The Professional (Spenser, #38)
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The Professional (Spenser #38)

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  2,731 ratings  ·  358 reviews
A knock on Spenser-s office door can only mean one thing: a new case. This time the visitor is a local lawyer with an interesting story. Elizabeth Shaw specializes in wills and trusts at the Boston law firm of Shaw & Cartwright, and over the years she-s developed a friendship with wives of very wealthy men. However, these rich wives have a mutual secret: they-ve all ha...more
Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published October 5th 2009 by Putnam Adult (first published January 1st 2009)
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*I wrote this long review where I indulged in some Parker bashing a few weeks back. I just read that he died today. Yes, I do feel like a jackass.*

Once upon a time there was a crime writer named Robert B. Parker, and in the early ‘70s, he started a line of books about a P.I. named Spenser. The books were good and the critics loved him and deemed him the heir to Raymond Chandler. He wrote about a dozen of these books and everything was great for him and his readers.

Then disaster struck. His wife...more
James Thane
Boston P.I. Spenser makes his thirty-seventh appearance in The Professional. Four women are married to older, wealthy men and each of the women has been having having great sex on the side with a man named Gary Eisenhower. Sadly, Eisenhower has been videotaping his sessions with the women and is now blackmailing all of them. The women would like it to stop--the blackmailing if not the sex--and so they hire Spenser to deal with the problem.

Spenser swings into action, along with the usual cast of...more
Jul 12, 2010 KarenC rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to KarenC by: follow the series

The usual snappy TV dialogue reminiscent of the old Spenser for Hire show coupled with a much more introspective Spenser. I'll always hear Robert Urich and Avery Brooks doing the dialogue. A fast read, thanks to larger print and lots of white space; finished in less than 12 hours of reading time.

A storyline that seemed to drag itself out, as if it didn't want to end; much like the "case" Spenser worked on with a lot of free time on his hands. A little too much Susan and not enough of the smart,

Oh, Spenser. You are a Korean War vet, which makes you at least 74, yet you can still beat up 25-year-old thugs, eat and drink like an Amish farmer after a barn raising, and make hot monkey love to Susan Silverman every single night. What is your secret, man? And Susan, who must be in her late 60s -- why is she still supermodel gorgeous? And why is Hawk (who's been eligible for the senior meal at Denny's for at least 15 years) still attracting college coeds, despite speaking in that creepy diale...more
I was so sad to hear that Robert Parker died last week. I have read all the "Spencer" detective novels (35 at last count), each one aloud to my husband since we discovered them about 15 years ago. The first few years it was wonderful -we had almost 20 years to cover (he wrote about one a year). I was surprised to see that I had not listed them in my "books read" section, but they are a bit of a guilty pleasure. The plots are very similar each time, which does not decrease our enjoyment one iota....more
Jay Connor
Oct 10, 2009 Jay Connor rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for:
Much like using a sorbet as a palate cleanser, I needed to read a little Robert B. Parker after my bloated course of Pynchon. So I was going to enjoy "The Professional" on almost any terms. The fact that it was an enjoyable romp with Spencer and Susan was like finding that cool scoop in the crystal dish is MANGO!

Parker has written over 50 books, perhaps half of which feature Spenser et al. While Parker seems to becoming ever more economical as a writer -- the book must be published in 20 point f...more
May 18, 2010 Barbara rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Barbara by: Kelly Reynolds,vanessa
Although this should not be considered a comparison to other 4 star rated books, this was enjoyable enough for me to assign it to this one. The Professional, was one of Robert Parker's last mysteries written prior to his death this past year. As ever,this Spenser novel is filled with his usual cast of stars and with numerous colorful personalities. One could not classify his stories as having a heart-pounding, suspenseful nature; but the plot moves along pleasantly, with much wit and clever repa...more
Gary Eisenhower is a womanizer who prefers young women married to rich older men. Charming, witty and handsome, he lives well off the largesse of his lovers. Then one of them suggests a bolder plan: Blackmail. And one of the blackmailed wives realizes that this could be her chance to escape a loveless (but profitable) marriage and have Gary all to herself.

Spenser is hired by a lawyer representing four blackmail victims, and he brings along the usual cast of characters: his PhD girlfriend Susan,...more
A different kind of Spenser book

Spenser is back with a different type of mystery, and not necessarily for the better. I'm a big fan of a younger, tougher Spenser. A Spenser that was hassled by the cops, fought with the bad guys and generally spent his time wisecracking himself into and out of tough scrapes.

Sadly, The Professional is not that. This one is filled full of relationship discussions (I think Oprah actually moderated some of the scenes!), including more of the endless talk between Sp...more
Don Crouch
This just in: Spenser finds women interesting. We know this because he tells us so. Frequently. More than one interesting woman fuels events in The Professional, Parker's front-line Spenser offering for '09. Within the first page or so, Spenser speaks of no less than 4 women who interest him. Of course, his primary interest is Susan Silverman, and he is nothing if not loyal. Still, interested.

He's hired by one of them to look into the affairs of a bunch of other women (of as yet undetermined int...more
Jan 21, 2010 Alison rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: mystery lovers, Spenser fans
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Classic Spenser and Robert Parker The ongoing question I have is if "Spenser" ever runs into folks who talk and talk. Certainly a characteristic of Parker is the brevity of style and the reparte...but it just seems that a challenge to both author and character would be to add in that dimension.

A knock on Spenser's office door can only mean one thing: a new case. This time the visitor is a local lawyer with an interesting story. Elizabeth Shaw specializes in wills and trusts at the Boston law fir...more
Spenser is hired by the attorney for 4 women with rich husbands who all had (or are still having) affairs with the same guy. Now he's blackmailing him. Of course getting him to stop isn't so simple. Spenser crosses paths with a couple of thugs hired by one of the husbands. A few murders later and things get even more complicated.

Of course Susan Silverman is there to help Spenser understand some of the psychological problems involved. Hawk shows up but unfortunately he doesn't have much to do in...more
At this point, reading a Spenser book is like slipping on a comfortable pair of shoes or visiting an old friend where you laugh at the same jokes or gossip about the same people. There's nothing wrong with that and I gladly picked up them up as they came out.

Even after finishing the book, I'm not sure who the title The Professional refers to. The story is a bit of a mess but there was the standard cast of characters.

What starts out as a blackmail scheme (as per the back of the book) gets resolve...more
This is one of the last books by Robert B Parker with his hero Spenser. This book is a morality tale in essence and the end proves that humans will always be driven by selfish needs.

Spenser gets hired by a group of women that are all married to older rich men and they all had a sexual relation with the same man. This man decided to blackmail them and they all cannot have their nice lives ruined by their lover.
As expected all is not as black and white as one would expect. And Spenser starts his...more
Oct 27, 2009 Richard rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: No body.
Recommended to Richard by: I was reading all Mr. Parker's work.
The old crew is back for another adventure: Spenser, Susan, Hawk, Belsen, Quirk and assorted hoods and thugs. Out of over 60 books, Mr. Parker has this group in about 2/3 of them. I think I have read them all, and enjoyed most of them.

I think with this one, however, I am through with Spenser and Parker. This is the second bad story in a row.

In a very odd tale that has Spenser working for no money or client, we find him standing with the offender: a serial user of women married to much older, wea...more
At first, this case appears straightforward. Four wealthy women arrive in Spenser's office with their lawyer. They are are all having affairs with the same man, Gary
Eisenhower. They are all married to older men in prominent positions who know nothing about their extra curricular activities. The affairs are about to be revealed because Eisenhower is blackmailing them and the huge amount of money in payoffs can not be kept secret much longer. Gary has been making audio and video tapes of their t...more
Shannon Appelcline
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 15, 2011 Ed rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Crime Fiction fans
I am sure going to miss my yearly "Spenser" fix now that Parker has passed on. I'm trying to drag out the books I haven't read but I usually finish his offerings in a couple days at most.

This one was up to his high standards as he takes on, as clients, four married women who are being blackmailed by a recent lover, Gary Eisenhower. At least that's one of his names. He is tasked with getting Eisenhower to stop because the women can't afford to pay forever but do not want their husbands to find ou...more
I first started reading Robert B. Parker when Lars, my eldest son, was critically ill in the hospital nearly twenty years ago. For some reason, this made a very strong attachment for me and his hero, Spenser, who has been there for me for nearly twenty years.

This may be his last case, as the author died a week ago today. I hope not; I hope one or more two are still in the pipe . . . 'tis a consummation devoutly to be wished. This tale finds Spenser helping a group of women, each of whom are bein...more
Steve Greenleaf
Soft-Boiled Detective: Robert Parker's The Professional

I picked up one by Robert B. Park, the author I'd heard of but had never read before. I tried Parker's The Professional (a Spenser mystery). After reading only a couple of pages, I was hooked.

The setup is a common one in classic American detective fiction. The opening scene as an ex-cop turned private eye, Spenser, sitting in his office waiting for someone to come in and lay a case on his desk. It happens right away, and the action moves q...more
Gerald Sinstadt
A brief note at the front of The Professional summarises the author's career and ends by recording baldly, "He passed away in January 2010." Millions of readers will lament the loss. Parker was a mere seventy-seven. His wife found him dead at his desk. Seemingly there are still two or three unpublished books.

There has been a sense in recent years of Parker writing on autopilot but even then sustaining his status among the best of his particular trade. The Professional may not be the best of the...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
First Sentence: I had just finished a job for an interesting woman named Nan Sartin, and was happily making out my bill to her, when a woman came in who promised to be equally interesting.

A local lawyer hires Spencer to meet with four of her clients. These four women are each married to an older, wealthy man. They have also each been having an affair with, and are now being blackmailed by the same man, Gary Eisenhower, and they want Spencer to end the threat. Or do they? One woman’s husband is n...more
Written two years ago: Five starts to a great mystery writer who died last week. Parker wrote sparse prose, fast-paced dialog, and created strong characters (including some very fine women). One of his more charming characteristics was to dedicated most (not all) of his books to his wife Joan. The New York Times obituary got that factoid wrong since he dedicated at least two of his books (to my knowledge) to others. Still, we should all maintain a moment of silence for the passing of a great mys...more
Maybe more like a 2.5, truely enjoyable enough. Most of the book I felt like I was just on the surface, listening to a bunch of dialogue and not actually seeing into the characters. And yet you could understand the people at the same time even though you were only exposed to them in clipped, short chapters. Still I liked it that way sort of, not really deep but I was always happy when Susan and Spenser were so cute about each other. There were also unexpected twists that kept me going, it was ju...more
Wayne Wilson
I am not sure if it was the narrator or the story but I came very close to not finishing this book. I think Parker must be getting soft in his old age with this book his main recurring protagonist, Spencer, spends more time talking about love than in action against bad guys.

I think I want my Spencer to be single, killing bad guys, and bedding hot babes than talking to his girl friend about how sex and love are inseparable to long lasting happiness and satisfaction. I don't need to read about my...more
Oh he is just so much fun and I do love to laugh. His witty crisp dialogue does it for me. Quick reader as always and of course being a licensed clinical social worker I relate to Susan his life long love and the dog, Pearl.

Parker writes in the style of Chandler and as a matter of fact, even completed one of Chandlers unfinished novels, Poodle Springs. A friend of mine criticizes me for reading this light fluffy stuff and says I need to read serious literature. Well I have read quite a lot of se...more
I have often wondered about Parker/Spenser's attitude to women. The Professional does not show women in a good light (Spenser even manages to refer to his beloved and revered Dr Susan Silverman as always late) even when they are being blackmailed by a sex addict. Spenser is hired by 4 women to track him down and get him to stop (blackmailing them that is, not, it turns out from having adulterous sex with them) but Spenser's take on the situation changes as he gets deeper and deeper in.

There's a...more
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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, #40) Painted Ladies (Spenser, #39) Chance (Spenser, #23) Split Image (Jesse Stone, #9)

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