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Potshot (Spenser #28)

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  4,121 Ratings  ·  185 Reviews
'Robert B Parker's Spenser is one of the best private eyes in fiction' - The Sunday Telegraph Boston PI Spenser returns - heading west to the rich man's haven of Potshot, Arizona, a former mining town reborn as a paradise for LA millionaires looking for the idyllic life. But when their life-style is threatened by a 21st century gang of desert rats, misfits, drunks and scav ...more
Paperback, 294 pages
Published January 10th 2002 by Oldcastle Books (first published 2001)
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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
Kirsten Kowalewski
Feb 12, 2008 Kirsten Kowalewski rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Sep 10, 2010 Marty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dec 20, 2010 Jack rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
I've always enjoyed the books in Parker's "Spenser" series but I'll admit that a lot of 'em sort of blur together, especially the final two dozen or so. *Potshot* really stands out for me, mostly because it's Parker's take on "The Magnificent Seven". The plot/mystery is pretty mundane, so Parker relies on a lot of snappy dialogue to carry this one through. There's a few really hilarious moments in this book, along with a "gathering" of previous Parker heroes and villains.

Four and a half stars, r
Dec 13, 2010 Chuck rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 11, 2011 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Kevin Bresnahan
I enjoy Robert Parker novels, and the first 3/4's of the book I would have given 5 stars. He tries a new twist as Spenser is hired to find the murderer of a man in Potshot, Nevada. His widow is some sort of femme maniuplator. Boston is barely utilized in this novel. A cult-like gang is taking over the town on top of that. Spenser, Hawk, and some pals converge on Potshot to take the gang on and find out the murderer. I expected Spenser to win, and enjoyed the dialog and pace, yet the climax and e ...more
David Ward
Potshot (Spenser #28) by Robert B. Parker (G.P. Putnam's Sons 2001) (Fiction - Mystery) is my favorite Spenser novel. It features an all-start version of Spenser's various criminal allies - Vinnie, Hawk, Bobby Horse, Chollo, Bernard P. Fortunato, and Tedy Sapp. The guys all band together at Spenser's call when our intrepid hero is hired to (1) find out who killed Mary Lou's husband and (2) clean up the former mining town of Potshot, Arizona. Well told! My rating: 7.5/10, finished 8/16/11.
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
Mar 08, 2015 Sheila rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mike Shultz
Jul 11, 2012 Mike Shultz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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
Aug 29, 2012 Quillracer rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Elise Stone
Sep 22, 2012 Elise Stone rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 07, 2012 Cat. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fiction
Read this in about 3 hours. Again, set in AZ (or NM or TX?). Spenser is hired to find out about the death of a "dude ranch" owner, by his wife. The little town they're in has come under the control of a little gang of Hell's Angels types who are collecting protection money from everyone, except the dead guy. He was threatened by this gang, but the truth goes much deeper. Spenser assembles a crack team of hoodlums of his own to clean up the town, but by the end I can't quite figure out how he got ...more
Mar 13, 2013 TK421 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Potshot might be Parker's worst effort of his sterling career. The beginning is vintage Spenser. Clever dialog interspersed with concise background descriptions, etc..

The later half is so banal;lacking Parker's usual crisp dialog and his characters devolve into shadow versions of themselves.The plot is bizarre enough without Spenser turning into Mr. Rent-a-thug.Even the conclusion seems hurried. Almost an afterthought. Very disappointing Bob.

05/27/15: Liked it better the third time around but
Tim Healy
Sep 01, 2013 Tim Healy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
P.D.R. Lindsay
Apr 27, 2013 P.D.R. Lindsay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
***Dave Hill
Mar 20, 2014 ***Dave Hill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: text
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
Apr 05, 2015 Charles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Gary Baughn
Apr 14, 2015 Gary Baughn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: guilty-pleasures
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
May 31, 2015 Inderpal rated it liked it
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
Jul 29, 2015 Hasan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
I always forget how much Mr. Parker liked the f-word until I read the Spenser books. Not drowning in it, but enough. I generally just roll my eyes when they appear rapid fire in succession (the word often appears a whole lot of times) and go from there. I do enjoy these books, along with Spenser and his world overall despite my problems with parts of it. I like how he isn't above asking for help when he knows he's a bit in over his head. It says a lot about him and his character. Another good in ...more
#28 in the Spenser series.

Boston PI Spenser series - The manifest gimmickry is Boston P.I. Spenser's corralling of sidekicks from previous novels: Hawk, of course, but also gay Tedy Sapp from Hugger Mugger (2000), sharpshooter Chollo from Thin Air (1995), Vinnie Morris (from several novels) and a few others to deal with trouble in the Arizona town of Potshot. Spenser is hired by a sexy blonde to look into the shooting death there of her husband, who tangled with an outlaw group known as the Dell
Apr 11, 2016 Jerry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While parts of this novel were fun, events in this later entry (#28 of 39) in the Spenser series did not totally add up. He is hired on an LA detective’s recommendation by a bunch of LA transplants living in the Potshot Arizona desert. Specifically, widow Mary Lou wants him to figure out who killed her husband, who refused to pay protection to a gang called the Dell who are terrorizing the townfolk. After a skirmish with some of the Dell thugs, Spenser retreats to Boston to assemble his own gang ...more
May 24, 2016 Steve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought I'd read this one before, but I'm not so sure. What a great story. Nothing out of the ordinary for Robert Parker (nor for Spenser for that matter), but I just loved the dialouge in this one. ALL of the regulars are in this one and it is just a great, though not unexpected, end! This one, you really do need to read some of the older books in the series to get the story don't start with this one!
Jun 28, 2016 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I own the Hugger Mugger/Potshot combo CD set and listen to it every couple of years. Why? Because I like the humor in Hugger and love Spenser's gang of thugs in Potshot. The mystery and suspense are light, particularly in Potshot but having listened to these before, I don't mind as I am reading for the wry comments and snappy dialogue. I'm not a big Susan fan but she makes one of her best appearances in Potshot. Speaking of reading, Mantegna is terrific as the narrator and that's another reason ...more
Oct 24, 2016 Jenny rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Goodreads Librari...: Add image for Potshot audiobook 2 8 Dec 17, 2015 01:23AM  
  • Robert B. Parker's Wonderland (Spenser, #41)
  • Everybody Dies (Matthew Scudder, #14)
  • Confess, Fletch (Fletch, #2)
  • Indivisible
  • Poodle Springs (Philip Marlowe, #8)
  • Stone Quarry (Lydia Chin & Bill Smith, #6)
  • Robert B. Parker's Killing the Blues (Jesse Stone, #10)
  • Two Down (Crossword Mysteries, #2)
  • The Samurai's Wife (Sano Ichiro, #5)
  • Written in Time
  • Black Cathedral (Department 18, #1)
  • The Passenger
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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“It is one of the secrets of happiness that you know which battles you can win and which you can’t.” 6 likes
“One of Spenser’s rules of detection is: Never poke around on an empty stomach. So I unpacked, got my gun, and went down for a club sandwich and” 0 likes
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