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Hundred-Dollar Baby (Spenser Series #34)

Hundred-Dollar Baby (Spenser Series #34)

3.5 26
by Robert B. Parker, Joe Mantegna (Read by)

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April Kyle, a prostitute from Spenser's past, comes back into his life-with deadly complications.


April Kyle, a prostitute from Spenser's past, comes back into his life-with deadly complications.

Editorial Reviews

Cynical Good Samaritan Spenser is back in the rescue business, protecting April Kyle from the brutes trying to squeeze her out of her ritzy Back Bay call-girl business. His gallantry is only slightly dented by the discovery that April and apparently everyone else in Massachusetts is a full-time liar. The 34th slot in this reader-pleasing series will light up your nights with its crisp dialogue and deep piles of dirty laundry.
Publishers Weekly
April Kyle, the damsel in distress that Spenser rescued in two earlier books, Ceremony (1982) and Taming a Sea Horse (1986), again turns to the iconic Boston PI for help in the 34th entry in Parker's popular series. Cynical yet romantic, Spenser easily handles the immediate threat of some men trying to muscle in on the high-class Boston whorehouse April is running. Unfortunately, that isn't the real problem, and Spenser without much surprise finds that April, the thugs and everyone else involved is lying to him. Instead of walking away, Spenser continues to probe, following trails that lead to New York, a con artist, mob connections and other complications. This is vintage Parker, with Spenser exchanging witty dialogue with the faithful Hawk, sexy dialogue with his beloved Susan and smart-alecky dialogue with cops and villains. The old pros can make it look easy, and that goes for both the author and his hero as they deliver the goods smoothly and with inimitable style. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Lucky April, delivered from streetwalking to a better clientele in Ceremony and from a nasty lover in Taming a Sea-Horse. Now she's a madam protecting her turf, and she needs Spenser's help again. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Spenser, who seems to alternate these days between meaty cases and time-passers, follows School Days (2005) with a thin tale of trouble among high-class prostitutes whose only distinction is bringing back a familiar face from the past. Twenty-five years ago, Spenser rescued runaway teen April Kyle by the unorthodox means of placing her with upscale Manhattan madam Patricia Utley (Ceremony, 1982). When April ran off from her second home, Spenser was on hand to save her again (Taming a Sea-Horse, 1986). Now April, who looks great despite all the miles she's got on her, wants his help fending off the bad guys trying to horn in on the Back Bay brothel she runs. It's the work of a moment for Spenser and Hawk to send the hired bullyboys on their way, of course, but Ollie DeMars, the Southie crew chief who hired them, won't say who paid him to lean on April. Spenser's hunch is that it's Lionel Farnsworth, an ex-client of April's who's already done time for real-estate fraud. But something doesn't add up. April's business just isn't generating enough trade to be worth the trouble of stealing. Is somebody lying to Spenser? Yes. Just about everybody, as he realizes over and over and over until the curtain finally comes down with a bang. Spenser's detective chops are less in evidence than his messiah complex. Even the dialogue, always Parker's specialty, sounds suspiciously like Elmore Leonard.

Product Details

Random House Audio Publishing Group
Publication date:
Spenser Series , #34
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
4.44(w) x 7.17(h) x 1.23(d)

Meet the Author

Robert B. Parker was the author of more than fifty books. He died in January 2010.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
September 17, 1932
Date of Death:
January 18, 2010
Place of Birth:
Springfield, Massachusetts
Place of Death:
Cambridge, Massachusetts
B.A. in English, Colby College, 1954; M.A., Ph. D. in English, Boston University, 1957, 1971

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Hundred-Dollar Baby (Spenser Series #34) 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BBCloverMA More than 1 year ago
Typical Parker dialogue and plot but a fast and interesting read. Happily, Hawks vocabulary improvement has enabled him to minimize use of the "f" word, a problem I've found in some other Spenser novels.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Over all is good, but plot is little boring.Like other books by this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
1cowboy More than 1 year ago
My first Spenser novel (used to watch Robert Urich TV series). Not terribly "gripping" as blurb writers like to say. Really rather boring. Could have wrapped it up in half as many pages. Short choppy dialog makes it a "page turner" (another blurbism) only because it's short and choppy. Characters have no depth. Made me want to take a shower when I finished. Okay, so the world isn't perfect. But this? Not sure I want to take on the Jessie Stone I've got waiting in the wings. Got the feelng Parker was tired and really struggling to make something of this.
Erix_the_Red More than 1 year ago
Hundred Dollar Baby" lacks the impact of the hard right hook I have came to enjoy in the early Spenser novels. Spenser has become old and predictable, nowhere near the Spenser of "Godwulf Manuscript." Let him take his well earned retirement with Susan. The plot was as predictable as a drive on an urban highway at rush hour. The culprit was known from the moment the crime was discovered. The recurring characters are stale as month old bread or this cliche.
nancysparkle More than 1 year ago
This is one of Robert Parker's best Spenser novels. I own them all, from the Godwulf Manuscript through to his most current, and this is one I've reread several times.

April Kyle was introduced in Ceremony, as a teenage runaway. In Million Dollar Baby, she returns, fully grown up and looking for Spenser's help. Or is she? In reality, she wants Spenser to help her without really delving into what's actually going on. But she should know better; Spenser never quits, even when he's fired.

The ending is shocking, but appropriate.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have to confess, I didn't read the book. I listened to the audio version of Hundred Dollar Baby. I've not experienced any of Parker's books before so I was meeting Spenser and company for the first time. Parker knows his characters inside and out. I enjoyed the interplay between Spenser and Hawk and learning about Spenser's 'softer side' in relation to Susan and Pearl. The mystery, I felt, was a bit predictable as it was clear who the guilty party was long before the end. I also found the conversations between Susan and Spenser to be a bit repetitive. She does go on and on about her degree and their conversations all sound alike. All in all, it was an enjoyable read and I would pick up another Parker novel and jump into Spenser's world again
Guest More than 1 year ago
first off a GREAT read for us die hards, especially if you are familiar with April Kyle. For first time readers this will have you running back to the book store for the back issues. As always, Spenser toes the line of the law with his own sense of morality, and if Hawk's along for the ride you know it isn't going to be pretty 'for long'! The ultimate wise ass, smart mouth detective pissing the wrong guys off and taking you along for the ride!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love the Spencer series. Having said that, I sure am getting sick up and fed with the cutsie banter between Spencer and Susan. Enough already! This is a classic series, don't ruin it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Having read every Spencer and Jesse Stone novel, this Parker effort was way below the norm. Lots of characters, poorly developed. Even Susan was disjointed, lacked focus and was difficult to follow. Phsyco babble in lieu of the usual insightful speculation. Please, no more 'I went to Harvard'. Maybe time for no more Susan. Page after page I waited for it to take shape and flow smoothly. Alas, I waited in vain. Even the normally crisp and pleasing banter with Hawk was prolonged and often boring. What was the point with Tony and Ty Bop and Cholo and others but to keep their names alive.The whole thing felt like a disinterested effort to meet a publishing committment. We need better from our favorite sleuth.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read all of the Spenser series and loved them all, including this one. My only objection was that Hawk wasn't a bigger part of the story. I love the character of Hawk, and the funny dialogue between him and Spenser is always my favorite. I missed that in this book. My hope is that thre will many, many more books with the Spenser character in the near future and that Hawk will play a bigger part. Thank you, Robert Parker.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was very good in Robert B. Parker style. I had trouble putting it down. But . . . it just didn't have the punch of a top notch Spenser novel.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Yes, he's a Tony Award winner for his Broadway role in Glengarry Glen Ross, an Emmy nominee for his television appearances and a star of feature films. Nonetheless, for this listener Joe Mantegna is the voice of Robert Parker's iconic hero, Boston PI Spenser. This actor has brought excitement and thrills to such Spenser escapades as Back Story, Bad Business, Cold Service, Hugger Potshot, and Widow's Walk. He does it again with Hundred-Dollar Baby. There's little that ruffles Spenser but the reappearance of April Kyle does. She was once a teenage runaway (Ceremony, 1982) who had the beauty and nerve to turn to prostitution because she believed she had no other choice. She learned her trade well and now is back in Boston running a high priced bordello. Problem is some men are trying to muscle in on her territory and she needs Spenser's help. Well, April may be beautiful and clever, but she's not too candid as Spenser soon discovers. She had maintained that she had no idea who was trying to scuttle her operation but Spenser and his trusty sidekick, Hawk, find that April isn't the unknowing victim that she claims to be. Another top flight story in this ever popular series. - Gail Cooke
Guest More than 1 year ago
Come on Robert, you can do better than this!