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Now & Then (Spenser #35)

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  5,325 Ratings  ·  341 Reviews
Investigating a case of infidelity sounds simple—until it plunges Spenser and his beloved Susan into a politically charged murder plot that’s already left three people dead.
Paperback, 336 pages
Published October 7th 2008 by G.P. Putnam's Sons (first published 2007)
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Over the years, several bad guys have tried to stop Spenser by going after his girlfriend, Susan. Somehow not one of them managed to even seriously injure her. It makes one wish that Boston had more competent criminals.

Spenser gets hired by Dennis Doherty to find out if his wife is cheating on him. Following adulterous spouses isn’t Spenser’s favorite part of the detective business, but he takes the job and quickly finds out that the missus is indeed stepping out on Dennis. What should be a rout
Bill  Kerwin

A typical Spenser novel. A "simple" infidelity case turns out to involve the FBI, the CIA, terrorists, Susan is in danger, the reinforcements are summoned (Hawk, Vinnie, Chollo), and Spenser and Susan discuss their relationship ad nauseum.They even flirt (sigh) with the possibility of marriage.

The tough talk is as good as always, but the Spenser series is tired and in trouble. Why? Because the relationship between Spenser and Susan, always formulaic, has now lost its last shred of credibility. L
Sep 05, 2009 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay so it ain't literature and it's definitely formula fiction but I LOVE the formula. Tough non-flappable Spenser (with a heart). Tough Hawk (without a heart). Susan (best beloved). Vinnie Morris (i-Pod listening shooter without either heart or soul). Pearl, Spenser and Susan's second dog. Also I loved the big print version I read because that meant I could read it while on the elliptical exerciser. In this book a man asks Spenser to follow his wife whom he thinks is cheating on him. She is. T ...more
Feb 25, 2011 David rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: completed
Once upon a time, in a college far, far away, I had a Creative Writing Professor declare "Write what you know."

If this is the case, there are two things Robert B. Parker knows.

First, how to find food just about anywhere, how to eat in nearly every chapter, even if it is just a cinammon bun. Seriously, the references to food, to coffee, and other edible things just get annoying. It is almost as if he has to insert something to fill in the spaces between his witty dialogue. Judging by Parker's re
May 20, 2008 William rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
(i'd actually rate this book 2 1/2 stars but i don't know how to do the half-star thing.)

i went to the library looking for a mystery to reward myself for finishing my article and i found this. spenser is always (well, almost always) enjoyable, so i picked it up. it was indeed a fun read. in this book you not only get the expected character ticks -- with lots of manly badinage -- and some shooting, but as an extra bonus, spenser actually does some detecting. in cleveland, no less. parker has suc
Mar 19, 2011 mark rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Male fantasy lovers.
Recommended to mark by: My father.
Shelves: relationships, crime
Spenser NOW & THEN (2007) set me on a mission of detection--to compare and contrast Robert B. Parker's 1st Spenser novel with this one, his last, before he died at his desk writing still more Spenser tales (subsequently published.) It is my contention that the 1st novel is often the best an author has to offer, maybe not in writing, but in the having of something to say--the big idea rattling 'round his or her brain that is. Parker's 1st, THE GODWULF MANUSCRIPT, was published in 1973 and so ...more
Dec 30, 2007 ayrdaomei rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: diehard Spenser fans stuck in an airport, maybe
Shelves: finished
I have been a big fan of the Spenser series for a long time, but I've definitely noticed a decrease in quality with the ones written in the last ten or so years. I'm not sure what's more at fault - the frequency with which Parker churns out the Spenser titles, the fact that he's got two new characters with their own book series now (Jesse Stone and Sunny Randall), or the fact that he's been writing Spenser for so long?

Parker put the first Spenser title out in 1974, and he's written thirty-five o
Mister Jones
Apr 19, 2008 Mister Jones rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the drink and read crowd; drink a shot, read a sentence
Recommended to Mister Jones by: mom cleaned out her pulp fiction shelves
I was well aware of the whole Parker-Spencer series, so I read this one, (my first one) and I finished it.

It's an easy read--sparse, to the the point, and not over the top with gratutious violence, the latter has become a big turn off in my reading novels of this pop suspense/mystery genre. Thus, in that aspect Now and Then has a positive.

After about 2/3rds of the book, however, I found myself losing interest. I can't even remember the cast of characters except for Spencer and his sidekick, Ha
Mar 10, 2016 Jerry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unusually, Spenser takes on a probable cheating wife case in this late entry (#35 of 39) in Parker’s long-running series. By way of an audio bug, Spenser has a recording to share with hubby that indeed spells out the affair the wife is having with anti-government activist Perry Alderson. Also uncharacteristically, Spenser shares some of what he’s learned with FBI “buddy” Epstein, but won’t reveal hubby’s name when it turns out his client is indeed an FBI agent. Spenser’s case seems closed – but ...more
This was one of the better Spenser books. It was a litte more different from the previous ones and intrigued me with what went on in it. The mystery of it drew me, even as I knew who wouldn't die in it. I was more absorbed in it than I have been in this series for a while. Less repeative, but Susan's weak character (yes, I know it's because of when she was originally written/created paints how she is) still makes her kind of annoying and brings the book down for me some. However, her more ready ...more
Sep 09, 2008 R. rated it really liked it
I was actually quite pleased by this novel. I mean, most Spenser novels please me, in a generic Spenser novel sort of way, but for some time there's been a hint of the cruise control about them. And why not? He's getting unnervingly close to 40 of them by now (and is anyone else having trouble ignoring the fact that Spenser was in Korea, and consequently is... kinda old now?)

This time out, however, things connect back on an emotional level to the pivotal events of Valediction and a Catskill Eagl
Jan 12, 2015 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american-crime
Now and Then, by Robert B Parker, is one of the more recent books in a series about Spenser, a private investigator, his psychiatrist friend Susan, and two of his sidekicks (who typically do more of the violent "heavy lifting" than he does).

In the book, which I guess you could call "hard boiled," we see Spenser investigate the death of an FBI agent and the agent's cheating wife. On the way he comes across the wife's new squeeze and examine his involvement, if any, in their deaths.

The book rattle
Nov 30, 2014 Greg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book starts off in the beautifully traditional way the world has grown to love. Client walks in, meets Spenser and after a verbal stouche or two, Spenser is hired to solve said client's problem. In this case, the client is afraid that his wife is having an affair and he wants Spenser to find out, but at this early stage of the book, nothing more.

The next chapter leads the reader to another glorious re-introduction to the delightfully effervescent and brilliant Susan Silverman. I know a lot
Feb 17, 2016 Patti rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
After all these years, you'd think bad guys would realize that trying to get to Spenser via Susan never ends well...for them. With Hawk, Vinnie, Chollo, Belson, Quirk and Lee Farrell as his backup, I mean, c'mon, it's not really fair, is it?

Great dialogue, a good story and fast pacing makes Now & Then a quick and enjoyable read.
Dec 23, 2008 Gayle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Got this book from Aunt Kathee; started it then learned it's #35 of a series!!!! :) Finished it quickly, easy to spots, almost TOO easy if that's possible. Good story line, but I won't read the entire series (too many other books on my to-read list, lol).
Chris Gager
Nov 04, 2011 Chris Gager rated it liked it
Not much to say. A "Spencer" book is reliably entertaining but particularly thought-provoking. Once again I say that Spencer is RBP's fantasy self all the way. Babes, booze, violence and the bad guys lose every time. We wouldn't have it any other way.
Nov 01, 2014 Eileen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Now, I have to explain my rating. I love to read these books. He is so sarcastic and the wit amazes me and makes me smile as I'm reading. The F word makes me mad, and it appears too much in this book for my liking, but not so much that I had to stop reading it. So, I won't be recommending it because of the language, but the plot and the mystery and the PI story was a very nice change from the things that I have been reading. It was refreshing to read it so fast and to think of Spenser's viewpoin ...more
Mar 14, 2009 Tom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
steady, reliable, terse Spenser. It did slightly fizzle out at the end, but otherwise fine
J.J. Toner
Jul 27, 2014 J.J. Toner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a brilliant stylist. You have to admire the way writers like Parker broke new ground. My own editor would never let me away with dialog like this, but in Parker's hands it's magic (from chapter 1):

He looked at the large picture of Susan on my desk.
'You married?' he said.
'Not quite,' I said.
'Ever been married?'
'Not exactly,' I said.
'Who's in the picture?' he said.
'Girl of my dreams,' I said.
'You together?' Doherty said.
'But not married,' he said.
'Been together long?' he said.
Carla Patterson
Sep 21, 2016 Carla Patterson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-challenge
This is probably one of my favorite Spenser books so far (I still have quite a few to read!)... there's something about the pacing and the way the story plays out which I enjoyed a lot. One thing I liked was that Spenser's cohorts from both sides of the law were part of it.

Since I'm reading the books out of order, it's also interesting to see where Spenser's relationship with Susan is at a given time, but also where his relationships with Hawk, Quirk, Ferrel, Vinnie, and Cholo are (amongst othe
Sadly, the late Robert B. Parker seems to have begun slipping, or perhaps no longer caring enough to do "a good job of work", so to speak, several years before he died. I grew up reading Mr. Parker's novels (his first book was published roughly one year after I was born), and I thought he was a damned good writer. I began reading the Spenser series around 1981, and essentially read the books one by one as they were published up to the 26th book, Hush Money, which was published in mass market pa ...more
Apr 26, 2015 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This is not so much a review as my personal thoughts. First, I am ashamed of myself for not having picked up a Robert Parker book before now. I have missed so much and I have so much catching up to do now. I regret, a little bit, that this book is actually near the end of the Spenser series. However, the author did a great job of incorporating the bits of history that were needed to understand the story in this book.

My knowledge of Spenser, previous to this book, is based on the 1980s TV show S
Dec 31, 2010 Renee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable Spenser story, made even more enjoyable by Joe Mantegna as narrator. Only five and a half hours long, which is a great length for an unabridged audio book. Truth be told, I had tired of Spenser after reading a half dozen or so and layed off for a while until I started listening to the novels as audio books. Spenser has turned into my back-up for when other items that interest me are not available. This works out well, since the local library has many of the Spenser titles available ...more
Anthony Policastro
In Now and Then, you will be more than a little delighted with Robert B. Parker’s motley coterie of characters, including Spencer (the detective), Hawk (Spencer’s sidekick) Susan Silverman (his fiancée and a psychiatrist), Cholla (Mr. Del Rio’s strong man from Los Angeles), and Vinnie Morris (the shooter).
Although it starts out as a typical detective story – a man walks into the office and wants the detective to follow his wife because he thinks she is cheating on him – or visa versa – that is
Kara Jorges
Though not difficult to get a feel for the characters in this book, since I am not a regular Spenser fan it felt like I landed in the middle of an episode of a popular show everyone has been watching but me. It wasn’t uncomfortable or confusing, just a trifle unusual for a series novel not to have any back story on any of the characters.

PI Spenser takes a case from a distressed husband who wants his wife followed. Spenser gets evidence of her affair on tape, but he gets more than he bargained fo
Bill Williams
Nov 10, 2009 Bill Williams rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This novel, Now & Then should only be called Spenser Series #35, because it is stitched together from parts of earlier better Spenser novels. The dialogue does almost all of the hard work of carrying the light story and propelling the soap opera elements.

A man comes to Spenser and hires him to find out if his wife is having an affair. She is. After the husband is presented with proof, she is gunned down and he gets disappeared. From there, Spenser tries to find out what happened by digging i
Jun 06, 2011 F.R. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The only Robert B. Parker I’d previously read was ‘Poodle Springs’, his polishing-off an unfinished Raymond Chandler manuscript. It was a long time ago, but I remember it as being fairly flat and nothing to write home about. As such I’d never picked up anything in his, apparently Phillip Marlowe influenced, ‘Spenser’ series before – and I’m quite happy to agree that maybe volume 35 was not the best place to start.

‘Now and Then’ is a curious concoction of taut prose and dialogue married to a dist
Jul 19, 2008 Cindy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
I've read Spenser and Hawk mysteries for the last 20 or 30 years. I'm almost certain I started watching the TV show with Robert Urich as Spenser (okay but a little too pretty) and Avery Brooks as Hawk (authentic and mesmerizing) before I read the books, which would make it 20 years, but I'm not sure. I have to admit I've read and reread most of the 35 books in the series picturing Urich and Brooks as the main characters but with a very different image for Susan Silverman than represented in TV. ...more
May 27, 2016 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first Spencer novel I've read. Well, technically i listened to it.

I cannot say that I was utterly blown away by the book, but I really did enjoy it. It was the perfect book for driving to and from work. It was interesting and upbeat and fun. I don't see myself running out and rushing to grab the other 34 Spencer novels that come before it, but I could see my self snagging one here and there when things are slow.

Couple of things. Joe Mantagna does a really good job as narrator. If I g
Aug 19, 2009 Tracy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I've already said it in other reviews: What's not to love about Spenser? And as before there were places I laughed out loud - and yes, it was during conversations with Hawk.

I gotta tell you, though, I have some issues with (author) Parker. As you'll read in the book description, Spenser is hired to find out if a wife is cheating on a husband (she is). People end up dead, as usual, and Spenser takes the high road and tries to bring their killer to justice.

That's fine as far as that goes, but ther
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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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“- Ти ли си Спенсър? - попита той.
- Да, и се гордея с това - отвърнах.
Мъжът ме изгледа предизвикателно и не каза нищо. Усмихнах се вежливо.
- На отворен ли ми се правиш? - попита той.
- Малко - признах.”
“The medieval courtly love tradition holds that love is impossible in marriage because it is coerced,” I said.” 0 likes
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