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Ceremony (Spenser, #9)
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Ceremony (Spenser #9)

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  3,438 ratings  ·  113 reviews
Boston private eye Spenser's search for a missing high-school girl takes him to Boston's Combat Zone, to high-class, specialty brothels, and back to the straight world whose righteous facade overlap pervasive corruption.
ebook, 224 pages
Published June 9th 2010 by Dell (first published 1982)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dan Schwent
When a troubled teenager named April Kyle is seen hooking in Boston, her parents want her brought back. While Spenser won't work for the father at any price, he takes the case for the princely sum of one dollar from April's mother. Spenser, Hawk, and Susan soon find themselves caught in a web of underage prostitution and pornography. But what do you do when a runaway prostitute doesn't want to come back home?

After reading the most recent Ace Atkins Spenser book, I decided it was time to fill in
Spenser, Hawk and Susan get to crash a house party in this one. Hilarity ensues.

High school guidance counselor Susan is worried about April Kyle, a troubled drop-out type of kid who has run off from her parents. She asks Spenser to talk to them about finding her, but April’s dad has seen his daughter hooking in Boston’s infamous Combat Zone. Now he’s pulling a my-daughter-is-a-whore-and-not welcome-in-my-house routine. Spenser refuses to work for him but takes a dollar from his wife to find Apri
Spenser is looking for a runaway teenage girl, that doesn't want to go back home, to her dad that don't want her back. Might ruin his image as a successful business man, because she's turning tricks.
Our tough and funny PI, gets an up close and personal look into child porn. He isn't joking around much, walking around in the Combat Zone, where the sex for sale is everywhere. Another fine early Spenser & Hawk tale.
Gerald Sinstadt
Ceremony is ninth in the Spenser series. Dedicated students will be interested to see notable changes since we began with The Godulf Manuscript. Susan Silverman is established by now but she is still not in independent practice. There are clues to Hawk's origins.

The plot is a variation on a familiar Parker theme - a teenaged girl is missing, Spenser is hire to find her and bring her back to unloving patents. Violence erupts frequently. The dialogue is smart and often amusing. These are ingredien
Cathy DuPont
Dec 17, 2011 Cathy DuPont rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Yipee!!! Both Hawk and Susan are back and I hope don't leave anytime soon in upcoming books. For me, they both just make Spenser more interesting and I love their banter, all of it. Gives Spenser come challenges in how he looks at life.

Should have know it was about children some how, some way, due to the cover; a Teddy bear with money stuffed in shirt. The subject, child prostitution, was a new and different subject for Parker and certainly a hot topic even today, almost 30 years since first pub
I have just completed another Robert B. Parker book: "Ceremony." While I enjoy Mr. Parker's storytelling, the ending, which I do not wish to give away, disturbed me.

Despite my opinion on the ending, I still give it 4 stars. Mr. Parker, as the author, is an excellent storyteller, and the one who creates the ending for his book: here, Spenser must come up with a quick solution to save a young girl from the jaws of a low-line prostitution ring - a girl who does not want to go back to the safety of
Jane Stewart
2 ½ stars. My mind wandered a lot, but it might have been other things going on in my life - not sure.

If you’re new to the series and just want to read some, skip this one. It’s not a lot of muscle and wit. It’s mostly Spenser trying to find a teenage girl who runs away from home and does not want to be rescued.

The narrator Michael Prichard was very good.

This is book #9 in the Spenser series.
Narrative mode: 1st person Spenser. Unabridged audiobook length: 4 hrs and 31 mins (224-228 pages).
Great as always, this one has Hawk in it which is always a huge plus!!
Teenage prostitution, hypocrisy and tough choices dominate this excellent mystery. It feels like Chapter One of a bigger story, and adds some more depth to this ongoing portrait of this one-named sleuth.
Chris Norbury
My first Robert B. Parker read. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Fast-paced, taut prose, authentic dialogue, good MC and supporting characters. The MC, Spenser, is just enough a wise ass to make him humorous, but still serious and not overplayed just to create the humor.

I read this in a day, which is good and bad. Character development is minimal at best, setting is often overlooked as are character descriptions and backstory, and the plot was straightforward with minimal twists or surprises.

A gr
Although I had to force myself to finish the first Spenser book, I persisted merely because I have come to love Robert B. Parker's writing style. I have read all of the Jesse Stone series, watched all of the Jesse Stone films, read all of the Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch novels (next read will be The Bridge) and have now read nine Spenser mysteries. While I appreciate that these characters live on thru the writing of other authors since Mr. Parker's premature death, no one can match his ability ...more
The late 1970s, Boston. The Combat Zone was alive, well and doing brisk business, and people--be they pimps, hookers, whores, junkies, johns, wise guys or regular folk, are in & out like the seedy carnival it was. Spenser takes on a case of a 16-year-old runaway named April Kyle, a school dropout who turned to living on the streets and hooking rather than go to school. It seems pretty straightforward: get the girl, return her home, resume normal life, until routine questions in the Zone turn ...more
As always, a novel with a Hawk in it is fun. The fact that this client was taken on for a dollar and caused so much hassle is pretty much par for these novels. The fact that it was about prostitution and eventually came to a tolerant view is neither here nor there, but it does keep in line with the whole idea of freedom. Freedom to choose your own poison, etc. But bleh about the way the children are being used and are willing to be used. I'd have been quite satisfied with Spencer and Hawk mowing ...more
Spenser is hired, at the urging of Susan Silverman and for a fee of one dollar, to look for April Kyle, a teenage drop-out with an overbearing father who has fled to The Combat Zone and a life of prostitution. Teaming up with Hawk, Spenser delves ever deeper into the seedy side of Boston, uncovering a child pornography ring that has links not only in the criminal underworld but also into local government. It’s been longer than a year since I read a Spenser novel and getting into this was like se ...more
Connie N.
When you think about it, Spenser and Hawk are really not very nice guys--they live in the dark side of the city and deal with really bad people. But such is the beauty of Robert Parker's writing, that he makes them seem friendly and nice and extremely likeable. I love the relationship between Spenser and Hawk and Susan--they have a wonderful friendship/love that keeps me amused and smiling. This story is the first about April Kyle, as they search for her in the world of prostitution. Many reader ...more
51 out of 100 for 2010

I have read all the Spenser series over a period of about twenty years, so I decided 'twas time to reread them. I planned to do that in order, but, because of a lack of availability, I have had to jump around in 'the early years.' Ceremony isn't exactly early, but it was only eight years and eight books into the series (1982; Parker first published in -74 and published, pretty reliably, a book a year in the series 'til he died.).

Interesting to go back this far; Spenser's wo
Bryan Reyes
I don't know why I bought this book. Definitely not because it has the "X-rated" word in it. Maybe because I want to read a Robert Parker. And a detective novel aside from Sherlock. I loved this books twist and turns. I loved the character development and the way it presented the story until the case was solved. If being a detective (or a detective's aide) is as cool as what the book portrayed, I'll definitely start my own detective agency. Well, I'll be conservative with this book and gave it a ...more
I've settled down to happily completing all of Parker's
books. I keep finding them at the library by reserving
them. In this book April Kyle is a teen runaway that
Spenser is hired by her parents to find. It was interesting
to see how Spenser rises to the task of helping April find a
satisfactory life for herself when the parents are inadequate
for the task because of their preoccupation with their lives.
I had read a later Spenser book where April resurfaces some
10 to 15 years later. I found knowing t
Karenbike Patterson
Spenser uncovers a school supervisor who takes girls at risk and turns therm into prostitutes. During this process he talks a lot about the food he prepares and eats. The best thing about Parker books is the crisp no nonsense dialog and the fast paced plot. Fun to read but not great literature. This wasn't very deep but it had an important theme.
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!
Spencer basically hires himself for $1 on a cranky parent's behalf to retrieve their little darling girl who's escaped their oppressive clutches and become a prostitute. A serviceable enough Spenser novel, with a healthy amount of Susan, and, as usual, could always use more Hawk.
1982. My first Spenser mystery and I wasn't impressed. It has some great old Boston Combat Zone scenes, but the writing is strictly hack stuff. Adequate. The fighting that Spenser and his black army buddy, Hawk, do in this book is simply not credible. And it went on so long it was as boring as those ridiculously long fight scenes in some movies. Seriously, I put the book down in the middle of a fight and didn't pick it up til the next day. His perfect-seeming relationship was also suspect in my ...more
Cathy Cusson
I really enjoy the Hawk, Spenser and Susan trio. They shine. I too found the ending disturbing. Maybe it was the only possible solution, but it wasn't one I felt at all comfortable with. Good read despite it though.
Another fine tale from Parker about the philosophic, hard-fisted Spenser, pal Hawk, and love interest Susan. He's coerced into looking for a problem teen in Boston and the unsavory people taking advantage of her.
Leroy Brookens
One of my least favorite R. B. Parker books. It shows his Achilles heel - his lack of any absolute morality. He writes "what is right in his own eyes."
Second read of this book. This story, which is very good, is continued in a later book. Most of Parker's books are a one day read.
This is my first Spenser novel. I got what I was expecting. Macho talk, violence, quips. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon. I'll read another.
Reviewing the ninth book in a series is a tough thing, to comment on the book in general, but also in relation to the rest of the series.

CEREMONY is a solid Spenser novel: quick read, some great one-liners, and a truly chaotic and inspiring melee. There is no real mystery and the investigation is simple, but the story really makes an effort to create some moral ambiguity that I thought worked great.

This is a series best read in order. So if you haven't read Spenser, read THE GODWULF MANUSCRIPT,
Sue Robinson
Still reading my way through Parker's Spenser back catalogue. This was better than number 8.
How come the boy gets a private school and this gal becomes a whore?
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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)
  • The Widening Gyre (Spenser, #10)
  • Valediction (Spenser, #11)
The Godwulf Manuscript (Spenser, #1) Sixkill (Spenser, #39) Chance (Spenser, #23) Painted Ladies (Spenser, #38) Split Image (Jesse Stone, #9)

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“We split a bottle of Norman cider. Not everybody sells Norman cider by the bottle.
"Has a European feel" Susan said.
"That sounds terrific" I said. "Can I have one?"
Susan grinned at me. "How did you ever get to be so big without growing up?" she said.
"Iron self-control" I said.”
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