Series: Spenser

Author: Robert B. Parker

Bad Business (2005)
3.77 of 5 Votes: 4
I knew that Robert B. Parker was phoning it in on a lot of these later Spenser books, but this one may be among the weakest and laziest of the bunch.Spenser gets hired by Marlene Rowley to see if her husband Trent is cheating on her. After he follows Trent to a hotel liaison with another woman, ...
Widow's Walk (2002)
3.79 of 5 Votes: 5
It’s ten degree above the average, no clouds and the wind is down, here in SoCal just past Thanksgiving and I’m stuck inside an apartment doing respite for my father’s girlfriend while she takes some time off for herself and also to have some fun with her girlfriends. My father is ninety-one, and...
The Godwulf Manuscript (1992)
3.91 of 5 Votes: 2
I read Robert B. Parker’s The Professional last month and wrote a long review trashing him for ruining Spenser in the last half of his career. Parker died this week, and I feel like a jackass. He had provided me a lot of enjoyment over the years and had a lot to do with turning me into the crim...
Pale Kings And Princes (1988)
3.93 of 5 Votes: 2
The absolute best thing in reading Robert B. Parker's Spenser novels for the first time is how wonderfully that the TV series based on them was cast. You have basically two principal roles in the books. First is Spenser -- like the poet -- a tough, no-nonsense Boston private detective who narrate...
Crimson Joy (1989)
3.87 of 5 Votes: 5
I went back to the kitchen and began to pound a couple of boneless chicken thighs with a heavy knife.t"Takes a tough man to make tender chicken," I said….tI sprinkled some rosemary on the flattened chicken thighs and put them in olive oil and lemon ice to marinate. (p. 11)t"What's for supper?" s...
Taming A Sea-Horse (1987)
3.91 of 5 Votes: 5
In this story, Spenser is once again on a noble mission and people are killed, but unlike other Spenser stories, the plot didn’t grab me. Furthermore, the dialog lacked the wittiness found in the other Spenser stories. He was much more subdued, almost fatalistic. Even the scenes with Hawk lacked ...
The Widening Gyre (1992)
3.93 of 5 Votes: 1
Sometimes, things that look too good to be true are too good to be true. In this case, the wife of a Senate candidate is just that. Indeed, my immediate impression as I started reading this book on my regular commute was that this plot was going to give Parker a chance to blast the right-wing can...
A Catskill Eagle (1986)
4.03 of 5 Votes: 4
In the previous book in the series, Valediction, Susan had left Spenser to take a job in San Francisco, partially because she said that she needed some time alone because she’d always defined herself as someone’s daughter, wife, girlfriend, etc. and Spenser’s idealization of her had become overwh...
Playmates (1990)
3.86 of 5 Votes: 5
Reading the Spenser series, along with about six other series in order, has been a challenge but a fun one. When I first began reading Playmates I was thinking about how much I missed Spenser's wise ass remarks, being, not trying to be but actually being funny, by my warped sense of humor standa...
Mortal Stakes (1987)
3.9 of 5 Votes: 4
" I walked off the spiral, and looked at the penguins on the first balcony. They were the false note in the place. There was no glass wall, no separation between us except six feet of space. The smell of fish and, I supposed, penguin, was rank and uninsulated. I didn't like it. The silent fish...
Early Autumn (1992)
4.07 of 5 Votes: 3
Robert B. Parker, Early Autumn (Dell, 1981)It may still be a little too early in the game to call the Spenser novels some of the great twentieth-century detective fiction. There cannot, however, be any doubt as to the continuing popularity of, and loyalty to, the line of novels written by Robert ...
Chance (1997)
4.06 of 5 Votes: 1
This Spenser novel is better than some I've read. There is a coherent plot, an actual mystery, and the tough guy vs. tough guy dialogue and activity actually makes sense as Spenser goes up against a number of mobsters as the story progresses. As usual, the novel is marred by the author's obsess...
Promised Land (1992)
3.91 of 5 Votes: 1
I’m from an generation for whom Avery Brooks is best known for playing Captain Sisco of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. For another generation, and a different set of genre fans, he is perhaps better known for his 65 episode run as Hawk, PI Spenser’s sometime companion (who even had his own short li...
God Save The Child (1987)
3.92 of 5 Votes: 5
Spenser goes to a gay bar circa 1974. Wacky hijinks ensue.God Save the Child is the second book of the Spenser series, and it’s probably most notable for the introduction of Susan Silverman, the woman who will become Spenser’s long-time girlfriend and eventually the center of his world. Since t...
Hugger Mugger (2000)
3.81 of 5 Votes: 2
In Hugger Mugger, Spenser manages to stay out of bed with a bevy of Southern Belles and out of trouble with the law. He even manages to call in some favors from his old friend on the police force and cooperate with the local constabulary when he works a case down in Georgia. As much as I enjoyed ...
The Judas Goat (1992)
4.03 of 5 Votes: 4
It’s 1976 and the Montreal Summer Olympics will be starting soon. But that is of no consequence to Spenser at this point. What is important is the job that the highly successful head of an international conglomerate, Hugh Dixon, has hired him to do. Dixon has retained Spenser as a bounty hunter.S...
Pastime (1992)
3.9 of 5 Votes: 3
Not only is Pastime one of Robert B. Parker's best novels about the private detective Spenser, but it is also one that clearly demonstrates Parker's skill as a crime writer.Spenser's semi-adopted son, Paul Giacomin, visits Spenser in Boston asking for his help. He can't locate his mother, who has...
Hush Money (1999)
3.84 of 5 Votes: 2
This author excelled at writing snappy comebacks in his character dialogue.However. That's the only positive thing I can say about this book, so I'm giving two stars for the witty banter (of which there was actually too much; how about a little more action/description?). I admit that detective fi...
A Savage Place (1992)
3.97 of 5 Votes: 1
This has got to be the worst private eye novel ever written. Spenser is even more arrogant and conceited than ever. He tells the girl that nobody can kill him... Really? Parker pretends to know L.A. I thought he messed up a bit by mentioning Marineland. My recollection was that Marineland ha...
Sudden Mischief (1999)
3.86 of 5 Votes: 1
In SUDDEN MISCHIEF, Spenser is asked by the world’s hottest hottie, Susan Silverman, to defend her former husband against a case of multiple sexual harassment charges from four married women. The man bringing the charges against Susan’s ex is just about the most powerful, and dangerous, man in B...
Valediction (1992)
4.01 of 5 Votes: 5
Robert Parker was one helluva writer. His Spenser novels alone guarantee that he’ll be remembered within the noir genre for years to come. (I reserve the moment to not comment on the Sunny Randall or Jesse Stone novels in this review…not to mention his westerns.) But what is really amazing a...
Walking Shadow (1995)
3.89 of 5 Votes: 3
I watched her accept the fact that she was alone with me, and watched as her persona adjusted to the fact. She smiled at me. There was a touch of conspiratorial intimacy in the smile. Rikki Wu was sex. I was pretty sure she was spoiled and self-centered and shallow. Maybe cruel. Certainly c...
Cold Service (2005)
3.86 of 5 Votes: 1
t"What was it like for you?" she said.t"Well, the thing about almost dying," I said, "is that a lot of the time, you don't know that you almost died until a long time after you didn't…."t"Intensive care can be a very brutal experience," Cecile said.t"It is," I said. "But most of the time you don...
Potshot (2001)
3.85 of 5 Votes: 2
This is an old story that has had several previous incarnations. The original story was “Seven Samurai” by Akira Kurosawa and then there was the Hollywood original movie “The Magnificent Seven”, followed by a collection of weaker sequels. In “The Magnificent Seven” a Mexican village is being terr...
School Days (2006)
3.83 of 5 Votes: 2
Robert Parker is an entertaining author, and that's why his books continue to sell. As one reviewer noted, the stories are all the same, predictable - except for the murdered & victims, and town setting. True, but it's for Spencer (PI) and Jesse Stone (small town chief of police) (the main detect...
Double Deuce (1993)
3.88 of 5 Votes: 4
“You working on anything?” Hawk asked.“I was thinking about breakfast,” I said.“I might need some support,” Hawk said.“You might?”“Yeah. Pay’s lousy.”“How much?” I said.“I’m getting nothing.” “I’ll take half,” I said.“You ain’t worth half,” Hawk said. “Besides, I got the job and already put in a...
Hundred-Dollar Baby (2006)
3.79 of 5 Votes: 3
Years ago, Boston PI Spenser made a difficult decision in helping troubled teen April Kyle get off the streets. Now the adult April is back in Boston running an upscale call-girl operation. April says she has been pretty successful in running the all-women business, but recently some thugs have b...
Thin Air (1996)
3.86 of 5 Votes: 1
Hawk used his key to open Spenser’s door and came inside. He set his suitcase down and walked towards the living room of the apartment.“Spenser! You are not going to believe what happened to me in Burma. I had to kill more people than cancer. It was just insane and…..,” Hawk stopped short when...
Small Vices (1998)
3.94 of 5 Votes: 3
This is one of those books that gives me a dilemma when it comes to reviewing it because the major event in this one doesn’t occur until well into the story so it seems like some kind of spoiler warning is in order. However, that event is described in the book jacket and even in the plot summary...
Rough Weather (2008)
3.91 of 5 Votes: 2
I read this on my flight to live in Italy for a period. I loved it, and I was frustrated by it at the same time. As I read it, I remembered why I love Parker so much: the tight use of language, not only Spenser's banter, but his ability to pack a lot of information and imagery into a few words...
Trügerisches Bild (2011)
3.95 of 5 Votes: 4
Spenser's latest case has him playing bodyguard to a Dr. Ashton Prince, respected art lecturer and teacher, and doing a ransom payment for the safe return of a one of a kind painting, "Lady With a Finch" by Frans Hermenszoon, a Low Country painter during the time of Rembrandt. It was supposed to ...