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Chance (Spenser, #23)
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Chance (Spenser #23)

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  6,882 Ratings  ·  135 Reviews
Mafia princess Shirley Meeker wants her husband back. So does her father the kingpin and a few other shady characters. Spenser and hawk head to Vegas to find Anthony Meeker and to confirm their suspicion that all these people aren't just missing Anthony's smile. And Spenser has to make some sense of some very disorganized crime...
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published (first published 1996)
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After being released from prison, Spenser decides to rob three Las Vegas casinos and recruits ten other guys to help him …. Oh, wait. That’s the plot of Ocean’s 11.

OK…Spenser’s friend Doug is getting married and the groomsmen go to Vegas for a bachelor party but someone doses them with ruffies so they can’t remember a wild night and they can’t find Doug. Spenser and the others have a hilarious adventure trying to retrace their steps….Damn. That was The Hangover.

Uh…Susan breaks up with Spenser an
Bodosika Bodosika
Oct 08, 2016 Bodosika Bodosika rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting and a short read!
Brent Soderstrum
This is book #23 of Parker's Spenser series and this one tends to be a little confusing. Read it in a few days so you keep all the characters straight.

This book starts out with Spenser being hired by one mobster to find his son-in-law who has disappeared-for his daughter's sake. The son-in-law was working for daddy transporting money between mobsters and then he is gone. Anthony loves to gamble (and he is bad at it) and messes around on Shirley quite a bit. Spenser heads to Vegas and things get
Gregory Drake
Jan 16, 2013 Gregory Drake rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love reading Parker's Spenser novels, especially when his compadre Hawk is also involved with the "nitty gritty." This was my 3rd reading of this novel, according to my notes. Read 1st time back in May 2001, then again in January 2005.

One can descern differences in his writing these tales over the years, since he did pen many, many Spenser tales. There have been times when I haven't always liked the complete plot lines of one of these novels, but have always loved the Spencer & Hawk style(s)
Jul 30, 2013 Joe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Not one of Parker's most profound episodes but I still like Spenser's brand of doing the right thing and follow through that demonstrates his respect for individuals and culture. He supports everybody's right to proceed with their own version of success or folly and thereby has created a stand for himself in the industry as formidable and upright.

Spenser steps into the middle of a fiasco and simply eliminates his opponent's (definition of opponent: non-client) advantage in order to let the chips
Cornelis Broekhof
Aug 28, 2011 Cornelis Broekhof rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Spenser formula never fails to entertain. I am finding that I increasingly enjoy reading about the lives and relationships of the main characters - Spenser, Susan, Hawk, Pearl the Wonderdog. The conversations between Spenser and Susan are always witty, sexy and insightful and the interchanges between Spenser and Hawk are always good for a laugh, if only because of their politically corrext racist humor. And within the stories there are sometimes sidelines that touch you in a way you would ne ...more
Of course I give this book 5 stars, it's iconic Robert B Parker. I wish I could take a class of middle schoolers and read his YA novels to them and discuss the life lessons he imparts. Love it, love it, love it, because it is always done in a really calm way. In Spenser's world, all the people that matter are always perfect. That's what makes these books so fun. You know that's not real life, but it's OK. Mostly Parker speaks to boys who are figuring things out and who might be inclined to fly o ...more
Jan 04, 2014 J.D. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
There is nothing special or different about these"stories" but I never get tired of Spenser, Susan and Hawk's interactions.
Sep 08, 2016 Canavan rated it really liked it
✭✭✭ ...more
Dec 26, 2015 Steve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't remember reading this one before. Great novel that takes place mostly in Las Vegas. Hawk is in this one, so I get plenty of the dialogue I love! Great last book for 2015!
I read it and said to myself, this is a keeper. Then I went back and read it again. It's still a keeper.
Eric Plume
Parker didn't write this book. He assembled it from a kit based in books he'd written previous. Still a good novel, but I wish The Man had put some proper effort into it.
Nancy Shaffer
My friend loves his books. I'm not as impressed.
Nov 18, 2016 Barb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love to read Robert Parker's Spenser novels.
Mar 24, 2017 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Boulder Boulderson
Pretty good as far as these go. There's a disappointingly small number of confrontations and amount of casual violence; the climax is great though so its worth reading if you're a Spenser fan.
Cherie In the Dooryard
Mar 15, 2017 Cherie In the Dooryard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
One of the best Spensers I've read in a while. Not too much Susan, lots of Hawk (though he wasn't given much to do) and an actual compelling plot. One star taken off for that continued fetish with how Susan eats. I do like how Parker allows their relationship to mature, however.
Feb 02, 2014 David rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 obsession of using descriptions of food, meals, etc. as filler material in a lame attempt to set the scene.

This made sense is one scene where Spenser takes his client to a nice restaurant and how they both seeme
Jul 25, 2014 Shuriu rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 22, 2017 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parker
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 13, 2015 Charles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story is one of the most convoluted Spenser novels. One of the major figures of organized crime in the Boston area hires Spenser to locate the husband of his only daughter, but only after Hawk turned him down. While Spenser agrees to take the job, it is clear that he is not hearing the entire story. The missing man is Anthony Meeker, and once Spenser starts his probe, he learns that Anthony, “is as dumb as a rake handle.” People who have encountered Anthony refer to him as “phony Tony”, and ...more
The book was good but after a while of everything going on in the story, I needed a flowchart to keep it all straight. I got lost at least once with who was after whom and what their stake in it was. I think this book suffered a bit from too much going on for me to keep up with.

The "prologue" of this book made absolutely no sense whatsoever. The book would have been fine without it. Or, at the very least, some explanation as to who it's about and why it's there. Otherwise, it wasn't needed and j
Jeff Yoak
Save me from Spenser novels narrated by Burt Reynolds!

In the mid-nineties when audiobooks started to become mainstream and substantial products, the industry went through a brief period of thinking that to make one a big hit, it might be a good idea to get a name actor that people would recognize to do the narration. This was short-lived as narration is a radically different skill from acting. Most, but not all, actors who were brought in to do this were really, really terrible. It might be inev
Apr 11, 2009 Joy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I almost gave this book five stars because it was just so refreshing to
be reading a Spenser book again, but there are some I've liked more.
This book involves kidnapping and Las Vegas gambling. It was an insider
look at 'counting' cards. There were refreshing observations: All rock
music sounded to me like glass being ground. There was wisdom: You
can't help people who don't want to help you. There was wit: Spenser:
"There's a gun on your belt, right side. Take it out with the first two
fingers of you
Aug 16, 2015 Jerry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Chance” is kind of a typical Spenser, mid-career in novel #23 of the original Parker 39. Our faithful private eye is hired to find the missing hubby of a mobster’s daughter; and before long, Spenser and Hawk are tailing people left and right in Las Vegas, where much of the tale takes place. That venue cut back on the often tiresome interactions with Susan, a development that many fans welcome, as do we.

There’s not a great deal more to say about the story – the plot was certainly not that origin
Almost all of the characters are mobsters or mobster-hires. Hawk is very present and necessary. The action is in Boston and Las Vegas. And, of course, all is not as it seems. There's some clever double-crossing. I like Susan's comments about people who have the psychological need to lose.
Joy Clark, a reviewer, has a great way to use categories to summarize Spenser books:

There was wisdom: You
can't help people who don't want to help you. There was wit: Spenser:
"There's a gun on your belt, right si
Dec 27, 2014 Dee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mystery
My husband has become a Robert B. Parker fan. Having read most if not all of the Jesse Stone books, he now led me to read Spenser books. We were great fans of Robert Urich in the old Spenser for Hire TV show so here I am. Parker was a great writer, does a lot of dialogue for his stories with simple scene settings. They make a fast read and they are always entertaining. In this book, a Boston mobster comes in with his daughter and hires Spenser to find his son-in-law, who has just disappeared in ...more
May 17, 2014 Metagion rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ever have one of those days when things start out one way and end up in another, with a lot of things that don't add up in between? Well, in this game of "Chance" Boston gumshoe Spencer (and Hawk, his silent-but-forceful partner) get a case involving the daughter of one of the local Mobs, to find the lady's missing husband. Seems simple enough, right? That was true until Spencer uncovers the woman's husband in Las Vegas with skimmed money, another gangster's wife, and a few other things along th ...more
Parker, Robert B - 23rd in Spenser series

Spenser is hired out on a marital matter that entangles him with the mob. When Boston hoodlum, Julius Ventura, approaches Spenser about finding his daughter's missing husband, it's clear he's not telling them the whole truth, but Spenser nevertheless agrees to take the case.

I love Parker's books. Great sense of place, crisp dialogue, wonderful characters--okay, maybe not Susan--, and tight story. It is always a pleasure to read him.
Connie N.
As always, Parker entertains the reader with humor, intelligence, and an interesting case. Spenser, although he hangs out with plenty of bad guys and kills lots of people in the line of duty, is a very appealing and enjoyable character. Girlfriend Susan is also charmingly amusing, and Hawk is sexy and over-the-top. The crime is probably pretty predictable, but the development of the characters and the interaction between them never fails to amuse me. There's lot of clever repartee. A very quick ...more
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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 45 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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“Susan came into the living room with her cowboy boots on and no other clothes. “Howdy,” I said.” 0 likes
“Thing about getting a place with a great view,” Hawk said, “is, after you moved in and looked at the great view for a few days, you get used to it and it ain’t a great view anymore. It just what you look at out your window.” 0 likes
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