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Sixkill (Spenser #39)

3.98  ·  Rating Details  ·  7,137 Ratings  ·  609 Reviews
The last Spenser novel Completed by Robert B. Parker
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
Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 1st 2011 by Quercus (first published May 3rd 2011)
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“Have you wanted to become a professional tough guy but lacked the experience to make your dream come true? Thanks to the Spenser Training Academy you can be trading punches and bullets with thugs in no time.

Mr. Spenser is a private investigator with almost 40 years of experience. His personal classes include:

* Weight training
* Boxing lessons
* Firearms instruction
* Gourmet cooking
* Smart ass quip improvisation
* Angering dangerous criminals
* Making others ill by engaging in smug lovey-dovey conve
James Thane
Forty years ago, in The Godwulf Manuscript, Robert B. Parker introduced his first and most popular protagonist, Spenser, a tough, witty Boston P.I. Sixkill is the fortieth and last entry in the series (at least the last written by Parker himself), and the series, like its lead character, has had its ups and downs.

The early books were terrific. Spenser was a very engaging character and his early cases were often complex and thought-provoking in addition to being a helluva lot of fun. Later, thou
Bill  Kerwin

So sad, reading the last Spenser novel, realizing I'll never have the pleasure of spending time with these characters again. For years, I've wanted Susan Silverman to die, but I wanted Parker to kill her off himself, to improve the series. I never, never wanted it to be like this, never wanted Susan, Spenser, and Parker to go together. And it was all too soon--too soon.

Unfortunately, this isn't a particularly good Spenser. The plot is sort of a half-hearted updating of the Fatty Arbuckle scandal
Jul 03, 2015 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of PI literature and Robert B Parker junkies.
Here we have the last completed novel as written by Robert B Parker about his favorite sleuth. And I really wanted to see him go out with a bang. That said had the man continued writing this book would probably be considered average.

This book is about a famous fat obnoxious actor who is found in a room of a dead girl (Fatty Arbunckle immediately sprung to my mind, but there were no obvious comparisons) and he is a shoe in for murder. Only Spensers' friend the policeman Quirke does not want to ju
Jun 11, 2011 Barbara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This is the culmination of Parker's Spenser, despite my previous beliefs that I had already read the last book since his death in January, 2010. He must have left many manuscripts with his publishers, which should not be surprising considering that over his lifetime he was extremely productive. Apparently they have nominated a replacement author to take over Parker's unique series. Can the writer capture Parker's essence? It does not seem likely to me.

As always, this mystery is light, witty an
Jun 11, 2011 Steve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dead fourteen months and he has two books on the NYTimes best seller lists. I really enjoyed this book. I don't know if it was because I knew there would be no more following or if I just liked the story more. It felt like the book was a bit fresher than a lot of his recent Spenser novels, even though it reminded me of his best novel, Early Autumn, in how he mentors Zebulon Sixkill in teaching him how to be a man and how to face his demons.

There were a lot of references to several favorite chara
Mar 19, 2012 Randy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
SIXKILLER is the last Spenser novel Parker completed before his death. He uses the real life story of Fatty Arbuckle, the silent film star accused of raping and accidentally killing a drunk young actress as the springboard for this story.

Jumbo Nelson is a giant in the film industry whose new movie is filming in Boston. A grossly overweight comedian, he gets caught up in a mess when a young woman dies while in his bedroom.

Spenser is asked by Martin Quirk, the captain in charge of the investigatio
Nov 27, 2011 Jennifer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-reads
I fell in love with Spenser when I was 17.

It was June, and I was trapped in summer school making up a gym credit that I should have taken my freshman year but had instead left so late that it threatened to keep me from graduating. To call summer school monotonous is to insult monotony. To call summer school gym class monotonous is the equivalent of slapping monotony in the face, Three Stooges style, and then giving it a noogie. I spent all my endless hours walking the school track in sweaty repe
The very last Spenser written by Robert B Parker - it's enough to make me weep! I have loved Spenser's cool, witty self most of my life, and have read and re-read each novel repeatedly. This one, sadly, has no Hawk in it all - Hawk is off doing his mercenary thing in the dessert lands of the middle east. In his absence, Spenser takes on a young Cree bodyguard, Zebulon Sixkill, or Z, as he is known. When Spenser and Z meet, they are on opposing sides, and Z is surprised to be easily defeated by S ...more
Parker's final Spenser novel. I will miss the occasional Spenser fix. This was a quick read, not one of my favorites, with too much time spent watching Susan nibble tiny bits of food. Her role in this particular piece seemed a bit overdone. The investigation itself features the usual good guy/bad guy routines and much of what one comes to expect and want from Parker.

I understand there will be more Spenser novels written by another. That seems so odd. I'll have to withhold judgment on that for n
Farewell Spenser, the likes of you (and Parker) may not come this way again -- in both the good and bad sense, don't you know. This was the last in Parker's long-running series, featuring the Boston edition of our knight-errant private dick with a deep moral sense, a good right hook, a taste for the bottle and the ladies. Like a finely-made clock, a Spenser mystery ticks along with satisfying regularity, moving inexorably towards a conclusion which, truth be told, the reader doesn't much give a ...more
John Freeman
Feb 07, 2014 John Freeman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A year and a half after his death and Robert B. Parker is still cranking out books. But the run is over and Parker has written his last Spenser novel.

First, I want to say I love Parker and all his books, but he's been mailing in the Spenser novels for the last few years...the same relationship dance with Susan, revisiting the same moral issues, Spenser defending who he is and what he does, almost like Popeye with his, "I am what I am," stance.

That said, Sixkill was a page turner. Mainly because
Feb 22, 2016 theresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
love the new character parker created in zebulon "z" sixkill but didn't love the kind of weak ending in this one. the crime story seemed to be loosely based on the silent screen star Fatty Arbuckle's scandalous party where the young starlet Virginia Rappe was supposedly murdered. (Arbuckle was arrested and tried for the killing.)

overall it was a typical Spencerian read, long on conversation, not much description. Susan & Pearl & Rita Fiore all made appearances and were delightful, no Ha
Tom Kepler
Dec 21, 2013 Tom Kepler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Meet Zebulon Sixkill in this Spenser detective novel, Robert B. Parker's last novel before his death.

Having read almost all of Parker's Spenser novels, I read Sixkill curious as to how it compared to the other 40 novels in the Spenser series. I am glad to say that it is not a novel written with diminished capacity but contains the twists and turns, the humor and insights, and the action and introspection one comes to expect from reading the Spenser novels.

Zeb Sixkill is a Cree Native American In
Jul 05, 2014 Chuck rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I apparently started reading the Parker mysteries at the end instead of the beginning. In any case, this was a fun book to read and in the style of many mysteries of the last few decades it includes protagonists that are handsome, clever, muscular, intelligent and seem to be blessed with forty pounds of steroids. The sidekick in this book, a native American with the name of Zebulon Sixkill is terribly funny with his dry sense of humor. When asked about "What do you have to gain from working on t ...more
False Millennium
Was this the best Robert Parker I ever read? No. That would be The Godwulf Manuscript. When Mr. Parker died in January of last year, I genuinely mourned the loss. Robert Parker books were, for me, a mixed love affair. I would usually finish his books within an hour. He was famous for his large spacing and wide margins, the snappy patter which grew formulaic over time. If only life were that witty and sharp.

I've read the other reviews. It's interesting how many people were sick of Susan, and I w
Daniel Audet
Jun 20, 2011 Daniel Audet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading "Sixkill" was a bitter sweet experience for me, having finished it yesterday.
Sweet because I love the Spenser Series and Zebulon Sixkill would have made a great addition to the character line-up.
Bitter because Robert is no longer with us.

The plot, a tale about a very screwed up movie star, a dead groupie and gangsters with their hand in the till, willing to kill anyone to keep it there, and how Spenser stays alive long enough to solve the complex mystery - begins with Parker setting h
Giovanni Gelati
May 09, 2011 Giovanni Gelati rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sixkill rules! I want to take a different tact with this, as I am huge fan of the author‘s work. Okay he passed away, this is his last work, yes, I am sad. But instead let’s celebrate this last work for the fun and frolic that it is. No Hawk, total bummer, but he seems to have had a plan with that, maybe the new author will take it to new heights, a new resurgence with a fresh approach and set of eyes on the characters. I have read every Spenser novel , yes every one, and have enjoyed each one i ...more
Jun 13, 2011 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The late Robert Parker has left us with a legacy of mystery genre writing that is often imitated but never surpassed. I have been reading Spenser's exploits since the much slender The Godwulf Manuscript was written many years ago. In Sixkill, the tough guy with the heart and mind of a poet takes on an assignment for his cop friend, Martin Quirk, and is hired by Rita Fiore, his lawyer friend who wants to jump his bones. Did the drug and alcohol addicted Hollywood star that nobody can stand kill h ...more
Sep 15, 2012 Diane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sixkill is the last book Robert B. Parker wrote before his death in 2010. For Spencer fans, which I am, it's difficult to accept that Spencer will no longer be around to wisecrack in the face of death and beat up bad guys when he's caught in impossible situations. I do have to say, though, that I won't miss perfect little Susan, with her almost anorexic eating habits. I hate the way she sips her wine. Drink it, already, Susan! I never understood what we were supposed to think about this characte ...more
May 12, 2011 Joy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Now this book is why I go to the library and check out new fiction -- the last book by Parker, who died in January, 2010. AND it's a Spenser book. Spenser again tries to 'rescue' from self-destruction someone in whom he sees some potential. This time it is Zebulon Sixkill, a young former football-playing Native American. Spenser on Susan: "It always seemed to me that being with her was enough, and that everything else, good or bad, was just background noise." Susan: "Winning fistfights means bei ...more
Mar 18, 2014 Bethany rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like all the later Spenser novels, this one features short chapters, wide margins and lots of blank space. But in between are the characters I've come to love Robert B. Parker for - introspective, funny, and engaging. This was a surprise find in our used bookstore, and neither my dad nor I had read it yet. Always a nice treat :)
Sixkill (Spenser #39) by Robert B. Parker (G.P. Putnam's Sons 2011) (Fiction - Mystery) is the last of the Spenser novels written by Robert B. Parker, who died shortly after its completion. This is a shame, for this book introduced a new character and ally for Spenser: Zebulon Sixkill, a Cree indian and former college football star. Sixkill becomes an apprentice to Spenser when Spenser is hired to investigate the murder of a young girl by a sex and drug addled movie comic who is simply a bad per ...more
May 13, 2011 Cathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
It is a melancholy time - reading the final book of one's favorite author (at least one of them). Here he is, Spenser in all his glory: loving Susan, being true to himself, fighting the bad guys, nurturing the good guys, seeing honor and integrity and humanity in a young man the world had cast aside. I read Parker for his characters because over the decades they have become my friends. This novel doesn't disappoint-the language is crisp, the plot tight, the characters so very consistently themse ...more
Jul 22, 2015 Kit rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recentlyread
sure, there are only so many plots to go around, but this one really feels like a retread.
Wayland Smith
Jul 15, 2015 Wayland Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a bittersweet book to read. I read a lot, and widely, so it really means something when I say that the Spenser series is my favorite, narrowly edging out the Dresden Files. And this is Parker's last Spenser story. The author died shortly after completing this one, fittingly, according to what I read, passing at his writing desk.

In this story, an actor with a bad reputation gets accused of murder. Spenser, of course, is hired to investigate the case. The actual murder investigation almos
Alex Ames
Aug 13, 2014 Alex Ames rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What can I say? I read my first Robert Parker book (I think it was the Godwulf Manuscript) in 1984 and I hated it. It was brought to me under the label "A true Raymond Chandler successor", whom I coveted at that time together with Dashiel Hammet. About thirty years later I had watched Tom Selleck in his wonderful personification as the lone alcoholic Parker character Jessie Stone and started reading the novels. After that, I took a second attempt at Spenser. And man, did we become friends! I sto ...more
Mar 07, 2014 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dawn Lopata loved guys and the guys in return loved Dawn, plenty of them, loved Dawn. Until one day the movies rolled into town and along with the movies came the movie stars one particular star being Jeremy Franklin Nelson a.k.a. Jumbo Nelson. Dawn Lopata wanted to make out with Jumbo Nelson so she did but ended up dead, Jumbo, along with his fearsome looking bodyguard Zebulon Sixkill were the only ones present at the time of death.

Rita Fiore skilled lawyer and long-time friend of Spenser had b
Mar 05, 2014 Jill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the 39th novel by Parker featuring Spenser (no first name ever given), a fearless and witty Boston private detective.

293 pages. One afternoon. These things are addictive. The ostensible plot of the novel is the investigation into the guilt or innocence of Jumbo Nelson, a disgusting Fatty Arbuckle-like actor accused of raping and murdering a young Boston non-virgin suburbanite. Rita Fiore, the best defense counsel in Boston, hires Spenser to find out what actually happened in the girl’s d
Mar 05, 2015 Jerry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
We’re only about a quarter way through the Spenser booklist; and didn't realize “Sixkill” was the final novel (#39) in the series before Parker’s sudden death, not counting the continuations for the estate by Ace Atkins. We enjoyed it as representing the consistently easy and fun to read tales in the set. Although Hawk is not featured (but of course lover Susan is, with all the usual elements of their mutual admiration society in full bloom), a Cree Indian of massive bodily proportions named “Si ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Please add image for Sixkill audio book. 8 23 Dec 22, 2015 03:24PM  
  • Robert B. Parker's Wonderland (Spenser, #41)
  • Robert B. Parker's Killing the Blues (Jesse Stone, #10)
  • Bel-Air Dead (Stone Barrington, #20)
  • Taken (Elvis Cole, #15; Joe Pike, #4)
  • Shock Wave (Virgil Flowers, #5)
  • Poodle Springs (Philip Marlowe, #8)
  • Robert B. Parker's Ironhorse (Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch, #5)
  • Robert B. Parker's Blind Spot (Jesse Stone, #13)
  • The Glass Rainbow (Dave Robicheaux, #18)
  • A Purple Place for Dying (Travis McGee #3)
  • In Pursuit of Spenser: Mystery Writers on Robert B. Parker and the Creation of an American Hero
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database named Robert B. Parker.
Robert Brown Parker was an American crime writer. His most famous works were the novels about the private detective Spenser. ABC television network developed the television series Spenser: For Hire based on the character in the late 1980s; a series of TV movies based on the character were also produced.
More about Robert B. Parker...

Other Books in the Series

Spenser (1 - 10 of 44 books)
  • The Godwulf Manuscript (Spenser, #1)
  • God Save The Child (Spenser, #2)
  • Mortal Stakes (Spenser, #3)
  • Promised Land (Spenser, #4)
  • The Judas Goat (Spenser, #5)
  • Looking For Rachel Wallace (Spenser, #6)
  • Early Autumn (Spenser, #7)
  • A Savage Place (Spenser, #8)
  • Ceremony (Spenser, #9)
  • The Widening Gyre (Spenser, #10)

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“Don’t you think we’re oversexed?” “You’re the shrink,” I said. “You tell me.” “Yes,” she said. “I believe we are.” “What should we do about it?” I said. “Encourage the pathology,” Susan said, and smiled her rebelangel smile at me.” 0 likes
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