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Taming A Sea-Horse (Spenser #13)

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  2,809 ratings  ·  78 reviews
Spenser's interest in teenage prostitute April Kyle leads him to Robert Rambeaux, ersatz Juilliard student and April's pimp, and to Ginger Bucky, another of Rambeaux's hookers, who suddenly turns up dead.
ebook, 320 pages
Published September 16th 2009 by Dell (first published 1986)
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The books where Spenser has to deal with prostitution are always depressing because Parker accurately portrayed it as a nasty and degrading business. But then Spenser usually beats up some pimps so it’s not all bad.

Four years earlier, Spenser went looking for April Kyle in Ceremony and rescued her from a life of prostitution. Sort of. When April falls in love with a music student who just needs her to turn a few tricks to pay his way through school, she leaves a safe situation for her new man. S
Finding an old Spenser that I haven't read is much akin to finding literary gold. A fine book and a great way to pass part of the weekend!
This title is hard to understand. Spenser is looking for a prostitute--hard to find. Hawk helps him out, and Susan makes more than one appearance. Not only two prostitutes figure in this story, but there are a bunch of unsavory men as well. In the middle of it, Spenser and Susan take a trip to St. Thomas. Wow--I'd like to go there again, myself.
Much better than the previous book in the series. Spencer got his groove back, Hawk played a small but pivotal role, and Susan was bearable. Listened to the audio version read by the reliable Michael Prichard.
C.C. Thomas
Spenser is back! It's so nice to see him return to his pre-Susan-made-me-lose-my-mind days. The last few books in the series were really painful for me to read. I really like to see Spenser as an impenetrable fortress of good and watching him mire about in self-pity was awkward, especially since I so dislike Susan, the cause of his morose pity party.

In this installment, Spenser is called back to the home of his favorite prostitute madam to find a missing girl. However, the more Spenser digs, the
Connie N.
Typical Spenser novel, better than some. He's looking for April Kyle--again--now that she's left Patricia Utley for "true love" with a musician named Rambeaux. She quickly disappears, and it seems as though she's being manipulated, which indicates that there's something big gong on. In his search for her, Spenser meets another hooker named Ginger who ends up getting killed. He follows her past to see if he can find who killed her. With a little more danger than usual in this one, Hawk is asked t ...more
Cherie In the Dooryard
Pretty predictable Spenser plot, but lots of Susan and Hawk banter with almost no psychoanalysis, so it's a winner. Incidentally, one of the fascinating parts of reading Spenser novels in order is seeing him trace the evolution of American culture through his novels. The meals, the drinks, the food, and most especially the clothes...he nails it every time. His details of one of Susan's outfits, complete with layered plastic baubles and grey patterned tights, is so 1986 I can see the copy of Cosm ...more
Cathy DuPont
Ah, another Spenser novel down and who knows how many more to go!

At the beginning the book started to sound tired and worn from reading so many of the other Spenser novels but soon the pace picked up and it had a twist, another in Spenser's long know effort to 'right the wrongs' of society and to accept what he can't change.

Parker's writing is still good, no doubt. Guess I'm just getting tired of so much of the same, same. My favorite parts of Parker's books is when he delves into the psyche of
I love Mr. Parker's books, and I have missed reading about Spenser and Hawk. Spenser is probably my all time favorite character. The relationships in the Spenser novels between Spenser and Hawk and Spenser and Susan bring me into the story and into their lives. I really enjoy it when I feel like I know most of the characters in a novel.

This particular book, Taming a Sea-Horse, helps to give the reader a feel for who Spenser really is, and what his ethics are about. He is looking for a young pros
Hired to find April Kyle, the teenaged prostitute from “Ceremony”, leads Spenser into the seedy underbelly of New York, Boston and the Caribbean, putting him into direct conflict with the mob and needing the help of Hawk and Susan to get the case cracked. Another Parker novel that focuses on the seedier, sleazier side of life, this is a cracking read, written at a fast pace with expert characterisation and descriptions, telling you in a handful of words than some writers manage in pages. Spenser ...more
Robert Beveridge
Robert B. Parker, Taming a Sea-Horse (Delacorte, 1986)

One of the fun things about Robert Parker's Spenser novels is that way folks keep popping up and making Spenser's life miserable. In this case, the poppee is April Kyle, a prostitute Spenser encountered a few years before. That story didn't end to anyone's satisfaction, least of all Spenser's. Now it's time for him to find out why. April has left the employ of the madam with whom Spenser set her up to turn tricks for her new boyfriend, a wood
Another Spenser book (from 1986) where there is a hard subject
(prostitution) but lots of Spenser wisdom. A Newsweek review of a
Spenser book says: "Like Philip Marlowe, Spenser is a man of honor in a
dishonorable world. When he says he will do something, it is done. The dialogue zings and there is plenty of action...but it is the moral element that sets them above most detective fiction." Now for some
quotes from the book: "The money matters. I know it doesn't matter very much to you (Spenser). But
Susan Silverman is back in Spenser's life with minimal mention of what she put him through in the last few books. Happy together, they find little time to do any real cooking. The problem is an old one: April Kyle, the teenage prostitute Spenser saved in "Ceremony" has left Patricia Utley's call girl service to turn tricks for Robert Rambeaux, her current lover. Spenser does some investigating but before he gets too far April disappears, Rambeaux is beaten up by someone and one of the hookers he ...more

march 2009
While reading this book, I thought it was not at the same quality of plot as Parker's other Spenser books. Toward the end, I realized this, in fact, was not a typical Spenser book. This is a cautionary tale. Covering up in one area can lead to reprecusions(sic) in all areas, like ripples in a pond. It reminded me (in a free association sort of way) that years ago, Harry Kemelman wrote the "Friday the Rabbi Slept..." series But one of his books used the Rabbi Small format to be a Q &
oh april kyle,... Oh Ginger... hawk and Spenser are invincible... i found it interesting that the present spenser bought Susan when she came back from california is an ankle chain that she never takes off... wasnt the whole reason that she ran away to Russell was the freedom, the independence and the self ownership? a chain that is never removed sure seems like a symbol of ownership, is that just me?
I really enjoyed the story, despite how it somewhat stretched credulity. Sure, I get how he is a white knight, but April is really a muddy dog. The question of why and why always comes back up, not only in my mind, but in Spenser's. The fact that he doesn't give up on her boggled me.

Despite my misgivings, I thought he novel was quite good. It was up to the standards set in the previous ones.
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!
Scott Miller
Another fun Spenser read about a missing hooker. Spenser must delve into the world of prostitution to try to find April Kyle. Parker's concise and crisp dialogue and humor are at their best here. A touch of his girlfriend Susan and Hawk are always welcome. My only gripe was the truncated ending...was this all for naught?
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
2009 # 94
Robert B. Parker - Taming a Sea-horse - Finished - 7/3/2009

PB An early Spenser where is tracking a young girl who is in the "trade" and ends up following the track of another girl also in the trade. who turns up shot after he talked with her. The back trail leads to Maine where here abusive father "sold" her to a pimp and follows as she is passed along from "house" to another. The trail eventually leads to a confrontation with the Mob. Through it all Spenser's irreverence is ever prese
Just another "Spenser" - not the best of them but, by a long shot, not the worst of them either!
I like Parker's writing and I'm reading the whole Spenser series as much in order as I can although there's been a few get out of order for various reasons like availability or comparing the book to the movie or TV show supposedly based on that book. Not being a Western story fan I haven't read any of his Western series but I must say that I liked all of the "Jesse Stone" series more than most of the
another cool Spenser, rescuing a damsel in distress. We find out who the toughest guy in Lindell, Maine is as well.....
Maybe not the best Spenser, but it feels so good coming back to Parker and his talent for weaving a good story.
Alan Baxter
Classic hard-boiled thriller fare with a suitably misogynistic private eye. But this PI has heart and smarts and it's a totally inoffensive, good fun read that clips along.

The dialogue is sharp as a fresh knife and Parker's understanding and portrayal of fighting and violence is spot on. More like an episode of Miami Vice than anything else, this is not a mind-blowing story or a shattering exploration of the form, but it is a very good venture into the depravity and real horror of prostitution.
Jack Cheng
A Spenser book from the mid-1980s. Pretty middling, and the plot depends on previous knowledge of characters, but even middling Parker is better than most detective fiction.

A real timecapsule of fashion and attitudes of the time, and I enjoyed not only the regular depictions of the Boston area (including the Ming Garden restaurant, long closed, opposite the Chestnut Hill Mall, whose sign always intrigued me), but also NYC and Portland, ME. Having just spent the weekend there, I was impressed by
joyce lynn
this was a good book, w/ some twists. not as many "twists" nor as much of a "thriller" as his others, but ... still good.

at the same time, tho, definitely NOT one of this series that i've enjoyed the most. couldn't tell you why, just wasn't. maybe that too many people were killed rather needlessly, or that some lives were thought of as so indispensible because of their occupations, or ... i just don't know why, all i know is that it wasn't one of his better books in my opinion.

can't get ahold of
It's time to save April Kyle again 'cause she's in love.
Cathy Cusson
Back on track with Susan, great mystery!
Audiobook, Read by Michael Prichard
As I discover these early Spenser novels, I enjoy the echoes of late seventies, early eighties culture (I tell myself that's why I read books like this). I enjoy all the details about the food, and the wine, and the beer -- though I notice Spenser didn't cook quite as much back in the day. This novel, however, was not all that interesting. As I read in someone else's review, April Kyle is not that interesting, and I don't really get why Spenser should put so much energy into taking care of her. ...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 about Robert B. Parker...

Other Books in the Series

Spenser (1 - 10 of 43 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)
The Godwulf Manuscript (Spenser, #1) Sixkill (Spenser, #39) Painted Ladies (Spenser, #38) Chance (Spenser, #23) Split Image (Jesse Stone, #9)

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