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Hundred-Dollar Baby (Spenser #34)

3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,794 Ratings  ·  232 Reviews
Cynical Good Samaritan Spenser is back in the rescue business, protecting April Kyle from the brutes trying to squeeze her out of her ritzy Back Bay call-girl business. His gallantry is only slightly dented by the discovery that April and apparently everyone else in Massachusetts is a full-time liar. The 34th slot in this reader-pleasing series will light up your nights wi ...more
Hardcover, Large Print, 313 pages
Published October 1st 2006 by Thorndike Press (first published 2006)
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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
Cathy DuPont
Oh, my. Someone said tired...Robert B. Parker and his once great character Spenser, Hawk and Susan (blah) are all tired.

And they are making me tired, too.

I usually complete series but thinking I might not complete this one. They just seem boring. Same old, same old.

Parker maybe changes things up in the remaining series. There are 44 and at this time I am NOT reading them in order. Listening in car while I'm driving to the pool, well, I'm driving anyway, so don't feel like I'm wasting my time.
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!!!!)
Aug 03, 2011 Jeffrey rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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
Bill  Kerwin

The girl from Early Autumn returns in this slightly above average Spenser mystery.
Mar 31, 2015 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It makes me so sad to know that Robert B. Parker is gone. I feel like I know Spenser, that he's a personal friend. I've read almost every one of the books in this series at least once. Spenser's tongue-in-cheek humor, morality, friendships, intelligence, honor, and "his" Boston are all tremendously endearing to me. Then this story, which he wrote nearing the end of his life, about his re-acquaintance with April Kyle and the efforts he went through to "save" her once again. There's a very thin li ...more
Sep 09, 2009 Tony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jul 18, 2014 Metagion rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 02, 2010 Margie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, series
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
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
Jun 08, 2015 J.D. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
I'm still loving Hawk, Spenser, Susan and especially Pearl.
John Marsh
Sep 21, 2015 John Marsh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dan Quigley
Dec 09, 2014 Dan Quigley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
This is the third and final book of what I call Parker's April trilogy. I enjoy everything Parker writes and give his entire body of work 4.5 stars. The question for me is whether a book rounds to 4 stars or 5. Occasionally, Parker writes a book a bit by the numbers and nothing all that special happens. 4 stars is the result. But Parker at his best has some of the wittiest dialogue and most original plot turns of any writer out there. When he is firing on all cylinders it is easy to give him a 5 ...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
Michael O'Leary
May 19, 2015 Michael O'Leary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
April Kyle, the damsel in distress that Spenser rescued in two earlier books, Ceremony (1982) and Taming a Sea Horse (1986), again turns to the iconic Boston PI for help in the 34th entry in Parker's popular series. Cynical yet romantic, Spenser easily handles the immediate threat of some men trying to muscle in on the high-class Boston brothel April is running. Unfortunately, that isn't the real problem, and Spenser without much surprise finds that April, the thugs and everyone else involved is ...more
Sep 13, 2014 Jerry rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 20, 2013 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
April, who Spenser helped rescue years ago, is being anonymously pressured to share the proceeds of the high-end brothel she manages.Spenser relearns the cold lesson the hard way: you can't save people from themselves. ...more
Aug 10, 2015 Maria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, borrowed
So amusing! Actually I borrowed this book from my sister to read something non "high-literary" for the Summer. Just something to relax with...

The writing style was good, not outstanding, but definitely not bothering me. The dialogue was brilliant though! The dialogue was alive and sharp. The multitude of "He said" or "I said" was getting annoying sometimes, but that is a part of the writing style I guess...
Towards the end of the book the dialogue gets a little less strong, but it remains very go
Jan 26, 2010 Drebbles rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2007
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
Jul 26, 2011 Jeff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 07, 2011 Tobinsfavorite rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 20, 2008 Tracy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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
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.
Jun 18, 2011 Josh rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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
Hundred Dollar Baby is #34 of the many Spenser mysteries by Robert B. Parker. In this novel Spenser tries to rescue April Kyle again. This time it is not from pimps and gangsters but from herself. In an earlier novel Spenser tracked her down when she was a run away and underage prostitute. The usual characters appear including Boston Police detectives Belson and Quirk, Spenser's friend Hawk and his girlfriend Susan. Does he succeed in rescuing April? Well, the dialog is really good.
#34 in the Spenser series.

Spenser is visited by April Kyle, the prostitute of Ceremony (1982). Her boutique whore house is being threatened by hired muscle. Hawk assists and Teddy Sapp makes a brief appearance. As Spenser investigates the problem, it makes less and less sense. A rather limp thriller with repetitive recaps of the investigation and the underlying psychological aspects of whoredom.
Jul 05, 2015 Shuriu rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Don't blame you," I said. "You have any idea what he was doing with April?"
"You come out of somebody's place at six o'clock in the morning, I got a fair guess what he's doing with her."
"Besides that," I said.
"No. No idea. You think they're in cahoots."
"Cahoots," I said.
"I haven't heard anybody say 'cahoots' in a long time."
"No? I don't know. My mother used to say it al the time."
"Good word," I said.
"Really?" Bev said. "I just thought it was a regular word."
She was happy to have
Lara Usilton
I tried this author because someone recommended him, knowing I like David Rosenfelt. He is nowhere near Rosenfelt quality. I cannot believe he continues to be published. In a word, this book was boring. It was a movie script (for a really bad movie), not a book.
I'm disappointed as I was looking forward to experiencing a new author.
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!
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Other Boston-area novels 9 29 Jan 28, 2016 07:42AM  
  • Robert B. Parker's Lullaby (Spenser, #40)
  • Noir
  • Robert B. Parker's Killing the Blues (Jesse Stone, #10)
  • Two Down (Crossword Mysteries, #2)
  • Confess, Fletch (Fletch, #2)
  • Deadman's Bluff (Tony Valentine #7)
  • Poodle Springs (Philip Marlowe, #8)
  • Passport To Peril (Hard Case Crime #57)
  • The Burglar Who Thought He Was Bogart (Bernie Rhodenbarr, #7)
  • 2 in the Hat
  • Getting Old Is Tres Dangereux (Gladdy Gold, #6)
  • House Rules (Joe DeMarco, #3)
  • Lullaby Town (Elvis Cole, #3)
  • Stone Quarry (Lydia Chin & Bill Smith, #6)
  • The Mosaic of Shadows (Demetrios Askiates, #1)
  • The Vanished (Nameless Detective, #2)
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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