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Sunny Randall was written explicitly as a potential vehicle for Helen Hunt.

"It would be nice if I weighed two hundred pounds and used to be a boxer. But I'm not, so we find other ways." - Family Honor

Sunny Randall, PI is the result of an interesting set of circumstances. Actress Helen Hunt, a fan of the Spenser series and a friend of the author, wanted a serious role which could possibly become a franchise, and she wanted Robert B. Parker to write it. Parker agreed and the result was Family Honor, the first Sunny Randall book.

Sunny is in her early thirties when the series begins, a former cop with authority issues (sound familiar?) who's a little less certain of herself than Spenser. She has a very complicated relationship with her ex-husband Richie - neither fully separated nor together.

The hoped-for film never got made, but Parker did manage a six-book series with Sunny. Writing a first-person narrative from a woman's perspective was, as he said frankly in several interviews, a challenge, but one which he undertook gamely (and with the very insightful input of his wife Joan).

Eventually, Sunny's character was absorbed into the Jesse Stone series. Nonetheless she stands out as an interesting alternative vision of Spenser's world and The Code.

Back to Sunny Randall Character Index

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