The Professional (Spenser Series #37)

The Professional (Spenser Series #37)

by Robert B. Parker

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The wives of Boston's wealthiest men have a mutual secret: they all had an affair with the same cad who's blackmailing them, and Spenser's been hired to stop him. But when the wives start dying one by one, Spenser's new case becomes murder.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425236307
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/07/2010
Series: Spenser Series , #37
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 156,291
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Robert B. Parker was the author of seventy books, including the legendary Spenser detective series, the novels featuring police chief Jesse Stone, and the acclaimed Virgil Cole–Everett Hitch westerns, as well as the Sunny Randall novels. Winner of the Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Award and long considered the undisputed dean of American crime fiction, he died in January 2010.

Date of Birth:

September 17, 1932

Date of Death:

January 18, 2010

Place of Birth:

Springfield, Massachusetts

Place of Death:

Cambridge, Massachusetts


B.A. in English, Colby College, 1954; M.A., Ph. D. in English, Boston University, 1957, 1971

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The Professional (Spenser Series #37) 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 126 reviews.
actorsaudio More than 1 year ago
A few days after I finished reading "The Professional", Robert Parker passed away. I was shocked and felt like a lost many close friends. As soon as I closed the book, I was ready for the next one, but sady this may have been the last of the series. So, I was glad that this was a really good Spenser mystery. It was especially interesting because it makes a comment on the times. Four women who are married to older, wealthy, powerful men hire Spenser to investigate a man who they all have sex with because he is trying to blackmail them. But, the catch is they all continue to have sex with this man; they all like him; they just don't want their husbands to find out about him or pay him. Sounds like something out of the headlines in politics or professional sports. This is a novel about marrying money, overindulgence, lack of common sense, and not wanting to deal with reality. The scenes between Spencer and Susan are particularly good because they reveal answers to a lot of questions about their relationship. Spenser and Susan explore the subjects of love and sex as Spenser investigates the man who services all four women with sex. Spenser finds the man both likeable and strangely interesting, and there is no animosity between them. In fact, the man co-operates with Spenser and tries to help him. The Man likes all four women but needs their money to continue his unusual business. So it is a very odd mystery indeed. As Spenser searches for answers the dialogue sparkles like it does in all the Spenser novels. I have read and collected almost every Robert Parker book. For decades, I have looked forward to reading a new one to read every few months. I will really miss Spenser, Hawk, Susan, Vinnie, Sunny Randall, Jesse Stone, and all the rest of Robert Parker's fictional friends. I found them all to be tough, likeable, and fun. I will also miss their canine friends who are every bit as interesting as their owners. Thanks to Robert Parker for writing so many interesting adventures filled with some of the greatest characters in mystery fiction. He will be missed.
Kaci_Kostalot More than 1 year ago
I was so sad to learn of his sudden passing. I understand there are a few books still to be released. I loved his writing, some better than others, but always an enjoyable way to spend a relaxing afternoon. I will miss him and Jesse Stone, Spencer, Sunny Randall, Hawk and Susan. My condolences to his family.
mysterywomannc More than 1 year ago
I've always been a huge fan of the Spenser books and of any book with Boston in the background. This is an unusual book with 4 women hiring Spenser to stop a blackmailer from revealing their sexual indiscretions with him. What I liked about the book was the uncertainty of the true villain's identity. It kept me wondering about how this book was going to turn out. Of course, Joe Mantegna has the perfect tone for Spenser's somewhat sarcastic retorts!
tricia18 More than 1 year ago
As any Robert Parker story this Spenser novel is likely the last one I will read because Robert Parker has since passed away. I am an avid reader of Spenser novels and I feel like part of my life died with Robert Parker. Its amazing how an author can have such an effect on a person, but its hard to think I will no longer be reading about Spenser and the love of his life, Susan and all the other thugs that hang around Spenser that I have been reading about for many many years. I bought the CD this time so I could listen on my 5 CD radio in my truck driving back & forth to work. Takes about an hour each way, so every day for about 3 1/2 days I had an enjoyable ride to and from Boston. Sometimes I would be laughing and wonder if anyone in cars next to me was watching as I was listening to Spenser and his escapades. I will miss Robert Parker and Spenser. He has been a part of my fantasy life for a very long time. Good Bye Mr Parker.
cactygirl More than 1 year ago
As always, I thoroughly enjoyed this latest Spenser novel. An interesting concept and I can't say more than that without spoiling the fun!
quills More than 1 year ago
As usual, Parker's muscular writing style kept me immersed in the story from start to finish. I love his characters, love their banter, love the devotion of Spencer and Susan for each other, the respect and loyalty of Hawk and the recurring characters like Vinnie and Quirk. Parker can say more in fewer words than any author I can think of. I know this is about Spenser, but he and Jesse Stone are my heroes. Also Sunny Randall. I look forward to each new release. Keep 'em coming, Parker!
Alla_S More than 1 year ago
In Robert B. Parker's latest thriller "The Professional," private detective Spenser is asked to assist four women who cheated on their rich husbands with the same lover who, having recorded their trysts, comes back to blackmail them-Gary Eisenhower. Matters are further complicated by the private situation of each victim: Regina is married to a homosexual politician who's terrified that Gary's revelations will wreak havoc on his career. Nancy's hiding her sex addiction and living in fear that her husband would leave her if he found out. Beth's husband, Chester Jackson, is obsessed with his wife and hires two men called Zell and Boo to spy on Spenser and destroy Gary. Abigail has a drinking problem that ultimately propels her into the arms of Spenser. The mutual bond this women harbor is their shared experience with Gary and their wish to get the whole situation over with. However, things are never what they seem. As Spenser tracks down Eisenhower, he learns that Gary is not operating alone and at least one of his female clients is continuing a relationship with him, despite the blackmail. Along with his beautiful psychologist girlfriend Susan, Spenser then locates a female college associate who previously had an affair with Eisenhower, following which he was briefly in jail, to attempt to understand what exactly attracts these women to him. As events take a terrifying turn, several murders take place in the second part of the book-including the husband of one of Spenser's clients. I found the book to be a quick and entertaining read, with a good sense of conflict and tension towards the end. The writing is straight-to-the point, the characters stand out, and the by the time the story ends everything has been neatly explained-something that isn't always easy to do with a thriller. Overall, I found this book to be an engaging and enjoyable read.
edofarrell More than 1 year ago
Spenser has been wooing his sweetie pie Susan and vanquishing the bad guys for 37 books now and in the hands of a master story teller it never gets old. In fact this is one of the best of the series. A nicely twisting plot with strong characters, crisp dialog and believable situations. If you've never read a Spenser novel you're in for a treat. If you're already a fan, this offering is going to make you want to go back and reread the series. Excellent work and well worth the money.
mahallett on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
the mystery part was well done, maybe a little too long, maybe a little anti-woman. i am not interested in his cute relationship with his sweetie. the reader was good
Ti99er on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another instant classic by the imortal Robert Parker. It was with hardedned hearts that Spenser fans across the globe learned of Parker's death in early January. Parker has brought a lot of joy to this reader over the years. I actually owe my life-long love of reading to him. When in high school I picked up one of his books from my brothers bookshelf, and I haven't looked back since.This is another fun Spenser novel, Spense doesn't get into too much trouble in this volume, but his wit and commentary on the world are as sharp as ever.
lhtouchton on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of the Spenser books I've enjoyed the most, and I've read almost all of them. His spare style grew on me after a while; his humor and characters, in particular, were always appealing. His stories weren't always fabulous, but I always enjoyed them anyway, and he was a master at conveying a wealth of thoughts and emotions in very few words. I especially enjoyed his exploration of moral and equal ambiguities in this book. Parker's recent death is a loss, and I'll miss Spenser and his crew. He was an icon of the genre.
TerryWeyna on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite literary daydreams has for years been that my husband and I shared a lovely dinner with Robert B. Parker and his wife, Joan. I imagined us talking about literature while Joan took tiny sips of a martini and Bob ¿ we¿d be on first name terms, of course ¿ took gulps of Scotch, or listening to Bob wax rhapsodic about the Boston Red Sox, or dissecting the character of Spenser, Bob¿s series detective. Alas, it will never be: Parker died this past January of a sudden heart attack while sitting at his desk writing. An enviable death, I think, but one that came much too soon. Parker was only my father¿s age, a young 77.The Professional is not the last Spenser novel; Painted Ladies is due out this coming October. And it is impossible to read The Professional as any sort of elegy for Parker; it is, as are all the Spenser novels, ¿merely¿ a tale full of moral ambiguities, starring a bad guy who doesn¿t really seem all that bad if taken on his own terms and some normal people who can¿t really face up to what they¿ve done and who they are. Parker seems to have been fascinated by the lies we tell ourselves, even the best of us. The only one who seemed to have a policy of strict refusal to ever fool himself about anything was Spenser ¿ and even he occasionally fell victim to his own demons.On its face, The Professional is about a gigolo who turns to blackmail and the women who refuse to flout him by confessing their unfaithfulness to their spouses. A closer reading, though, suggests that Parker is talking about the nature of marriage ¿ or, more specifically, monogamy (as Spenser and his long-time lover, Susan Silverman, have never married or even lived together (aside from one disastrous experiment in cohabitation)). Throughout the book, Spenser and Susan question each other as to whether they¿d prefer to open up their relationship, but the questions seem to be more or less the equivalent of me asking my husband if he still loves me: they know the answer, but they just want to hear it. It¿s a sort of flirtation, a verbal hug. In the hands of a lesser author, it would be mighty annoying, but for the long-time reader of Parker¿s novels, it is a comfortable reassurance that all is right with the world.Parker¿s style has long been to tell his stories mostly through dialogue. It reads very smoothly and swiftly, making it very natural to read this book in one sitting. It might fool a reader into thinking that this type of writing is easy. But advancing the action mostly through dialogue is a lot harder than it looks. It¿s even harder to carry it off when your protagonist is a smart aleck who is constantly tossing out jokes and bon mots. Any aspiring writer would do well to study one of Parker¿s novels for his technique.I¿ll say no more about the plot. No one who knows Parker¿s work ever reads his books because they expect a lot of the plot, anyway (though Parker manages, as always, to give readers a few surprises in this one); they read him to revisit Spenser, Susan, Hawk and Parker¿s other characters, who have become old friends over the years. Were I to talk about the plot, I¿d give away too much and still say too little, because that¿s not the real point of the book. Spenser is ultimately a philosopher, and that¿s his real charm.I wish I didn¿t know there was only one more Spenser novel coming my way. I wish Parker were still at his computer, putting together the 2011 entry in the series right now. If there¿s a heaven, though, and I get there someday, I expect there will be an entire shelf of new novels by Robert B. Parker for me to read. He¿s probably tapping away at a celestial keyboard even now.
bexaplex on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Spenser is hired by a lawyer representing four women being blackmailed by the same genial boy toy. True to form, they're all slightly nuts, the boy toy is slightly nuts, and several ancillary characters are slightly nuts. Violence scales up until the book reveals a murderer and the (mastermind?) behind the murders, both of whom are more than slightly nuts. Hawk appears here and there for a few pithy lines, and Vinnie tails a party of interest at the end.There's no better way to spend 2 hours than with a big chunky Spenser novel (I challenge you to find larger line leading).
phoenixcomet on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Decent Spenser novel, not enough Hawk. A group of 4 women band together and hire Spenser to get lothario, Gary Eisenhower, to stop black mailing them. But he is 'the professional' with women and is not interested in changing who or what he is. Of course, all is not as it seems and Spenser has to unravel what is happening. Parker pays homage to John Steinbeck with a 'Of Mice and Men' subplot.
dickcraig on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Spencer is hired to find the man who is blackmailing a group of women. Each of these women are married to rich men and don't want their husbands to know that they have been sleeping with this man. Spencer is supposed to just stop him, and not kill him. Several murders later the book ends. This was not my favorite Spencer novel. This story needs more of Hawk.
LeHack on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
There is no such thing as a bad Spenser novel. It was fun visiting with Spenser, Susan, and the city of Boston again.
markgalassi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Robert Parker has managed selling the same characters and dialog dozens of times, but somehow I always enjoy it. This is a reasonably nice Spenser novel.
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would recommend this book to anyone
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