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Robert B. Parker's Wonderland (Spenser #41)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  4,325 Ratings  ·  405 Reviews
Henry Cimoli and Spenser have been friends for years, yet the old boxing trainer has never asked the private eye for a favor. Until now. A heavy-handed developer is trying to buy up Henry's condo on Revere Beach and sends thugs to move the process along. Soon Spenser and his apprentice, Zebulon Sixkill, find a trail leading to a mysterious and beautiful woman, a megalomani ...more
Hardcover, 306 pages
Published May 7th 2013 by G.P. Putnam's Sons
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Mar 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
I recently got to see some mystery writers including Ace Atkins and Megan Abbott at an event and signing in St. Louis and got one of my proudest moments when I met Atkins and mentioned that I liked the homage he’d done to True Grit in his first Spenser novel Lullaby.

“You know, you’re only like the third person I’ve talked to who picked up on that, and Megan Abbott there was one of the other ones,” Atkins told me. This made me so happy that I walked around with a big stupid grin on my face for t
James Thane
This is the second novel written by Ace Atkins featuring Boston P.I. Spenser, the late Robert B. Parker's best-known and best-loved series character. As the story opens, Spenser is approached by his long-time friend and trainer, Henry Cimoli, who owns the gym where Spenser works out. Henry has never before asked Spenser for a favor, but he needs one now.

Henry lives in a condo complex near an abandoned dog racing track called Wonderland. The units in the complex are owned mostly by elderly citize
Lee Goldberg
Jun 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Ace Atkins flawlessly captures Parker's narrative voice and has produced the best Spenser novel in years. It reads like Parker in his prime, even without Hawk appearing in the book. There isn't a single false note in the plotting, character or voice. It's an astonishing feat. It's actually better, and truer to Parker and his characters, than the last few Spenser novels that Parker himself wrote. It's a shame Atkins can't take on Jesse Stone and Virgil Cole, too.
Jun 21, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult-fiction, series
You all know how I love Spenser.

And if you remember I was concerned when author Robert Parker died and Ace Atkins took over the Spenser series. His first book, Sixkill was good, had that Parker feel, almost seamless in the turnover. Edit: This is actually Parker's last book, Atkins took over the next one...d"oh!

This one...well, it was good, still has the Parker feel but something was a little bit off. Not bad...but off.

At first I thought it was because Atkins didn't have enough of that quick,
Jay Connor
May 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is the second outing for Ace Atkins as the successor to the great Robert B. Parker in continuing the Spenser series. Though not quite as strong as Lullaby, Wonderland is a fine addition.

New authors picking up the baton from a deceased author has been done before. Parker himself wrote two Philip Marlowe novels. John Gardner took a run at James Bond. Eric Van Lustbader picked up Jason Bourne. Joe Gores gave us a new Sam Spade novel. And Sherlock Holmes has been tackled by everyone from Stephe
Mar 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-thrillers
Brilliant Wonderland

Having read Wonderland by Robert B. Parker I can see why they called him “ of the greats of the American hard-boiled genre” because this book is brilliance defined. If you want to know how to write about private detectives then he has to be a must read. For me, Spence is the best private detective in modern American crime fiction. I know want to read more of what Parker has written as he is succinct does not drag anything out and his prose speaks Bostonian hard working
David Sam
Jul 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
A good effort at channeling Robert Parker's Spenser: Better than some Parker wrote near the end, but not anywhere as good as Mortal Stakes, Judas Goat and others from the period thru Pale Kings---but then not much is that good.
May 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is the second book in the Robert B Parker Spenser legacy series. As I noted in my review of Ace Atkin's freshman effort in this series, having read all 30+ Spenser novels, often more than once, it is difficult to accept someone else writing the series. After reading, Lullaby, Atkins's first Spenser book, I generally liked it a lot. I had some issues of tone and description but overall it was well worth reading. Wonderland is more of a mixed bag for me. On the one hand Atkins has done the mo ...more
Randy Briggs
May 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
I was devastated when Robert B. Parker died in 2010, as he was one of my favorite writers for decades. I have read every one of his books, and his death left a huge hole in my literary pleasure. I was hugely skeptical when I learned that his books were to be written by an unknown (to me, at that point)author. Thankfully, his estate hand-picked a fitting writer to carry on the tradition. "Wonderland" is the second Spenser novel written by Ace Atkins, and it's a dandy. The language is the same, as ...more
Apr 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
I've read every one of the Spenser, Jesse Stone and Sunny Randall books. I wasn't sure if I wanted to keep reading the non-Parker novels. Even after reading the first Atkins book I wasn't totally convinced. The story was ok, and seemed Parker-ish but the dialogue seemed forced to me and it seemed like Atkins was trying a bit too hard. After reading his new book, Wonderland, I'm definitely in for the long haul. I really enjoyed it. The story is good, and the dialogue much better. I even like Spen ...more
Angela Juline
Feb 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
I just enjoy these Spenser books - certainly not works of fiction, but I've always appreciated how well the stories are told. Atkins does a respectable job of keeping the books as Robert B. Parker would have written them - I love books with lots of dialog, especially well written dialog.
May 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Writer Ace Atkins continues the Spenser tradition established by the late Robert B. Parker, and once again, he hits the nail on the head nine times out of 10. In this one, private investigator Spenser at first takes on a pro bono job for old friend and boxing trainer Henry Cimoli; he and members of his condo association are being harassed both mentally and physically as they steadfastly refuse to sell their building for a bargain-basement price.

The attacks, Henry believes, are coming at the hand
Jun 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Ace Atkins, author of the excellent Quinn Colson series, captures Spenser's voice, though it's more the voice of the last couple of dozen Spenser novels and not the more tautly paced first dozen. Spenser's old pal, Henry Cimoli, is being pressured out of his condo (along with all of the other older people who live there) by gaming interests who are out to build a giant casino. Spenser and his protege, Zebulon Sixkill (Hawk is in Miami on a job, unfortunately) move against the thugs who are press ...more
Janet Major
Aug 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Ace Atkins continues his winning ways with the Robert Parker series. Spenser is asked to help Henry Cimoni, owner of the gym where he and Hawk have trained for years. Cimoni currently lives in a high rise condo on Revere beach which is under attack from someone who wants to buy the whole condo building. It has turned dangerous for those who haven't signed the agreement. Spenser and his sidekick-in-training, Zebulon Sixkill, endeavor to solve the situation. It seems that groups want the land to ...more
Jun 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I like what Ace Atkins is doing. He is staying true to the characters, the style, and the overall feel of the Spenser series, but he is also nudging the series forward. I was curious what Parker would have done with Z when he introduced the character. But, since Z was left under-developed and without a history, Atkins can and is using him to explore the Spenser-verse in a new ways. Most significantly for the series going forward are the developments with Vinnie and Gino Fish.

As I said in my firs
Frank Richardson
Aug 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Robert Parker died in 2010. Ace Atkins took over without skipping a beat. This former newspaper reporter for the Tampa Tribune and the St Pete Times is described by Michael Connelly as "one of the best crime writers working today". The dialog is hard bitten and full of sardonic humor and Hawk isn't even there. He is in Miami. This is a case where criminal types are trying to force their way into buying property in beantown which happens to include the condo of one of Spenser's friends named Henr ...more
Mar 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2013
I really liked Atkins first Spenser outing, LULLABY. While this was a good read, it wasn't as good as that one. Seemed to take the plot awhile to get going, and I REALLY missed Hawk. A Spenser book without Hawk, even a cameo appearance, is like a day without sunshine. The plot was a bit involved and you had to pay attention. Spenser's relationship with Z is kind of odd to me, and I wonder what's going to happen with him after the ending of this one. Mostly nit-picky things for me, but one very g ...more
For any Parker conneisseur, immeasurable thanks are due the Parker Estate for selecting Ace Atkins who continues Spenser's story without missing a beat. Yes, all of the humor and wonderful quick, snappy dialogue brilliantly appears in Wonderland as if the sad, sad day in January of 2010 was incorrectly reported. As all of the other Spenser novels, the great enjoyment rides on at Wonderland.

I received a free copy of Wonderland through Goodreads First-reads.
Aug 11, 2013 rated it liked it
Ace Atkins has done a wonderful job of bringing Spenser back to his original unique self - a sophisticated, literate thug! I've been reading the Spenser novels since the 70's when the series first started. I was disappointed when the novels started to slip after Parker hit the best seller list. Now, my heart is happy. In fact, I was so impressed with the "real" Spenser's return that I emailed Atkins and thanked him. What was really cool, he answered me!!!
Jun 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jacque by: James Thane
I loved Parker's Spenser so much I was hesitant to give Atkins a try, but I'm glad I did and encourage other Parker fans follow suit. Thank you James!
Aug 29, 2016 rated it did not like it
As soon as Ace Atkins writes anything exciting or noteworthy, I will report it. 0 of 10 stars
Steven Belanger
Nov 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
I've gone on before about titles that contain the name of an artist as its main selling point, so I won't do so again here--except to say that book titles that contain the name of a deceased writer is even worse. At least when John Carpenter used to title his movies with his name in it, he was still alive, directing them. But when the publishing house (or perhaps it's Parker's estate) does so, it comes across as a bit gauche to me. Especially when the real author, Ace Atkins, is doing such a cre ...more
May 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Henry Cimoli has known Hawk and Spenser for years. He has never once asked for a favor and certainly wouldn't now if he wasn't being squeezed. He might have even tolerated being squeezed a little bit, but, when three thugs showed up at his fourth floor condo things got serious. The thugs threatened to throw him out his own window if he didn’t shut up about not wanting to move. Somebody wants to buy the condo building for a project and hired thugs are now visiting the mostly elderly holdouts and ...more
Wayne Zurl
Feb 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Robert B. Parker’s WONDERLAND by Ace Adkins

Spenser, the prolific Boston PI is finally feeling his age. His first adventure, THE GODWULF MANUSCRIPT, was published in 1973 and Spenser was in his thirties. Repeatedly, we’ve heard that Spenser is a Korean War veteran. Being conservative and saying that the young soldier might have been 19 in 1952, that would make his year of birth around 1933. The copyright date for WONDERLAND is 2013. Could Spenser be eighty years old? Figures don’t lie. Yikes!

In a
John McKenna
Sep 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Mysterious Book Report No. 110
by John Dwaine McKenna
When a popular and prolific author dies, so do all of his or her characters. If the author in question has created a serial character, the mourning is even greater because the character is so beloved by legions of invested readers and fans . . . some of whom have been involved in reading the character’s stories from the authors first book to the last . . . that the publisher, working with the author’s estate, will print unfinished manuscripts a
Max Everhart
Nov 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Pop quiz: which of the following qualifies as a reasonable favor for a friend? A) Bumming a ride to the airport. B) Helping move furniture into storage. C) Picking up the lunch tab. D) Going head to head with a megalomaniacal Las Vegas billionaire hell-bent on bringing a casino to Boston.

If you answered D, your name is Spenser, and you are one of the toughest and most memorable fictional PIs of the last three decades. Originally created by the late great Robert B. Parker, Spenser is now in the
John Marsh
Oct 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 11, 2016 rated it liked it
“Wonderland” concludes our reading of the (currently) four extensions to Parker’s original 39-book Spenser series, of which this novel is #2. We find Atkins does a quite credible job emulating the prolific Parker – with most fans agreeing that while Spenser’s wisecracks are probably not quite as pithy, the immense reduction in Susan worship is a most welcome trade-off!

Our problem with this plot is that it didn’t generate much for us to care about. Hawk and Spenser’s buddy Henry Cimoli (the gym a
Jan 28, 2015 rated it did not like it
I did the audio on this and I recommend that to NO ONE!!!! It was so awful. Everyone had the same voice and they all sounded like two-bit thugs. Even the women. It was terrible. I would like to say that the audio was the only problem I had with this book, but sadly it wasn't.

It was loaded with adjectives that added no meaning. I don't even remember how many times I was told that the legal pad was yellow or that someone steepled their fingers. Really? There was an abundance of color adjectives an
Aug 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed every page of this book and as my 1st Robert B. Parker/Ace Atkins novel, I have to say I LOVED it. An interesting plot, an intelligent detective who enjoys quoting literature but who isn't afraid to ask the tough questions and use his gun or fists if need be and laugh out loud comedic wit is a wonderful combination. You bet I'm going to read more by this author and am so glad I found him!! I HIGHLY recommend this book...go find it and read it!
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Ace Atkins is the author of eight novels, including his latest, Infamous, from G.P. Putnam’s Sons.

A former journalist who cut his teeth as a crime reporter in the newsroom of The Tampa Tribune, he published his first novel, Crossroad Blues, at 27 and became a full-time novelist at 30.

While at the Tribune, Ace earned a Pulitzer Prize nomination for a feature series based on his investigation into a
More about Ace Atkins...

Other Books in the Series

Spenser (1 - 10 of 45 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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