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Hush Money (Spenser #26)

3.85  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,577 Ratings  ·  127 Reviews
"Parker says he'll keep writing Spenser novels as long as the public wants to read them, which probably means he'll need to keep writing them for the rest of his life. Spenser is 'the very model of a modern major shamus, '" proclaimed The Boston Globe of Robert B. Parker's most recent New York Times bestseller, Sudden Mischief. With Hush Money, Parker adds another classic ...more
Hardcover, 309 pages
Published March 8th 1999 by Putnam Adult
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Gotta Have 'Em
319th out of 1,023 books — 1,926 voters
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Best Robert B. Parker Mysteries
36th out of 59 books — 31 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Spenser ends up working two cases pro bono after Hawk and Susan both ask him for his help. Since he owes Hawk about a thousand favors as well as probably five figures worth of expenses for ammunition alone, it’s perfectly understandable that he’d work for free on that one, but he should charge Susan double just for being so damn annoying.

Hawk asks Spenser to help a professor that’s the son of an old friend of his. The professor was denied tenure because of a smear campaign that claimed he had a
Like all of the Spenser books, this one has a whole lot going on and you can get lost easily among all the different twists and turns. And also like the books in this series, it is quite funny but can drive one crazy at the same time. Mr. Parker had a way with words and balanced it with such great humor it's hard to stay away from his books for too long. I like that we get a little more background on Hawk's character in this book. I think he's my favorite character in this series, though I love ...more
Dec 30, 2010 Chuck rated it it was amazing
100 out of 100 books for 2010. I figgin' did it!

Hush Money, along with Sudden Mischief and Small Vices, form a trilogy of Parker's absolute best novels and the best of the Spenser series. In each of these, a major character--Susan, Spenser, and, in the case of Hush Money, Hawk--reveals something about her or his past, proves vulnerable, and grow in some way. This is also the first, and, I think, the only novel in the series in which Spenser takes a case pro bono as a favor to Hawk. On the surfac
Jul 22, 2014 Metagion rated it it was amazing
This time Hawk brings Spenser a case involving a gent who didn't get tenure at the local college, and when there's a suspicious death involved (a staged suicide) and things don't add up, it could be one hell of a ride! The second case involved a woman whose ex-lover is stalking her, and develops a rather *troublesome* crush on Spenser...(which he would've acted on had it not been for Susan being the love of his life) and who Susan had to *forcefully* dissuade from further bothering her 'honeybun ...more
Apr 09, 2016 Jerry rated it liked it
“Hush” is one of the later Spenser novels (#26 of 39), and is really two independent stories in one, both involving unpaid favors for friends! First, Hawk wants Spenser to help discover why a certain professor was knocked out of a tenure award apparently due to a rumor he had jilted a homosexual lover, a student who thereafter committed suicide. The other case was for a long-time girlfriend of Susan’s, who was being stalked by some unknown party and wanted it stopped.

That latter tale was somewh
Nov 10, 2013 Tom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is definitely a superior Spenser novel. Spenser gets called into two individual cases, one at the behest of Susan and the other at Hawk's. A friend of Susan's is getting stalked, and it turns out she's halfway to crazytown herself. It's great that this woman harasses and eggs on Spenser until he's discombobulated, but it's always been interesting how he kisses these random women - or is at least kissed by these random women. On Hawk's case, RBP talks a lot about gay and racial politics, whi ...more
Apr 16, 2015 Marti rated it liked it
There is a cute cover illustration--a bright pink piggy bank with a bill around its snout. This time Spenser and Hawk are pursuing two different cases--one of which Hawk brought to him. A young man was pushed out his window, rather than jumping himself. It involves a scheme which bilks gay men about being outed. Susan asks him to help an old friend, KC Roth, who is being stalked. KC obsesses about Spenser, and is a general nuisance.
Aug 13, 2015 Kit rated it really liked it
Shelves: recentlyread
Realizing that most later Spensers seem to be written at least partly in the satirical or parodic modes, this entry is one time that the flattening/cartoonishness of the satirical mode keeps the novel from achieiving its full potential. Parker's covering some unusual ground for him here and I hoped for more interesting treatment of it than it wound up being. Still, pretty compelling read until a late plot twist strains credulity.
Mar 20, 2016 Paul rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Spenser has two cases, one from Hawk and one from Susan. Hawk wants him to help a black college professor who was refused tenure on the basis of rumours that he was gay, he had an illicit affair with a student, and the student committed suicide as a result of a broken heart. Susan wants him to help a friend who claims she is being stalked.
The plot surrounding the black college professor is a typical Spenser novel -- take a case for no pay, find there is something we
Kevin Doyle
Jul 22, 2014 Kevin Doyle rated it liked it
"Hush Money" is a problematic book for the Spenser series. On its own, it's pretty darned engaging, with the satiric outsider's look at the academic world that Parker does best. Any reader of his books can tell that his memories of his time in the university environment aren't exactly fond, and "Hush Money's" focus on the process of tenure is probably the best example of this. So from a one-on-point of view, this is one of his good ones. It's not quite the level of "Promised Land" or "Early Autu ...more
Mar 30, 2015 Kelsey rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, mystery
This author excelled at writing snappy comebacks in his character dialogue.

However. That's the only positive thing I can say about this book, so I'm giving two stars for the witty banter (of which there was actually too much; how about a little more action/description?). I admit that detective fiction isn't my usual fare--this was another book that a relative handed me and insisted I read--so I can't speak to Parker's overall writing style or other Spenser stories. I tried to be open-minded, but
Jul 08, 2015 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Entirely lived up to expectations. Jawdroppingly slick, probably does not stand up to terribly close inspection but why bother? Just stand back and admire...

Hawk's implicit explanation of why he never got an education rings horribly true. There's an interesting comparison to be drawn between Hawk, who never told, and KC, Susan's stalked friend who tells all the wrong things in the wrong way and for the wrong reasons, deeply annoying, but also sympathetic. KC's ex-husband Burt is only a minor cha
Aug 13, 2014 Randy rated it really liked it

"Parker says he'll keep writing Spenser novels as long as the public wants to read them, which probably means he'll need to keep writing them for the rest of his life. Spenser is 'the very model of a modern major shamus, '" proclaimed The Boston Globe of Robert B. Parker's most recent New York Times bestseller, Sudden Mischief. With Hush Money, Parker adds another classic to the legendary series, with a morally complex tale that pits the burly Boston P.I. and his redoubtable cohort, Hawk, again

Sherrill Watson
Feb 01, 2014 Sherrill Watson rated it really liked it
Spenser, Susan Silverman and Hawk are at it again. Spenser and Silverman are well-educated, Hawk not so much, and black. There are two plot lines, and a lot of entertainment. The main characters are witty and unpretentious, and the plots are good.

Spenser is hired by a black teacher (Robinson Nevins) who was passed over for tenure, and wants to know why. And there is a woman (KC Roth) who is being targeted (not without her encouragement) by a possible serial rapist.

Oh, and there's Pearl, the wond
Tim Healy
May 05, 2013 Tim Healy rated it really liked it
Another pretty good entry in the Spenser series. Spenser finds himself, again, taking on cases pro bono for his friends. One of them is at Susan's request; you would think that would bother him after the last book. The second one is for Hawk.

As a part of the case that Hawk brings him, we learn some interesting things about Hawk's past. This can be a tricky thing, and has to be handled very carefully. Parker handles it quite well. It never seems obtrusive, it's only explanatory of Hawk's interest
Apr 10, 2012 Rebecca rated it really liked it
I think the reasons I liked this book are the same reasons I like Spenser books in general. Spenser and Hawk are great characters. They are tough guys without being stupid; they are smart guys without being annoying. And their friendship comes through as real and believable. You can tell by the way they talk to each other that they have known each other for a long time. And the book is written with a lot of wit. So it’s fun to read. It deals with issues like prejudice and racism without reading ...more
Carolyn (in SC) C234D
You always know what you are going to get with Spenser--good dialogue and an interesting story line. A black professor is denied tenure because he is accused of leaving his young male lover, who in turn jumps out of a window. Only problem is, the professor (one of Hawk's oldest friends) is not gay, and Spenser shows that the student didn't jump but was thrown. There's also a side story of Spenser being stalked by an old friend of Susan. 8/10
Aug 18, 2014 Mary rated it it was ok
Audio Version is what promted a 2-star rating. The entire sound track is peppered with a ticking that slows down during normal events and speeds up when the tension in the narrative increases. When things get really intense, the ticking gets louder. I guess that's to let us know that the tension has increased.

Don't know how I made it through the whole book. Save yourself the time and money and skip this one.
Cathy Cusson
Aug 02, 2014 Cathy Cusson rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
This was a great insight into more of Hawk's character. I also loved the connection to Parker's Hitch and Cole series with Hawk and Spenser using one the same quotes by Clausewitz. A modern day version of the duo. I was a bit dismayed by Susan's display of temper. She's a bit above that sort of show, I would think.
Aug 18, 2015 Francisco rated it it was amazing
Professor Abdullah makes a mistake in judgement when blocking professor Robinson Nevins' tenure. Especially when Spenser is brought in to investigate.
The KC story could have gone away, but it was a good way to keep Susan's character into the book; otherwise, it would be only Spenser and Hawk.
Dec 10, 2015 Dee rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, mystery
Hawk brings an old friend in who asks Spenser to find out why his son was refused tenure at a local college. A very good mystery that includes university politics, discrimination against race and sexual preference. A second case deals with stalking. An excellent Spenser story.
Mar 30, 2016 Steve added it
Great as always. I know I've read most all of the Spenser books before, but this, like several of them, seems to be one I missed. The double plot line is easy to follow and it had a little bit of a surprise ending. No matter how they end, Spenser and Hawk always save the day.
P.D.R. Lindsay
Apr 26, 2013 P.D.R. Lindsay rated it really liked it
Raymond Chandler did it first, creating the modern Knight in Armour as the honest private detective with his creation, Philip Marlow. Robert Parker does a good job creating someone similar with Spenser.

His Spenser novels are a kind of boys' hero, 'good wins out' stories, a modern man's dream of being a knight to the rescue. In this novel Spenser and his friend Hawk right a wrong and find that a suicide was a murder and solve that too.

As a non-American I find the guns and beatings a little too vi
May 19, 2015 Mei rated it liked it
Shelves: crime
More Spenser. This is a later novel so his relationship with Susan is a lot more developed. And it's interesting to see he never gets older! But still an easy read so keep 'em coming. Although sad to see that Robert B Parker died this year.
Mar 23, 2016 Ed rated it really liked it
#26 in the Spenser series.

Spenser novel - Spencer agrees to help both Hawk's friend, whose professor son has been denied tenure because rumors have him involved with a homosexual's suicide, and Susan's friend, who is being stalked.
Aug 15, 2015 Penney rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Another name for this book could be "Private Investagators Have All the Fun." Most murder mysteries I read involve police or other sanctioned enforcement. The disorderly shenanigans are fun and the good guys aren't misogynistic. Win win!
Yvonne Mendez
Jan 23, 2012 Yvonne Mendez rated it liked it
The story, dialogue and mystery were OK, it was easy to guess who did it and what I particularly liked was the friendship between Spenser and his side-kick Hawk. I think the only thing that bothered me from the story is the portrayal of women, you get a lust-driven victim with tons of issues, or a backstabbing academic prude and even Spenser's girlfriend is an anorexic sex kitten, who just happens to be smart. Oh yeah and there is a cat fight, of course!

The last chapter was just a summary of the
Mar 16, 2016 Karen rated it really liked it
# 26. What's not to like about Spenser? Tough guy in his private eye business, softy with his romantic relationship and loyal to his friends and clients, he just keeps going strong!
Nov 04, 2015 Keith rated it it was ok
I hate to give a Spenser novel anything but a 3 or 4 stars, but the quality is slipping. For the first time, I found myself loosing interest and having to will myself read on.
Jan 25, 2013 Jeanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a neat little PI detective story. A very easy read. PI Spenser takes on 2 cases at once. Both pro-bono, the first case a student at the university is dead, and presumed to be a suicide. Along with the student, a professor is accused of being gay and causing the student to kill himself. The second case a woman believes she is being stalked. This victim fixates herself on Spenser. This could be very dangerous. Spenser and his side kickHawk do the leg work to find evidence to restore the p ...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 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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