Robert B. Parker Reading Order

Spencer Series Part 2, Books 21-40

    
 

Walking Shadow

by Robert B Parker

Published 1995 by G.P. Putnam's Sons     Mass Market Paperbound, English. ISBN: 9780425147740

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With an unbroken string of bestselling suspense novels behind him, Robert B. Parker is nothing if not world-class. Now, after the success of Paper Doll, applauded by The Boston Globe as "one of the best Spensers in a decade, " Parker returns with his two-fisted sleuth in Walking Shadow - a twisty, ambitious whodunit, which finds them both breaking new ground. A Massachusetts waterfront town. A small repertory theater with a big reputation. A soupcon of scandal. And Spenser is on hand to steal the scene. Hired by the Port City Theater Company's board of trustees to investigate the director's claim that he is being followed, Spenser feels like a fish out of water - until an actor is gunned down during a performance of a politically controversial play. Then Boston's premier private cop and his cohort, Hawk, go into action, plunging straight into a maze of motives that constitutes a master class in the difficulty of judging reality from appearances. Spenser soon discovers that solving the actor's murder is only a piece of the puzzle. From covert carnal connections within the community to municipal corruption with international tentacles; from petty troublemakers to major malefactors for whom murder is merely a day at the office - this case has everything it takes to stump the sharpest of Sherlocks. And nobody loves a challenge more than Spenser. Heady and sardonic, with an unpredictable cast of lovers, liars, killers, and clowns, Walking Shadow entertains even as it ponders the instability of identities. It is a thoroughly engrossing performance by a classic talent.

 

 

Thin Air

by Robert B Parker

Published 1996 by G.P. Putnam's Sons     Mass Market Paperbound, English. ISBN: 9780425152904

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When a Boston police detective's adored young bride, Lisa St. Claire, disappears without a trace, he enlists Spenser's help in tracking her down. Sleuthing from a New England college campus to the slick sports clubs of L.A., Spenser discovers all about Lisa - including her past history of prostitution, substance abuse, and self-destructive love affairs - and suspects she is being held prisoner by her sociopathic Latino ex-lover in his crumbling tenement fortress deep within the barrio of a burned-out Massachusetts mill town. Accompanied by a Chicano shooter with an ironclad attitude and an unflinching sense of honor, Spenser sets in motion a complex plan to rescue Lisa. As he wheels and deals with boozy, broken cops and messianic local warlords, he is forced to face some brutal truths and question the very meaning of passion, manhood, and justice.

 

 

Chance

by Robert B Parker

Published 1997 by G.P. Putnam's Sons     Mass Market Paperbound, English. ISBN: 9780425157473

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Mafia princess Shirley Meeker wants her husband back. So does her father, kingpin Julius Ventura, and a few other shady characters. Spenser and Hawk head to Vegas to find Anthony Meeker--and confirm their suspicion that all these people aren't just missing Anthony's smile. And when bodies start turning up, Spenser has to make sense of some very disorganized crime.

 

 

Small Vices

by Robert B Parker

Published 1998 by G.P. Putnam's Sons     Mass Market Paperbound, English. ISBN: 9780425162484

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Ellis Alves is a bad kid from the 'hood with a long, long record, but did he really murder Melissa Henderson, a white coed from ritzy Pemberton College? Alves's former lawyers think he was framed, and they hire Spenser to uncover the truth. As he and longtime associate Hawk race from the back streets of Boston to Manhattan's most elegant avenues, Spenser gets a postgraduate course in the seamy side of life - an ethical no-man's-land where twisted cops and spoiled rich kids with peculiar private proclivities are just the tip of the iceberg. The stakes abruptly shift from corruption to catastrophe when a master assassin's bullets take Spenser down. He survives the attack - barely - but must play dead to the world, while recovering his strength hiding in secret. Only then can he see justice done - and let the shooter know that it's payback time.

 

 

Sudden Mischief

by Robert B Parker

Published 1999 by G.P. Putnam's Sons     Mass Market Paperbound, English. ISBN: 9780425168288

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Susan Silverman's ex doesn't call himself "Silverman" anymore--he's changed his name to "Sterling". And that's not the only thing that's phony about him. A do-gooding charity fund-raiser, he's been accused of sexual harassment by no less than four different women. And not long after Spenser starts investigating, Sterling is wanted for a bigger charge: murder.

 

 

Hush Money

by Robert B Parker

Published 1999 by Putnam Publishing Group     Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780399144585

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"Parker says he'll keep writing Spenser novels as long as the public wants to read them, which probably means he'll need to keep writing them for the rest of his life. Spenser is 'the very model of a modern major shamus, '" proclaimed The Boston Globe of Robert B. Parker's most recent New York Times bestseller, Sudden Mischief. With Hush Money, Parker adds another classic to the legendary series, with a morally complex tale that pits the burly Boston P.I. and his redoubtable cohort, Hawk, against local intellectual heavyweights.

When Robinson Nevins, the son of Hawk's boyhood mentor, is denied tenure at the University, Hawk asks Spenser to investigate. It appears the denial is tied to the suicide of a young gay activist, Prentice Lamont. While intimations of an affair between Lamont and Nevins have long fed the campus rumor mill, no one's willing to talk, and as Spenser digs deeper he is nearly drowned in a multicultural swamp of politics: black, gay, academic, and feminist.

At the same time, Spenser's inamorata, Susan, asks him to come to the aid of an old college friend, K. C. Roth, the victim of a stalker. Spenser solves the problem a bit too effectively, and K.C., unwilling to settle for the normal parameters of the professional/client relationship, becomes smitten with him, going so far as to attempt to lure him from Susan. When Spenser, ever chivalrous, kindly rejects her advances, K.C. turns the tables and begins to stalk him.

Then the case of Robinson Nevins turns deadly. It is, Spenser discovers, only the tip of the iceberg in a great conspiracy to keep America white, male, and straight. Spenser must call upon his every resource, including friends on both sides of the law, to stay alive.

 

 

Hugger Mugger

by Robert B Parker

Published 2000 by Putnam Publishing Group     Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780399145872

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Someone has been killing racehorses at stables across the south, and Spenser, the Boston P.I., travels to Georgia to protect the two-year-old destined to become the next Secretariat. The case takes a deadly turn when the attacker claims a human victim and Spenser must revise his impressions of the Three Fillies racing stables.

 

 

Potshot

by Robert B Parker

Published 2001 by G. P. Putnam's Sons     Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780399147104

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Spenser heads west to the rich man's haven of Potshot, Arizona, to defend the town and its transplanted Los Angeles yuppie residents from a 21st-century posse of desert rats, misfits, drunks and scavengers who are robbing the town blind and threatening residents' newly-discovered sense of harmony.

 

 

Widow's Walk

by Robert B Parker

Published 2002 by Putnam Adult     Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780399148453

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"Sometimes you have to wonder how Robert B. Parker keeps his mojo working. . . . There is a trick to keeping the faith with an old hero. In an age of shifty heroes with shaky values, he has created a hero who can still stand up for himself-and us." ("The New York Times Book Review")
When fifty-one-year-old Nathan Smith, a once-confirmed bachelor, is found in his bed with a hole in his head made by a .38-caliber slug, it's hard not to imagine Nathan's young bride as the one with her finger on the trigger. Even her lawyer thinks she's guilty. But given that Mary Smith is entitled to the best defense she can afford-and thanks to Nathan's millions, she can afford plenty-Spenser hires on to investigate Mary's bona fides. Mary's alibi is a bit on the flimsy side: She claims she was watching television in the other room when the murder occurred. But the couple was seen fighting at a high-profile cocktail party earlier that evening, and the prosecution has a witness who says Mary once tried to hire him to kill Nathan. What's more, she's too pretty, too made-up, too blonde, and sleeps around-just the kind of person a jury loves to hate.
Spenser's up against a wall; leads go nowhere, no one knows a thing. Then a young woman, recently fired from her position at Smith's bank, turns up dead. Mary's vacant past suddenly starts looking meaner and darker-and Spenser's suddenly got to watch his back.
With lean, crackling dialogue, crisp action, and razor-sharp characters, "Widow's Walk" is another triumph.

 

 

Back Story

by Robert B Parker

Published 2003 by G. P. Putnam's Sons     Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780399149771

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In 1974, a revolutionary group calling itself The Dread Scott Brigade held up the Old Shawmut Bank in Boston's Audubon Circle. Money was stolen. And a woman named Emily Gordon, a visitor in town cashing traveler's checks, was shot and killed. No one saw who shot her. Despite security-camera photos and a letter from the group claiming responsibility, the perpetrators have remained at large for nearly three decades.
Enter Paul Giacomin, the closest thing to a son Spenser has. Twice before, Spenser's come to the young man's assistance; and now Paul is thirty-seven, his troubled past behind him. When Paul's friend Daryl Gordon-daughter of the long-gone Emily-decides she needs closure regarding her mother's death, it's Spenser she turns to. The lack of clues and a missing FBI intelligence report force Spenser to reach out in every direction-to Daryl's estranged, hippie father, to Vinnie Morris and the mob, to the mysterious Ives-testing his resourcefulness and his courage.
Taut, tense, and expertly crafted, this is Robert B. Parker at his storytelling best.

 

 

Bad Business

by Robert B Parker

Published 2004 by Putnam Adult     Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780399151453

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A cheating husband and a wayward wife provide Spenser with an unconventional and dangerous surveillance job.
When Marlene Cowley hires Spenser to see if her husband, Trent, is cheating on her, he encounters more than he bargained for: Not only does he find a two-timing husband, but a second investigator as well, hired by the husband to look after his wife. As a result of their joint efforts, Spenser soon finds himself investigating both individual depravity and corporate corruption.
It seems the folks in the Cowley's circle have become enamored of radio talk-show host Darrin O'Mara, whose views on Courtly Love are clouding some already fuzzy minds with the notion of cross-connubial relationships. O'Mara's brand of sex therapy is unconventional at best, unlawful-and deadly-at worst. Then a murder at Kinergy, where Trent Cowley is CFO, sends Spenser in yet another direction. Apparently, the unfettered pursuit of profit has a price.
With razor-sharp characterizations and finely honed prose, this is Parker writing at the height of his powers.

 

 

Cold Service

by Robert B Parker

Published 2005 by Putnam Adult     Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780399152405

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When Spenser's closest ally, Hawk, is brutally injured and left for dead while protecting bookie Luther Gillespie, Spenser embarks on an epic journey to rehabilitate his friend in body and soul. Hawk, always proud, has never been dependent on anyone. Now he is forced to make connections: to accept the medical technology that will ensure his physical recovery, and to reinforce the tenuous emotional ties he has to those around him.
Spenser quickly learns that the Ukrainian mob is responsible for the hit, but finding a way into their tightly knit circle is not nearly so simple. Their total control of the town of Marshport, from the bodegas to the police force to the mayor's office, isn't just a sign of rampant corruption-it's a form of arrogance that only serves to ignite Hawk's desire to get even. As the body count rises, Spenser is forced to employ some questionable techniques and even more questionable hired guns while redefining his friendship with Hawk in the name of vengeance.

 

 

School Days

by Robert B Parker

Published 2005 by Putnam Publishing Group     Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780399153235

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The celebrated series continues as a troubled teenager accused of a horrific crime draws Spenser into one of the most desperate cases of his career.
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.

 

 

Hundred-Dollar Baby

by Robert B Parker

Published 2006 by Putnam Publishing Group     Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780399153761

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A client from a decades-old case reaches out to Boston PI Spenser-but can he rescue troubled April Kyle once more?
Longtime Spenser fans will remember that once upon a time, though not so long ago, there was a girl named April Kyle-a beautiful teenage runaway who turned to prostitution to escape her terrible family life. The book was 1982's "Ceremony," and, thanks to Spenser, April escaped Boston's "Combat Zone" for the relative safety of a high-class New York City bordello. April resurfaced in "Taming a Sea-Horse," again in dire need of Spenser's rescue-this time from the clutches of a controlling lover. But April Kyle's return in "Hundred-Dollar Baby" is nothing short of shocking.
When a mature, beautiful, and composed April strides into Spenser's office, the Boston PI barely hesitates before recognizing his once and future client. Now a well-established madam herself, April oversees an upscale call-girl operation in Boston's Back Bay. Still looking for Spenser's approval, it takes her a moment before she can ask him, again, for his assistance. Her business is a success; what's more, it's an all-female enterprise. Now that some men are trying to take it away from her, she needs Spenser.
April claims to be in the dark about who it is that's trying to shake her down, but with a bit of legwork and a bit more muscle, Spenser and Hawk find ties to organized crime and local kingpin Tony Marcus, as well as a scheme to franchise the operation across the country. As Spenser again plays the gallant knight, it becomes clear that April's not as innocent as she seems. In fact, she may be her own worst enemy.

 

 

Now and Then

by Robert B Parker

Published 2008 by G.P. Putnam's Sons     Mass Market Paperbound, English. ISBN: 9780425224144

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After a simple case turns into a politically charged investigation, Boston PI Spenser faces his most difficult challenge yet--keeping his cool while his beloved Susan Silverman is in danger. Available in a tall Premium Edition.

 

 

Rough Weather

by Robert B Parker

Published 2009 by G.P. Putnam's Sons     Mass Market Paperbound, English. ISBN: 9780425230176

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A high society wedding ends unhappily ever after in this mystery starring Boston PI Spenser--"the timeless hero of American detective fiction" (The New York Times Book Review).

Hired as a bodyguard at an exclusive wedding, Spenser witnesses an unexpected crime: the kidnapping of the young bride, which opens the door for murder, family secrets, and the reappearance of an old nemesis.

 

 

Chasing the Bear

by Robert B Parker

Published 2009 by Philomel Books     Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780399247767

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For almost forty years, Robert B. Parker's inimitable private investigator Spenser has been solving cases and selling millions of books worldwide. Now, for the first time, see how it all began as the Mystery Writers of America Grand Master sheds light on Spenser's formative years spent with his father and two uncles out West. This is an event book for every fan of Spenser, and a revelation for teens about to discover an American icon.

 

 

Painted Ladies

by Robert B Parker

Published 2010 by G. P. Putnam's Sons     Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780399156854

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The brilliant new Spenser novel from the beloved "New York Times"-bestselling author Robert B. Parker.
Called upon by The Hammond Museum and renowned art scholar Dr. Ashton Prince, Spenser accepts his latest case: to provide protection during a ransom exchange-money for a stolen painting.
The case becomes personal when Spenser fails to protect his client and the valuable painting remains stolen. Convinced that Ashton Prince played a bigger role than just ransom delivery boy, Spenser enters into a daring game of cat-and-mouse with the thieves. But this is a game he might not come out of alive...
Completed the year before he passed away, "Painted Ladies" is Spenser and Robert B. Parker at their electrifying best.

 

 

Sixkill

by Robert B Parker

Published 2011 by Putnam Adult     Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780399157264

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On location in Boston, bad-boy actor Jumbo Nelson is accused of the rape and murder of a young woman. From the start the case seems fishy, so the Boston PD calls on Spenser to investigate. Things don't look so good for Jumbo, whose appetites for food, booze, and sex are as outsized as his name. He was the studio's biggest star, but he's becomeits biggest liability.
In the course of the investigation, Spenser encounters Jumbo's bodyguard: a young, former football-playing Native American named Zebulon Sixkill. He acts tough, but Spenser sees something more within the young man. Despite the odd circumstances, the two forge an unlikely alliance, with Spenser serving as mentor for Sixkill. As the case grows darker and secrets about both Jumbo and the deadwoman come to light, it's Spenser-with Sixkill at his side-who must put things right."