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Potshot (Spenser #28)

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  3,594 ratings  ·  163 reviews
Spenser heads west to the rich man's haven of Potshot, Arizona, to defend the town and its transplanted Los Angeles yuppie residents from a 21st-century posse of desert rats, misfits, drunks and scavengers who are robbing the town blind and threatening residents' newly-discovered sense of harmony.
Hardcover, 294 pages
Published March 19th 2001 by Putnam Adult (first published 2001)
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Spenser deals in lead, friend.

A beautiful widow whose husband was murdered in the small desert town of Potshot, Arizona, hires Spenser. She thinks he was killed for standing up to a gang called The Dell that has been extorting local businesses. Spenser journeys to Potshot and confronts Preacher, the leader of gang, but he denies killing anyone.

Before he can get to the bottom of who murdered the husband, Spenser is approached by a group of town leaders who want to hire him to run off The Dell. S
Spenser goes cowboy. 'Nuff said.

Not really. But Parker does place Spenser in a different environment than Spenser is accustomed to.

POTSHOT opens with a beautiful blonde seeking Spenser's skills. Her husband has just been killed and she wants to hire Spenser to unravel the mystery. There's only one catch: Spenser has to leave Boston and go to Potshot, Arizona. Of course, Spenser takes the case.

While in Potshot, Spenser learns of the Dell gang, a mysterious group of people under the influence of
Tim Healy
Potshot is more an excuse to have a fun setup than it is a detective novel in the way that some Spenser novels are. It's Parker nodding, again, to one of his heroes. This time, it's his take on Dashiell Hammett's Red Harvest. Spenser is hired to look into a murder, and ends up also hired to clean out the bad element that's about to destroy the town of Potshot.

What's fun about this? He brings some help with him. Hawk, of course, is a given. He also brings Tedy Sapp, who stood in for Hawk in the l
Kirsten Kowalewski
Feb 12, 2008 Kirsten Kowalewski rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: other Spenser and Robert Parker fans
I zoomed through all the Spenser novels in graduate school and I always LOVED the relationship between Spenser and Susan Silverman. I thought they were great books, and now I have had an opportunity to go back and read a couple (my dad was clearing off his bookcases).

I was all set to like Potshot, but it just didn't move for me. I was ready to be wowed by seeing all Spenser's favorite thugs team up and it was really anticlimactic. The characters mostly weren't well drawn and their motivations d
Gary Baughn
As I've said before, one of the benefits of senility is one can reread a book and not remember it enough well enough to not impede the enjoyment of rereading it.
This is a typical Spenser, in fact it is a reworking of his previous reworking (which I cannot rembember the title) of The Magnificent Seven, in which the Boston detective gathers an unlikely posse of thugs from previous novels to clean out a corrupt town.
The dialogue is what we read Spenser novels for, and it is ok in this book. Not gre
This is an old story that has had several previous incarnations. The original story was “Seven Samurai” by Akira Kurosawa and then there was the Hollywood original movie “The Magnificent Seven”, followed by a collection of weaker sequels. In “The Magnificent Seven” a Mexican village is being terrorized by a gang of criminals so they hire a group of seven mercenaries to clean up the town.
The story starts when Mary Lou Buckman walks into Spenser’s office and seeks help in tracking down the murd
***Dave Hill
A Cut Above the Recent Average - Take a heaping scoop of the Magnificent Seven, throw in a few sprinkles of Chinatown and the Maltese Falcon, and turn it into a Spenser novel, and you'll have done what Parker does here. While nowhere near the personal intensity of the earlier Parker works, it's a definite cut above the other novels he's been cranking out of late.

The difference between then and now -- aside from the author having found a successful formula and just coasting with it -- is that the
The weakest book in the series. I think Parker was under pressure to turn out another Spenser novel and, not having a plot in mind, drug all the various ancillary characters he's created over the years (Chollo, Hawk, et al) into this lame story. Basically, it's a bunch of guys sitting around talking, cooking (wouldn't be a Spenser book without him making something in the kitchen), and shooting the bad guys. There isn't even a solid resolution here, just sort of a wishy-washy ending.
If you haven't yet seen The Seven Samurai or The Magnificent Seven, you should before reading this book. If you love Spenser the book is still a worthwhile read. He is hired to find out who killed someone in an Arizona town and the job quickly becomes one of routing the brigands who have moved in nearby and are collecting protection money from every business in town.
Inderpal Singh
Finally, a book that I liked! It was quick, light, and not to forget- FUN read! Something that should be the core of any book, something that I am finding hard to come across since a long time.
To be fair, the book had less action, adventure, or thrill/mystery/suspense, with the protagonist Spencer getting everything he wanted in under a minute by using his resources, all always readily available to him, and had more of a macho, manly, always winning tough guy vibe to it, YET managed to be quite
Spenser gets hired to find out what happened to a woman's husband and gets caught in the middle of a war between people in Potshot, Az and a religious cult.
Potshot is the usual Spenser story in that the humor of the dialogue and story is more important than the mystery involved in the tale. It is unusual for Spenser in that it takes him to Arizona from his usual Boston setting. Spenser is hired by beautiful widow to investigate the murder of her husband in small tourist town of Potshot, AZ. It quickly turns more complicated and Spenser has to bring in a few of his well armed business associates to solve the larger problem that crops up. Potshot is ...more
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Elise M.
Robert B. Parker's Spenser series is one of my comfort reads. They're admittedly not great literature, there's lots of white space on the page, but you know exactly what you're getting. You're going to get Spenser and Hawk and a little bit of Susan as justice prevails and another crime is solved.

In this book, Mary Lou Buckman comes to Boston to hire Spenser to solve the murder of her husband in Potshot, Arizona. She's been referred by a Los Angeles police officer she knew from before she moved t
The interesting thing about this one is that Parker has fashioned a new-fashioned Western. He is Shane, called upon to save the little lady and her town from the corrupt, amoral cult who lives in the hills above Potshot, a dusty spot in the desert east of LA. But he's not alone: every "bad" he's ever used, including Hawk, is there to help him in the crusade.

Always a pleasure, and the first mystery I have read (but surely not the first) to use the trope of the Western in a detective story.
Joseph M. O'Connor

What amazes me is the consistency that RBP brings to the Spenser series. But at the same time, he manages to sustain interest by making his characters real, complicated, and thoroughly moral. Oxymoronic eh? A moral Hawk? Who. Woulda thunk? A sexy psychotherapist? No way! A gumshoe quoting the "Concord School of Existentialism?" How unlikely! All of the above, plus Spenser's smart-ass mouth-ing off is what I love about this series... even after 30+ books.
Potshot - G
Robert B. Parker - 28th book
Spenser, the intrepid Boston sleuth, heads west to aid a damsel in distress in Potshot, Arizona. But all is not as it seems in Potshot. Spenser is called upon to hire a band of thugs to rid the town of a renegade gang. Reader Joe Mantegna, who plays Spenser in the A&E movies, gives vocal identity to the splendid band of rogues Spenser recruits. Wiseguys and tough guys from Boston, Las Vegas, LA, and Georgia join Spenser and his sidekick, Hawk, for the f
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!
I liked this one. The dialogue is always the best part with the interplay and teasing. Also, I love that Parker writes gay characters where that's not the point of them at all. Sapp was capable and just as fun as the rest of them! It was interesting to see so many of Spencer's compatriots in one book (but Hawk's always my favourite).
A good but not great Spenser outing. Spenser rounds up a cast of characters from his previous books to fight it out with the Preacher, a baddy controlling a town. Crisp dialogue, as always, but very little action. Even the last big fight scene only lasted a single page.
Potshot is one of my absolute favorites of Parker's books. It's a pretty unabashed takeoff of the Seven Samurai and The Magnificent Seven, beefed up by a good old-fashioned Parker-style "something is rotten and must be dealt with" mystery plot. He digs up a lot of old and recent favorites for the supporting cast: from Hawk and Vinnie Morris to more recent friends like Tedy Sapp. The supporting cast of thugs works well as an ensemble, though some of them are more muted than others.

In a lot of way
Cyn (RaeWhit)
This book was like a family reunion: Hawk, Vinnie, Tedy, Chollo, Fortunato, and Spenser, of course, all come together to do the dirty work. I could almost hear the music from 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly' in the background in the final shoot-em-up scene.

Boston PI Spenser returns - heading west to the rich man's haven of Potshot, Arizona, a former mining town reborn as a paradise for Los Angeles millionaires looking for a place to escape the pressures of their high-flying lifestyles. Potshot overcame its rough reputation as a rendevous for old-time mountain men who lived off the land, thanks to a healthy infusion of new blood and even newer money. But when this Western idyll is threatened by a local gang - a 21st century posse of desert rats, m

P.D.R. Lindsay
Oh boy, violent America. This Spenser novel is really a classic western, the good gunmen versus the bad gunmen.

For Spenser fans all the right ingredients are there, Susan and Pearl, Hawk, a case which looks one thing but is in fact quite another thing, excellent dialogue and tight writing.

It's a thrilling read but I wonder if we're coming to the end - thanks to the appalling number of gun massacres now in the USA - of considering such novels as entertainment? The Knight in Shining Armour who kil
Sandra Knapp
A light mystery, a quick read, not bad, but it didn't stimulate the imagination or get the blood circulating. It has a lot more sarcasm and "trying to be funny" remarks than I liked. I don't mind a bit of comic relief, especially when a story has me on the edge of my seat. But not when it's every other page. The author decided that his main character, a Boston PI, was a man who at least he thought was funny. I found it more annoying than amusing. I smiled once or twice, but that was about it. No ...more
Mike Shultz
Maybe I'd rate it lower if I read more in the series, but I have to rate it pretty high because I read it in two days. Thoroughly entertaining. I think I might get annoyed at the character's ceaseless sexual innuendoes, but I plan to read more Spenser novels. The writing can only be described as ultra-spare--no words wasted on detailed descriptions or witty similes. No navel-gazing by the MC (except for longing to be with Susan, perhaps.) I had one moment of disbelief when a super-marksman chara ...more
Loved the different setting for this entry in the very popular series. I love anything that involves Spenser and this one was amusing. It's my favorite series of all time!
one of my favorite Spenser. He rounds up all the tough guys from the series to take on what appears to be a gang taking over a city in the desert. Turns out there is more at play.
Roseanne Germann
My first in the Spenser series, and now on to more. Enjoyed this - pretty much stereotypical style of novel - but easy to read, and my interest did not wane throughout.
John M.
Reread this Spenser novel with considerable enjoyment. Features not just the regulars but a host of Parker's best characters from the series over the years.
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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 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)
The Godwulf Manuscript (Spenser, #1) Sixkill (Spenser, #39) Painted Ladies (Spenser, #38) Chance (Spenser, #23) Split Image (Jesse Stone, #9)

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“It is one of the secrets of happiness that you know which battles you can win and which you can’t.” 2 likes
“It is one of the secrets of happiness that you know which battles you can win and which you can’t. I had given up the punctuality battle years ago. And the pleasure of her company when she did show up was always worth the wait.” 0 likes
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