Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Chance (Spenser, #23)” as Want to Read:
Chance (Spenser, #23)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Chance (Spenser #23)

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  5,899 ratings  ·  103 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, 328 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.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Chance, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Chance

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. RowlingThe Giving Tree by Shel SilversteinQuidditch Through the Ages by Kennilworthy WhispThe Lightning Thief by Rick RiordanThe Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Greenest Books Ever
86th out of 1,304 books — 430 voters
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. MartinAngela's Ashes by Frank McCourtFight Club by Chuck PalahniukInto the Wild by Jon KrakauerThe Green Mile by Stephen King
Best Books of 1996
36th out of 236 books — 113 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
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
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)
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 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
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
“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
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.
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.
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
One of my father's favs, & he has EVERY one ever written... thus, my rating of any book in this series is tainted by association. Haven't seen the old devil this millenium... & don't know if I ever can without risking my visage being plastered on America's Most Wanted. There is a special, extra-spicy room in hades reserved just for him.: ALL his beloved Spenser books will line the walls... but will only open to a sincere apology, and page by page must be earned by honest, sincere acknowl ...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
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
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
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
Spenser goes to Las Vegas twice--first with Hawk and Susan, later just with Hawk. Shirley Meeker, daughter of a Mafia kingpin wants to get her gambling husband back. Little does she know what this will lead to once she sets things in motion. Husband Anthony Meeker wants to gamble until he breaks the bank. Naturally, several people end up dead.
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.
I got this book almost free at a library sale and read the review on this app before I started reading it. It's my first Spenser book so I didn't know what to expect. Some of the reviews said the book was laugh out loud funny. I'm thinking, "Yeah, right." Well, the book was laugh out loud funny. I loved the interactions between Spencer and Hawk. Can't wait to read my next Spenser novel.
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.
So so, if Spenser can ever be said to be so-so. Even Spenser acknowledges the plot is lost on him, and the creaks show to the reader. But there's still the trademark wit and perception.
I am working my way they all off the Spenser books. Even though some are better than others, I love them all. Quick, easy, entertaining books, but isn't that what reading is supposed to be about?
Aug 17, 2015 Mei rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: crime
Spenser never ceases to be charming and his grammar lessons are just as charming as the descriptions of what he is cooking for Susan. Very lovely to read.
Hawk has got to be one of the greatest characters every written! Parker is a master at dry dialogue that has me gafawing out loud!
Kevin Beck
A decent Spenser story because Susan has a limited role. Very long and convoluted plot for a Parker book.
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.
I did read this book in Sept, do not know why I failed to rate it. I always like Parkers books.
« 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 Lullaby (Spenser, #40)
  • Robert B. Parker's Killing the Blues (Jesse Stone, #10)
  • Poodle Springs
  • Blood Shot (V.I. Warshawski, #5)
  • Free Fall in Crimson (Travis McGee #19)
  • Even the Wicked (Matthew Scudder #13)
  • Two Down (Crossword Mysteries, #2)
  • Three Witnesses (Nero Wolfe, #26)
  • Confess, Fletch (Fletch, #2)
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 43 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)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“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
More quotes…