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Hundred-Dollar Baby (Spenser, #34)
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Hundred-Dollar Baby (Spenser #34)

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  4,076 ratings  ·  185 reviews
April Kyle, a prostitute from Spenser's past, comes back into his life-with deadly complications.

Paperback, 320 pages
Published September 4th 2007 by Berkley (first published 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kemper
Once upon a time, Spenser tracked down a young runaway prostitute named April Kyle in Ceremony and had to save her again in Taming A Sea-Horse. Now April is back and in need of his help. Hopefully the third time’s the charm.

April is now a polished veteran of the world of high class prostitution, and she’s graduated to madam status by setting up a classy brothel in Boston. Someone is trying to muscle into her business so she turns to Spenser for help.

Spenser has always felt responsible and guilty...more
Ross
I have been reading Robert Parker books since 7th grade. The Spenser series is unparalleled, and I love the Sunny Randall and Jesse Stone series, too. Awesome! Great writing and great plot combined -- love it! (I have loved the Spenser series more since working in downtown Boston. I have enjoyed experiencing Spencer's Boston -- thank you, Robert B. Parker!!!!)
Jeffrey
THis book drives the point home yet again that the Spenser novels are tired. Now instead of inventing new characters, we get old characters who end up in hot water, and instead of going to the police, Spenser takes the law into his own capable hands
Metagion
I gotta say I really liked this issue of Spenser...good pacing, snappy dialogue; but the only thing I DIDN'T like was the ending--Mr. Parker could've done something different (no spoilers here! ;) )

This book has Spenser dealing with an old client named April Kyle, once a child prostitute turned upscale madam, and a problem: who is chasing away johns and trying to put her ut of business? As Spenser investigates the more he learns, the less he likes, and when a 'strong-arm' firm owner named Ollie...more
Margie
I am clearly not of the target audience for this book.

I can't understand why authors such as Parker and James Patterson sell so many books. Are we really that illiterate? This book is written at about a sixth-grade level, with a few big words like "ablutions". There are few compound sentences, and the bulk of the book is short lines of dialogue. I know I don't write the most descriptive, literate reviews, but I don't pretend to be a professional writer, either.

The characters and plot are both f...more
Jeff Yoak
This was an enjoyable Spenser tale, not particularly remarkable from the rest, but of high quality. Perhaps the most unusual aspect is that Parker often brings back minor characters from the past, but unless they were unequivocal villains in the past they are almost always better and more amicable with Spenser than originally. This is the first time that I can think of where someone Spenser has helped in the past has reemerged with a black hat. Parker did a good job of having Spenser not anticip...more
Carl Alves
Hundred Dollar Baby is much like the other Spenser novels that I have read. After reading a few of them, they fill into a familiar pattern. The novel is filled with deceit, humorous interchanges between Spenser and Hawk, and wise-guy interactions with the cops involved. These novels tend to be more style than substance, which make them enjoyable reads but not too deep. This novel fits into that pattern. April Kyle, who Spenser has a history with, saving her in a previous novel, turns to Spenser...more
Phillip Thurlby
I've been reading a fair few Spensers lately on account of other books letting me down and my subsequent recovery via familiarity. Of the handful I have read lately, this was definitely the weakest.

The plot was very thin on the ground with a single series of events running through the middle and a lot of psycho(over)analysis happening around it. It was a fairly brave story in that it tried to look at some of the darker aspects of what happens to people when they get involved in the seedy prostit...more
Jerry
We’re big Parker fans, and having loved his Jesse Stone and Sunny Randall series, are slowly knocking off the Spenser titles; “Baby”, his 34th, is our fifth; and we typically enjoy each fun outing. But we mostly felt frustration with this tale, as we were unfamiliar with apparently the two prior outings featuring April Kyle, a now successful high-end “madam” who Spenser had previously saved from dire circumstances. She needs help again, as some thugs seem to be threatening her upscale bordello o...more
Drebbles
Years ago, Boston PI Spenser made a difficult decision in helping troubled teen April Kyle get off the streets. Now the adult April is back in Boston running an upscale call-girl operation. April says she has been pretty successful in running the all-women business, but recently some thugs have been threatening to take it all away from her. They've come by the business a few times to squeeze some money from her and now they've starting beating up some of her workers and she wants Spenser to stop...more
Jeff
An entertaining read. Not the best book you'd ever pick up, but still it held your attention. This time Spenser is hired by a woman from his past, who now runs an upscale bordello. She's being hasseled by some thugs and Spenser is tasked with finding out who is behind it and convinving them to stop. Along the way, he encouters murder, the mob, and a whole house full of working girls. Hawk is around, but not a lot. Susan and Pearl are around as well, fleshing out Spenser's supporting cast. If you...more
Tony
Parker, Robert B. HUNDRED-DOLLAR BABY. (2006). ***. I used to be a big Parker fan, reading his books religiously as they came out. Then I stopped for a while because all of his books started to become the same. Although still good, fast reads, they are more TV scripts than novels. The formula is the same: put Spenser, Hawk, and Susan into a tumbler, shake well, and pour onto a table. Then connect the dots. This adventure involves an earlier character from his series, April Kyle, whom he had resc...more
Tobinsfavorite
It's a Spenser novel. If you like them, and I do, you'll like it. If it's not your thing, this won't change your mind. Parker was very good at creating likeable recurring characters you are happy to see again and again and that you can still tell apart even if you haven't seen them for a few novels or, like me, have taken a few years off between books. (Apparently, I missed a few in there, too.) They're also good for rereading, unlike many mysteries, and not only because it's fun to recognize th...more
Tracy
What's not to love about Spenser? He has a sense of humor and he knows when to shut up and sit still. There was one point in this book (toward the beginning) that I laughed out loud, probably at something Hawk said.

Love Spenser. Love Hawk. Spenser's girlfriend? Yeah, I'd hang out with her (even though she does take every opportunity to wave her Harvard diploma).

The 'damsel in distress' - April Kyle (apparently back for a third time in Spenser's life)? I could not care less about her or what hap...more
LJ
HUNDRED DOLLAR BABY (Private Investigator-Boston-Cont) - VG
Parker, Robert – 32nd in series
G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2006- Hardcover
*** Spencer doesn’t immediately recognize April Kyle, the woman he’s rescued twice before; once as a young prostitute and again from a disastrous relationship. Now she’s back as the madam to a very up-scale house. Only she needs Spencer to rescue her again from someone threatening to put her out of business. Or are they? Spencer suspects something else may be going on.
***...more
Josh
One of the last of the Spenser novels from the late, great Robert B. Parker. I have a lot of residual fondness for Spenser, having grown up on the quite good tv show starring Robert Urich (and featuring a brilliant Hawk played by Avery Brooks) and the early books were some of the first American mysteries I read. (Mom got me started on British mysteries first)

These books are rather like comfort food: there's nothing particularly original about them any longer and the characters have settled into...more
Eliana
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!
Larry Hostetler
Read this (start to finish) on a flight from Denver to Los Angeles.

Obviously a quick read. Good detective story, and kept my interest, but not in such a way that I will add Parker to my read/reread/collect the series list of authors.

I have read Parker before (but it's been a while) so I thought it was time to give such a beloved author another chance. What I found is that people have different tastes, and God Bless Us Everyone! Parker just isn't my taste.

I enjoyed the humor inserted periodical...more
Bruce Snell
This was one of the better Spenser books - it appears that the author (Robert B. Parker) knew that he was approaching his own end, and wanted to revisit one of his old stories and try to tie up a loose end. Thus, we come back to the story of April Kyle, who we first met when she was a teenager and Spenser helped set her up in a high class brothel. Now, 20 years later, Spenser has to deal with the results of that decision, and the the end is not good. It is appropriate that Spenser considers the...more
Chompa
The book was pretty enjoyable just from the perspective of the dialogue and character interaction. Parker's minimalist writing style is quick and easy to read and his banter between Spenser and Hawk was enjoyable as always.

The plot itself? I'm of mixed mind on it. It's the third appearance of April Kyle and wasn't keen on on seeing her again. On the flip side - Parker basically tells a story showing that some people are predestined to always repeat the same mistakes. Several of the Parker stori...more
Anna Todd
Hundred-Dollar Baby by Robert Parker (copyright 2006) has an intriguing storyline with April, a call girl who finds herself asking Spenser, a Boston-based P.I. for help. April recieves an anonymous phone call and thereafter discovers the "all-female" bordello business is at risk.Within the story Spencer discusses the situation of April's with his wife, Susan who is a psychiatrist. Despite April's profession, both Spencer and Susan basically speak of April as a mere object; not someone that could...more
Cindy
I love Robert B. Parker books for those in-between-intense books. Never disappointing! Always an easy but interesting read.
Walt
Feb 23, 2013 Walt rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: CRIME FICTION
I've read every one of Parker's Spenser books since the '70s. Some are a bit of a disappointment, others are a pleasant surprise - but he never fails to entertain me. I thought this book was one of his better efforts in recent years (as most Spenser fans know the first four books in the series were the best - he's never quite attained that level again.) But I actually thought the plot in this one was pretty interesting and he kept me guessing what was going to happen. Also, like every great fict...more
♣just Me♣
I think this book had the potential to be really good but somewhere along the line the author got tired and just threw something in there.
Aside from that, no black man or woman on the face of this earth speaks in the manor that he attempted to make them sound. Thug or not... it was just unrealistic. After reading so many Patterson Novels..this one really made me laugh out loud at his attempt to portrait a black thug!
Ehhh, all in all. I might read another one of his books if there wasn't anythi...more
Nancy
Spenser books are not literary masterpieces, but they are entertaining and fun to read.
Dolly
Oct 25, 2008 Dolly rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Spenser fans as well as crime and Detective story fans
Shelves: 2008, mystery, new-england
Not a true mystery, but close enough, I guess. It took me a little less than 20 pages to realize that this is the Spenser character from the "Spenser: For Hire" series I watched so religiously as a teenager. I loved that he solved cases, that he was tough and best of all, lived in Boston. The show was set there and I loved to point out the places I knew.

This story was a quick read; not overly impressive, but worthwhile for the nostalgia it brought back. I may not be in a rush to read the other...more
Rena
This book was given to me as a gift. I didn't know much about it or the author. I decided it might be a nice summer read. The writing was horrible. I must have gotten used to it or something because in the beginning it was driving me crazy. It went something like this..."Hello" I said. "Hello" she said. "I'm so and so" I said. "And I'm so and so" she said. I'm not exaggerating here. I hoped at least the story would draw me in, but it really didn't. Clearly this book was not for me. And I highly...more
Salvador Daniel
Personalmente creo que el autor tiene un estilo promedio y la historia a pesar de ser entretenida no la considero del todo buena. Le doy un 3.
Ted Mallory
Fantastic. I don't want to give any spoilers, but I'll just say that it was a moving and difficult ending. Maybe I related to this book because it places Spenser in a very paternal role. Sure, he's always the gallant knight, but this one really reveals how caring and not just smart-assed and hard-boiled he is. This was from 2004, so maybe Parker had had plenty of opportunities to be paternal himself by the time he wrote it. It's hard to remember that you can't save everybody and that many people...more
Kimberly
Hundred-Dollar Baby is book number 34 in this series. For those of you that don't know, This series is where the show "Spenser for Hire" evolved from. I have not read all 34 books but I have read 10 or so and I really enjoyed number 34. You don't have to read any of them to enjoy this book. But if you know the characters from the show, you can picture Spenser the detective and "Hawk" his fine and deadly black man side kick.

Loved it!! Even if I sometimes figure out "who done it" before I am suppo...more
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Other Boston-area novels 8 27 Sep 03, 2012 07:16PM  
  • Robert B. Parker's Lullaby (Spenser, #40)
  • Noir: A Novel
  • Robert B. Parker's Killing the Blues (Jesse Stone, #10)
  • Confess, Fletch (Fletch, #2)
  • Passport To Peril (Hard Case Crime #57)
  • Poodle Springs
  • Lullaby Town (Elvis Cole, #3)
  • The Burglar Who Painted Like Mondrian (Rhodenbarr, #5)
  • Hardware (A Carlotta Carlyle Mystery #6)
  • Self's Deception (Gerhard Self #2)
  • Vineyard Prey (Martha's Vineyard Mystery #16)
  • Boston Noir
  • O' Artful Death
  • The Mosaic of Shadows
  • Getting Old Is Tres Dangereux (Gladdy Gold, #6)
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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
More about Robert B. Parker...
The Godwulf Manuscript (Spenser, #1) Sixkill (Spenser, #39) Chance (Spenser, #23) Painted Ladies (Spenser, #38) Split Image (Jesse Stone, #9)

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