The Boxer and the Spy
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The Boxer and the Spy

3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  662 ratings  ·  85 reviews
Another teen thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of the Spenser mysteries. When a shy high school student?s body is found washed up on the shore of a quiet New England beach town?an apparent suicide?fifteen-year-old Terry Novak doesn?t know what to think. Something just doesn?t add up, so he decides to do some investigating of his own with the help of his b...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published May 1st 2008 by Philomel
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Full disclosure - I am a Robert B Parker fanatic. His Hemingwayesque style of writing is the key to the revealing of 'human nature truths' that is Parker's hallmark.

So, this is one of two books he has written for middle school/high school kids. Clearly, this is Parker's image of the 'birth' of his iconic Spenser and Susan Silverman characters - i.e. what they would have been like as 9th graders. Wise beyond their years, open to listening to adult mentors, learning how to be what they grow up to...more

Parker, R. B. (2009). The boxer and the spy [Recorded by S. Brick] [CD]. New York, NY: Listening Library.

Genre: Mystery


Format: Audio (4 CDs, 4:12 hours)

Selection: Follett


In Robert B. Parker’s second young adult novel (Philomel, 2008) he takes readers to his hometown of Boston, where young Terry Novak and his friends try to discover why a quiet isolated classmate, Jason Green, would commit suicide. Terry is unconvinced that Jason committed suicide or that he used steroids, which st...more
Katrina Burchett
Jason Green overheard a conversation and soon after he was dead. Terry Novak and Abby Hall are on a mission to find out what happened to Jason. When some of their friends join in to help, they form a spy network and they are very serious about being detectives. But there is an adult who wants to put an end to their investigation and he’s using one of their classmates to keep them from finding out the truth. If he can.
Jason: He lost his father and his mother got drunk a lot. He didn’t like sports...more
Book Review
Jason Green, a shy high school student was found washed up on the shore of New England beach town; he committed suicide linked to steroids. Terry Novak a fifteen year old boxer in training doesn’t know what to think, he knew Jason Green and he knew that Jason wasn’t the type that would be doing steroids. With his best friend Abby’s help, they start doing some investigating of their own. Little do they know that asking question puts them in grave danger and they are going to have to fi...more
I might be one of the few adults who hasn't read a Robert B. Parker novel, so why not start with one of his young adult titles? I remember discussion of this mystery at a Abe Lincoln book award meeting a few years ago so I thought I'd give it a try.

Terry Novak is fifteen and in training to be a boxer. When classmate Jason Green's body turns up dead on the shore, Terry starts asking questions. Unfortunately Parker uses the author's technique called All Adults Are Idiots, which I'm not a big fan o...more
A few chapters in, started losing interest. Halfway through and all interest was gone.
The book wasn't exactly bad, I just found it poorly executed and all of the characters were boring.
There was nothing believable about any of it.
I was looking forward to a good young detective story and ended up with a group teenagers who think they know everything.
The Boxer and the Spy is about 15-year-old Terry who is convinced that he knows everything about his classmate whose death was ruled as a suicide. Wh...more
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It's always nice to give my mind a break and read a YA/Teen book every once in a while.

"For Joan, who needs no blue butterfly." Found out what that was about later in the book and chuckled.

On his nightly walk Jason Green is murdered just because he overheard something he shouldn't have. The guy made it look like a suicide as a result of steroids so the police thought nothing of it. But when one of Jason's classmates, Terry Novak, hears about his death he doesn't believe any of it. He sets out to...more
This is my first Parker, and now I'm curious about his adult titles, the one's that have been best sellers for decades. There are several things to like about this YA mystery: Terry and Abby are believable fifteen year olds and a good couple, the pacing is swift, the crime and solution make sense. My favorite line comes about 2/3 of the way through, when Terry's boxing coach, George, tells him that he's coaching him to be a good man. That piece was powerful, as were all the explorations of cruel...more
Jan 27, 2009 Teen rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: crime
Review: High School Principal Bullard and a female member of a small beach town government bureaucracy are having an affair, plus they are trying to pull off a scheme, involving student built houses, that will financially benefit them both. All is under control until, a high school student, Jason Green, washes up on the beach. Bullard, and his governmental mistress, Mrs. Trent know they must do some major information control to keep the lid on. But Terry and his ‘girl’ friend’, Abby, don’t think...more
Michelle Rocha
Plot and writing style make this book a winner for reluctant readers, but advanced readers have lots to love about it too. The story begins with a dead teenager and a high school freshman who just can't let it go. The two main characters, Terry and Abby, are the kind of people we all wish we could be. Their courage and persistence is especially unusual in a high school environment where the pressure to conform and to know your place in the social hierarchy mean survival. I appreciate that the bu...more
Mark Soone
I would probably rate this one a 3.5 if that were an option, but due to the personal intrigue of the boxing theme rounded up. Funny that I have been meaning to read one of parkers detective series or stand alones for a few years, and so far have only read his westerns (I hate westerns, but loved Parker's!), and this which I enjoyed a great deal. I have often heard people refer me to parker due to my enjoyment of Coben's works??? Not sure if they are similar, or just the way the recs have played...more
Jun 19, 2009 Patti rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Teens, mystery & sports fiction readers, fans of Robert B. Parker
This book was a return to the best of Robert B. Parker. It was a good story of a young boxer, Terry, and his best friend, Abby who choose to find out what happened when the death of boy from school doesn't add up. It's declared a suicide, but this detecting duo don't believe that Jason had any reason to take his own life. The case expands to the captain of the football team, possibly the principal, and, impossibly to them, a town selectwoman running for governor. Terry also begins to learn and u...more
The book i just finsh was the The Boxer And The Spy by Robert B. Parker. I was really into this book because i enjoy boxing that what caught me into this book. What i dislike about this book was that it was long im not into long book but i wanted to finsh the whole thing because it really intersting. There is alot of characters in this story but the two main one are Terr,Abby,Kip Carter and last Mr.Bullard. one other character is George Terry boxing trainer and there more characters thtat help...more
Lonna Pierce
Loved it. Parker writes an insightful YA novel with a boxing metaphor as a wise construct to reveal how a boy can mature to a man with control, discipline & honor. Teenager, Jason Green, is dead of an apparent suicide, but it doesn't make sense to Terry and his friend, Amy. It turns out this is only the tip of a very ugly iceberg involving Kip Carter, All-American football star & juicer, a beastly bully of a high school principal, and a candidate for governor. Best of all is George, Terr...more
Homewood Public Library
Jason Green washed up on the beach. The media reported it as a suicide, implying that it was linked with traces of steroids in the teen's system. But Terry, Abby and a few others don't believe Jason took steroids, or that he took his own life. They start digging for information, which leads to threats of suspension from the sketchy principal and threats of a beating from the obviously over-steroided football player Kip. Terry and Abby don't give up, but they do get sneakier. As Terry spends his...more
Morris Graham
I usually don't read teen fiction, but in my research for my own novel Warzone: Nemesis, I needed whatever I could find on boxing for a chapter I was writing. The MC of the story, Terry Novak, gets curious about a shy teen boy's death and starts to investigate. He enlists the aid of a girl he is sweet on, who is the "spy" half of the team, while they investigate a conspiracy of corruption both in the school they go to, and a local government official. What drew me to the book, as I said, was wan...more
Douglas Cootey
Light, airy text. Short chapters. Small town mystery solved by teenagers. Boxing chapters served as metaphors for life. Thoughts on love, sex, and adulthood. Overall, a very good read. Engaging characters. Not overly involved plot that touches upon teenage feelings on isolation, responsibility, friendship, etc. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

My only complaint is that teenagers rarely think or say "What do I know about X, I am only 15". My experience with actual 15yos is that they think they are alread...more
I haven't ever read a Robert B. Parker novel, and I can understand what everyone is saying about his incredible dialogue. Terry is not an overly complicated boy, with the basic motivations of an essentially good person. He is head-over-heels for the flirtatious, intelligent Abby, and the two of them banter continually about sex even though they've never had it and aren't sure they want to have it. The zen-like wisdom of the capable George balances the easy back and forth of the pair and the chat...more
David Ward
The Boxer and the Spy by Robert B. Parker (Philomel Books 2008) (Fiction - Teen) is one of the master's few forays into the world of mystery books for young readers. The plot revolves around a group of young high-schoolers who band together to solve a mystery in their hometown. Along the way they manage to overcome injustice and to defeat any number of prejudices of various sorts. The author's approach to this story is a step more sophisticated than the stories in the "Encyclopedia Brown" myster...more
Spenser lite for teens. That's not a bad thing. Parker clearly had strong feelings about masculinity and moral codes and it's kind of fun to see him work with a young male protagonist figuring those things out.
Dec 16, 2011 Jill rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2011
While a murder mystery, a more important theme of The Boxer and the Spy is how teenagers can do the things they set their minds to, despite the limitations of not being adults. Robert B. Parker also makes an understandable case for how learning to fight, in this case, boxing, can give people the confidence and self-control that allows them to avoid unnecessary violence.

This book contains drugs, homosexuality, infidelity, sex, smoking, and swearing.
Kelly Thielen
Easy-to-read mystery with high school detective team. Reluctant readers will like the white space and the short chapters. Average mystery that includes some boxing and little romance.

Booktalk Notes: When shy Jason Green's body washes up on a beach and the cause of death is determined to be related to steroid use, his classmates don't believe it. In fact, Terry Novak and his friend Abby are especially suspicious and make it their job to investigate. When they start getting close to an answer, thr...more
This novel was quite entertaining and enjoyable. It was interesting to see Parker take a 15 year old character and start to build him into the same kind of self-contained man that we see in Spenser. Terry is also somewhat of a loner, with a dead father and always drunk mother, but he raises above this disadvantage. He has found a father figure in a retired boxer, George, who is teaching Terry to box and how to be a man. This relationship is really more interesting than the plot itself, and in so...more
While fascinating in its exploration of boxing, the story was too predictable and fairly thin.
Rena Maureen
The description of this book is for a different Parker novel. This is NOT about the Jesse Stone character.

I am presently at page 81 of the mystery. I have been a big fan of Parker's for many years. I will miss him. This is a library book listed for young adult readers but wanted to see how he portrayed stories to young people and how his writing entices them to read his other stories when they get older.
MY REVIEW:...this book should not be listed for young adults section in the library. Theme t...more
This is one of the three books Spenser has written for "young readers." A shy high school boy's body is washed up on the shore of
a quiet New England town. A casual friend of the dead boy doubts the
verdict of suicide and along with his girlfriend begins an investigation of what really happened. There was wonderful character
development of these two teens and their very positive relationship.
The boy is studying boxing, a hobby of Parker's, with a wise older man,
who gives lots of wise counsel.
Alec Yada
The boxer and the spy is a suspenseful book about a local town boxer named Terry and Abby (his girlfriend but doesn't say) hear of a tragic story of a kid named Jason Green who commented suicide by over dossing on steroids or 'roids as they call it in the book. Terry and Abby don't think that he killed himself, so they do some undercover CSI work. This book is full of suspense,detective work, and fighting here and there. I would recommend this book to anyone who like detective and fighting.
OK Dad
Classic Parker, but toned down a bit. There's still some sex and a ton of really fun innuendo -- ahh, to be 15-years old again, but overall I'd let my 15-year old read it.

Hope he follows it up, since the characters are young and likable, but realistically, how many mysteries can a couple of high school freshman get involved in.

Look at me, using the word "realistically" while discussing a mystery tome. Silly rabbit.
as we have come to expect from parker, this was very BRIEF - huge margins, large type, chapters that are only 2 page long & thick pages. more of a novella than a novel, really. but the story was decent, and some of the characters were endearing - getting a tiny glimpse into the mind of and adolescent boy was entertaining! other characters were too stock - outrageously stereotypical at times.

fun little thursday night read ...
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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
More about Robert B. Parker...
The Godwulf Manuscript (Spenser, #1) Sixkill (Spenser, #39) Chance (Spenser, #23) Painted Ladies (Spenser, #38) Split Image (Jesse Stone, #9)

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