  • Food Porn: Less so than in the Spenser series, but Spike, who is a restaurant owner, frequently prepares yummy sounding things.
  • Generation Xerox: Sunny and her father are very similar, and at the end of "Spare Change" it turns out that the killer is the son of the Spare Change killer from decades before.
  • High-Class Call Girl: Erin Flint (aka Ethel Boverini) and her sister's former occupations
  • Intimate Healing: In a very twisted way, John Melvin convinces his patients that the only way to cure them is to let him drug them and have sex with them. Then he brings in his friends...
  • Irish Mob: Sunny married into a Mob family, and even though she and Richie (the White Sheep of this particular family) are divorced now, several members of the family are still fond of her and offer to help out if she needs it.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: "Shrink Rap" has an obvious stand-in for Tom Cruise named Hal Race threaten to walk out on a movie deal, but he eventually stays due to Money, Dear Boy.
  • Like Parent, Like Spouse: One factor in Sunny and Richie's divorce was the realization that Sunny was looking for her father in Richie.
  • Manipulative Bastard: John Melvin from "Shrink Rap". Emphasis on "Bastard".
  • Manly Gay: Spike, who's also a bit of The Bear.
  • Neighbourhood-Friendly Gangsters: Richie's family is involved in The Irish Mob (though Richie himself was purposely kept out of the less legal parts of it), and one of his uncles helps out Sunny on occasion even though she's technically no longer family. When asked why, he says it's because he likes her.
  • The Prima Donna: Erin Flint from Blue Screen.
  • Psycho Psychologist: John Melvin.
  • Single-Issue Psychology: Lampshaded and mocked in "Shrink Rap", where Sunny's investigation of John Melvin has her go to a legitimate therapist who tells her that this method, which John Melvin uses, is bogus.
  • Stalker with a Crush: John Melvin stalks Melanie Joan, his ex-wife, obsessively, which is why she hired Sunny.
  • Taking the Kids: Played with, since while Richie and Sunny didn't have children, they do have their dog, Rosie, who they share custody of.
  • There Are No Therapists: Averted, since while initially reluctant Sunny ends up seeing one after the events of Shrink Rap to work out her relationship troubles. In her crossover appearance in High Profile she later convinces Jenn, Jesse's ex-wife, to seek therapy herself.
  • Unholy Matrimony: At the end of "Blue Screen" Erin and Gerard go back to California together after each claims that they killed Misty to save the other, and Sunny lets them go with the implication that the two fully deserve each other
  • White Sheep: Richie was deliberately kept away from the less legal parts of the family business so he could be one of these.
  • Wig, Dress, Accent: In "Shrink Rap", Sunny disguises herself with a wig and sunglasses. She does go a bit further by disguising her voice and using her full name (Sonya) and her former married name (Burke).