Chance (Spenser, #23)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Chance (Spenser #23)

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  4,636 ratings  ·  77 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...
Paperback, 352 pages
Published April 1st 1997 by Berkley (first published 1996)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. RowlingThe Giving Tree by Shel SilversteinQuidditch Through the Ages by J.K. RowlingThe Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienThe Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Greenest Books Ever
84th out of 1,210 books — 392 voters
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. MartinAngela's Ashes by Frank McCourtFight Club by Chuck PalahniukInto the Wild by Jon KrakauerWe Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates
Best Books of 1996
31st out of 218 books — 99 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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...more
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...more
Gregory Drake
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)...more
Cornelis Broekhof
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
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...more
Jan 05, 2014 J.D. rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
There is nothing special or different about these"stories" but I never get tired of Spenser, Susan and Hawk's interactions.
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
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...more
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...more
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...more
Apr 04, 2014 Eliana added it
What can you say about a writer who can conjure up the likes of Spenser as well as Hawk. Their repartee is the hook and the plots and additional characters reel you in. Anyone who has lived in Boston will particularly enjoy the settings and characters. I am trying to finish up reading every single one of the Spenser series. Almost done!
Parker's Spenser novels are always good for a escape when I need one and today I decided to give this one yet another read. This is typical Parker- full of witty banter, flying fists, shady characters, and a good beer or two. I always enjoy watching Spenser and Hawk and Susan puzzle out a case.
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
Another fun Spenser novel. I do love the interplay between Hawk, Spenser and Susan. They're so confident in each other and in their place with each other. It's fun to see. Spenser never doubts for a second that Hawk will back him and I'm sure that goes both ways. Very enjoyable.
I really admire Parker's ability to move a story with dialogue. The conversations 'snap' between Spencer and Hawk and the colloquial syntax is genuine and thoroughly enjoyable.
Ted Mallory
Started off a little hokey/formulaic etc. but dog gone it, between Spenser's sarcastic humor and the combination of his insatiable need to figure things out and his old fashioned sense of chivalry and compassion- you just get drawn in and forgive whatever sexism & soft-racism Parker may have. Besides the relationships between Spenser and Susan, Hawk, and Pearl the wonder dog are all pretty endearing too. No wonder Spenser is a classic literary character (of course having been a fan of the 80...more
Joy Gerbode
I really enjoyed this murder mystery. The language is not like the cozies I usually read, but because I enjoyed the tv show Spenser: for Hire when it was on years ago I could almost "hear" the characters speaking in this book. Attitudes of the characters came through in the books (which the tv show was based on) and I liked reading it ... although I have to admit, the mystery itself was kind of shallow. The greater action was between characters, mob bosses, detectives with attitude, etc. Probabl...more
I continue to love Spencer, and Hawk, and Susan. Spencer is my hero... true to his own standard, witty dialogue, working within his sphere of influence.

mobster daughter's husband is missing... they hire Spencer & Hawk, who track him to Vegas, with another mobster's wife... the mobster's daughter is found dead in Vegas, the other mobster wants his wife back, and the 4 way dividend is trying to realign lines. Spencer stays with it because he wants closure, but also because he wants to locate a...more
Leslie Jem
Spenser investigates a missing person in Las Vegas.
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.
another good Spenser and Hawk mystery!!
joyce lynn
good book, w/ some great twists. BUT ... i must admit, i'm getting VERY tired of the "f" word. as prolific a write as Robert Parker is, you'd think he could come up w/ some new adjectives by now! granted, unfortunately it IS a word that's heavily used, BUT, that doesn't mean we have to help society enhance it to be a word of "meaning" like we did "ain't"! then again, like w/ some other things, that's just my opinion, for what it's worth, which isn't much in some people's minds.
After the first one hundred pages, I was really worried. Wasn't really going anywhere. And the tag on the cover of the book said "Spenser in Vegas!" which wasn't encouraging. What's next? Spenser in China? Ugh. But about a third of the way through when the first body unexpectedly appears, I loved it. Spenser and Hawk are great when they have no idea what's going on. And when the Russians try to whack Spenser, it's greatness.
Very entertaining. Never a dull moment, & funny too.

The blurb:
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 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 disorganised crime ...
Spenser and Hawk find themselves in the middle of a gang takeover attempt when Spenser is hires by one gang boss to find is daughter’s missing husband. Several trips to Las Vegas are involved as well as a murder or two. Typical Parker with a wisecracking Spenser and taciturn Hawk. Quick and light.

ISBN - 978-0-4251-5747-3, light suspense, Pages - 336, Print Size - R, Rating - 3.98
Brenda Margriet
A very good Spenser. Has lots of Hawk and Susan - always my favourite storylines.

Spenser is hired to find the missing husband of a gangster's daughter. But a long the way the daughter is killed, he rescues the abused wife of another gangster, and he mixes it up with the Russian mob.

Vintage Parker - prose is so crisp and clean, dialogue so real you can hear it in your head.
David Ward
Chance (Spenser #23) by Robert B. Parker (G.P.Putnam's Sons 1996)(Fiction - Mystery) is another of Parker's best efforts. This one features Spenser and Hawk in Las Vegas searching for the missing daughter of mobster Julius Ventura. This novel introduces the recurring character Bernard P. Fortunato, a very small but very competent private eye. 6/10, finished 8/28/11.
This is my first "Spencer novel", on which the TV series SPENCER FOR HIRE was based. Created by the late Robert B. Parker, this novel was impossible to put down. Besides Spencer, the private investigator, there were his girlfriend, partner, rival wise guys, double dealing and crossing, Boston and Las Vegas, even a loveable dog named Pearl. Great summer read.
Another typical mystery by Parker. It gets exciting at the end. They all do.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Robert B. Parker's Killing the Blues (Jesse Stone, #10)
  • Robert B. Parker's Lullaby (Spenser, #40)
  • Even the Wicked (Matthew Scudder #13)
  • Poodle Springs (Philip Marlowe, #8)
  • Free Fall in Crimson (Travis McGee #19)
  • Blood Shot (V.I. Warshawski, #5)
  • Confess, Fletch (Fletch, #2)
  • Three Witnesses (Nero Wolfe, #26)
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) Painted Ladies (Spenser, #38) Split Image (Jesse Stone, #9) Rough Weather (Spenser, #36)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »