Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Sudden Mischief (Spenser, #25)” as Want to Read:
Sudden Mischief (Spenser, #25)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Sudden Mischief (Spenser #25)

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  2,807 ratings  ·  102 reviews
Susan Silverman's ex doesn't call himself "Silverman" anymore--he's changed his name to "Sterling." And that's not the only thing that's phony about him. A do-gooding charity fundraiser, he's been accused of sexual harassment by no less than four different women. And not long after Spenser starts investigating, Sterling is wanted for a bigger charge: murder...
Paperback, 288 pages
Published May 1st 1999 by Berkley (first published 1998)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Sudden Mischief, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Sudden Mischief

The Diaries of Pontius Pilate by Joseph Max LewisAmerican Assassin by Vince FlynnTripwire by Lee ChildDamascus Countdown by Joel C. RosenbergThe Tehran Initiative by Joel C. Rosenberg
Most Addictive Books/Authors
54th out of 183 books — 49 voters
The Godwulf Manuscript by Robert B. ParkerA Catskill Eagle by Robert B. ParkerDouble Deuce by Robert B. ParkerPromised Land by Robert B. ParkerLooking For Rachel Wallace by Robert B. Parker
Best Robert B. Parker Mysteries
49th out of 59 books — 28 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Oh, joy! It’s a Spenser story that focuses heavily on Susan. I haven’t had this much fun since the hogs ate my baby brother!

Susan’s ex-husband Brad had come to her complaining about a sexual harassment lawsuit that could bankrupt him, and Susan thinks the obvious thing to do is to have her boyfriend look into it. As Spenser repeatedly observes, “This thing showed every sign of not working out well for me.”

Despite being aware of how messy it could get, Spenser goes off to do Susan’s bidding, but
Oct 14, 2013 Robert added it
Shelves: crime-detective
My second encounter with Parker's Boston PI, Spenser, was OK but it has some flaws.


See the complete review here:
Already up to Spenser #25. I'm trying to space them out because it's going to be a big blow when I read the final RBP-penned Spenser novel. This is another smooth, quick read. The dialogue flies, and Hawk even gets a little testy. The relationship between Spenser and Susan is the underpinning of the book, and it's marvelous to read about how truly much Spenser/RBP loves his partner. There's a lot of therapy talk, but it's interesting coming from the mouth of a self-described "thug." There's even ...more
Lisa Belcastro
I devour Spenser books and have for years. Parker wrote great romance and great friendships. His dialogue is sharp, witty and to the point. Sudden Mischief drew me in and held my attention because the book focused on Spenser and Susan's relationship. Though a 'detective story', you'll find more than love and honor to last well past the end of the book. A great read!
Kevin Bresnahan
This ranks right up there with the best Spenser novels. It deals with Susan's ex husband, who is a businessman accused of sexual harassment. He is portrayed, deservedly so, as a pathetic loser who can get women. Susan asks Spenser for help, and he obliges. Spenser and Hawk delve into the usual suspects and incidents. What makes this stand out is getting into Susan's background, which has been largely absent from any in the series. Parker provides some nice perspective on this, and makes me appre ...more
We’ve been on a bit of a Spenser kick lately; and “Mischief”, 25th in Parker’s original 39-book set, fits right in with expectations. Lover Susan somewhat embarrassingly asks Spenser to look into a sexual harassment suit filed against her first husband Brad. Almost immediately, despite hard-pressed for actual clues, Spenser gets warned off for nosing around by some thugs, whom of course he dispatches in fine “Jack Reacher” form. As the case proceeds, a couple of dead bodies add to the confusion, ...more
In SUDDEN MISCHIEF, Spenser is asked by the world’s hottest hottie, Susan Silverman, to defend her former husband against a case of multiple sexual harassment charges from four married women. The man bringing the charges against Susan’s ex is just about the most powerful, and dangerous, man in Boston.

Everybody wants Spenser to drop the case. He is being warned away by his friends, even some enemies have suggested that he drops this one for his own benefit, but that would be against just about e
Phillip Thurlby
Another classic outing with Spenser!

I would not say that Robert B. Parker is my favorite Author, nor is he the most accomplished, but by God I'd struggle through life without him.

I read a lot of pulp and classic hard-boiled crime and am always searching and trying new authors (mainly because the lord of them all - Raymond Chandler, did not write enough!). I have various successes with each of these and sometimes they spawn a new love with a particular author. More often however, these authors ar
8-2014 re-re-read. like this one just one year later.

5-18-2013 read again. I liked my notes from 4 years ago.. Hear Hear!!!!

first read amripl 2009
Another enjoyable Spenser This time with the ex of Susan... the flake: Brad Sterling, ne Baruch Silverman. Oy , what we do for assimilation. I do like the broosers showing up and getting whoooped. And Hawk, do need a Hawk fix periodically. A wonderful antidote to reality.

Mike Jensen
I take it back.

I awarded only two stars the first time I read this book. I have such a visceral and seething reaction to the Susan Silverman character that I have written that the more scenes she has, the worse the book in which she appears.

I needed some distance from this series to see this book more clearly. Susan is in the story to an unacceptable degree and she is more obnoxious than ever, but Parker INTEGRATES her into the story. She has a reason to be there this time, and for a change she
This is not so much a review of "Sudden Mischief" as one for all Robert B Parker's books. If you haven't read any of his novels you really are missing out on one of the great crime/thriller writers of the modern age. "Sudden Mischief" is a novel in Parker's first and most successful "Spencer" series. Spencer is, for me (and many others, judging by the series success), one of the great fictional characters. He's a private eye who knows where he stands in the world - he's not worn down by his prof ...more
I am a recent fan of Parker's, and this book did not disappoint me. Spenser is the detective who answers the call of his girlfriend, Susan, when she asks him to help her ex-husband in some difficulties. Spenser does so, much to his peril. But the book is a good read, fast paced, although slowed somewhat by Susan's self-analysis [she is a psychologist] and Spenser's dilemma as to what to respond to her. Although this part might have been somewhat amusing, I did not think it was intended to be. in ...more
Spenser's long-time girlfriend, Susan Silverman, asks Spenser to help her ex-husband, Brad Sterling. He's in trouble due to a a sexual harassment law suit filed against him by a four women who did volunteer work on a fundraiser / gala. Spenser discovers that the law suit is the least of Brad's troubles. While investigating the harassment suit, Spenser and Hawk begin to trace Brad's business dealings as a professional fund-raiser and discover his tendency to help himself to sizable amounts of the ...more
Robert Beveridge
There are some characters who have been around so long and are so consistent that they fit like an old pair of jeans; there are some books that are so easy and go down so smooth that they can be read in one gulp. The character, of course, is Spenser; the book, Sudden Mischief, the latest Spenser novel from the typewriter of Robert B. Parker.

These books are designed for one-stop reading. They take three hours, give or take for your reading speed, and are meant to be devoured by the fire with a bo
Somehow, in some thirty plus years of reading mysteries, I have managed to miss out on the enjoyable experience of reading a Spenser novel. Fortunately, with the completion of Sudden Mischief, the 25th in the series, that gaping hole has been filled! What fun this book was! Spenser's asked by his psychiatrist girl friend, Susan, to help out her ex husband Brad Sterling, who has hit a rough patch, and is in financial trouble. Of course, Spenser investigates, with the aide of Hawk, whom I also met ...more
93 out of 100 for 2010

I am on the verge of deciding that late 90s Spenser is the 'heart of the canon,' at the risk of sounding pretentious. Barring that, I do feel that the three novel written in that period including Small Vices, Sudden Mischief, and Hush Money are about as good as Spenser gets, (and that makes them very good indeed).

In this novel, Spenser is asked to help Susan's ex husband, Brad Silver, who is the target of a sexual harassment lawsuit Brad claims is groundless. But Brad seems
Aug 23, 2009 Amy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who likes Spenser novels
Shelves: just-for-fun, series
A really great entry in the Spenser series, Sudden Mischief tells of the unexpected (or some might call it "sudden") reappearance of Susan Silverman's ex-husband, whose name escapes me at the moment. As the former Mr. Silverman (he's changed his name to Sterling) appears to be in some trouble, Susan recruits her man Spenser to investigate.

Although the overall story is nothing new (people get killed, Spenser investigates, crimes get solved), what really makes this book one of the best Spenser no
This book drove me nuts through the first half, all because of Susan and her way with Spenser. She wants him to investigate something to help her ex-husband, yet she doesn't want him to at the same time. This happens a lot for Spenser, but hers was even more annoying as she should know what he does and how he operates by now. If he's going to investigate something, he has to do a lot of digging and ask those involved. With her being attached to the jerk he's investigating, she should have been e ...more
This must be one of the most subdued of Parker's Spenser series. It deals with Spenser and Susan's long term relationship as much as it does the case. From a sense of guilt, Dr. Susan Silverman, psychiatrist, brings Spenser in to help her ex-husband. Susan, who has, to date, suppressed what occurred prior to Spenser explores her attraction to damaged goods, while Spenser uses pop psychology and his inherent knowledge of human nature to stumble through a confusing time in their 18 year liaison.

Robert Parker's Spenser is asked by his long-standing girlfriend Susan to help out her ex-husband who is be sued by four women for sexual harassment. Susan can't believe it and he denies it. She says he's struggling financially; he denies it. One of the four women is killed....Spenser is hard at work being a PI. Not a bad story. A little hard to follow in places. There are better Spenser stories.
Mike Jensen
An instantly forgettable Spenser novel. You can almost rate these books by the number of appearances by Susan Silverman. The more pages of Susan, the worse the book. This one is chock-full of Susan Silverman. Oh,the dialogue is quite readable and characters from former books drop by (Rachael Wallace!), but the Spenser formula seems especially thin here.
M. D.
This one was pretty good. Actually a bit better than that. But all the stuff with Susan does start to wear after a while. In the last several volumes the chapters with Spenser and her at dinner (or sitting in front of the fire or walking along talking or a hundred other little scenes) start to become tedious. I know she is a major part of what makes Spenser, well, Spenser and he is a richer character because of it. But Susan seems to drag the energy of the story down sometimes and it gets old. P ...more
This wasn't nearly as good as I remembered; it's been some years since I read it. I objected less to the exposition about Susan's history than I did to the seriously convoluted A plot. Nevertheless, it's a fun read for that period of original Spenser novels. In the same era, Small Vices is a better choice, strictly based on quality.
It was rather interesting to read about Susan's ex husband, his several other wives, and how he was making a living, or bilking others out of money. Hawk helps out on this one, and Pearl is there, too--after all she originally belonged to Mr. Silverman, as he was once known. Several people meet their demise. Spenser gets to be okay
Apr 04, 2014 Eliana added it
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!
Delicious candy. Noir lite, which is a compliment. Parker writes so smoothly and evocatively that you forget you're reading until hours have passed. Simple prose with a deceptive, melancholy beauty, and slyly funny. Bring him to the beach, but you might forget to go swimming.
Feb 21, 2015 Denise rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Denise by: Deidre
Shelves: mystery
A good Spencer read. It left me smiling, craving fried clams and a good beer, and missing Robert Urich and Avery Brooks (and yes, I just checked: the 1980s TV drama series, Spencer for Hire, is still not available on Netflix)
An excellent Spenser book with lots more interaction between Spenser
and Susan. The issue of this book is a false accusation of sexual
harassment. The first few chapter ended with Spenser saying a line that
I'm going to use a lot in my life (unfortunately): THIS THING SHOWED
EVERY SIGN OF NOT WORKING OUT WELL FOR ME. There were other observations I liked: We sat and looked into the fire and were quiet
together. I liked it. It wasn't an absence of conversation, it was
the presence of quiet. AND: I like
This book has Spencer helping out his paramour Susan as a favor. Seems her ex husband Brad Sterling got into some "trouble" and it's up to Spencer to clear him; but when a simple case of 'sexual harrassment' turns out to have loan sharking ties and a murder, there's more than meets the eye...Can Spencer clear his client before the Mob gets to him? Great book, but they could've made it a 'little bit' longer. Enjoy!
I enjoyed the book, and liked the characters, but they were a little too perfect. The hero is downright invincible. His backup buddy even more so. That said, I liked the fact that the good guys won!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Poodle Springs
  • Robert B. Parker's Lullaby (Spenser, #40)
  • Two Down (Crossword Mysteries, #2)
  • Robert B. Parker's Fool Me Twice (Jesse Stone, #11)
  • Stone Quarry (Lydia Chin & Bill Smith, #6)
  • Passport To Peril (Hard Case Crime #57)
  • Getting Old Is to Die For (Gladdy Gold, #4)
  • Midnight Come Again (Kate Shugak, #10)
  • Hades
  • Spade & Archer: The Prequel to Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon
  • Reservations for Murder (A Lighthouse Inn Mystery, #2)
  • Biggie and the Devil Diet
  • A Ticket to the Boneyard (Matthew Scudder, #8)
  • Fletch's Fortune (Fletch, #3)
  • The Bone Fire (Gil Montoya Mystery #2)
  • The Long Lavender Look (Travis McGee #12)
  • Self's Deception (Gerhard Self #2)
  • Sympathy Between Humans (Sarah Pribek #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 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)

Share This Book

“I’m entirely fascinated with you,” I said. “And what you are is a result of what you were, including the other men.” 0 likes
More quotes…