Painted Ladies (Spenser Series #38) [NOOK Book]

Overview

Spenser had a simple job-protect an art scholar during a ransom exchange for a stolen painting. No one was supposed to die. But the scholar had secrets no one knew, and uncovering them will endanger Spenser as well.


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Painted Ladies (Spenser Series #38)

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Overview

Spenser had a simple job-protect an art scholar during a ransom exchange for a stolen painting. No one was supposed to die. But the scholar had secrets no one knew, and uncovering them will endanger Spenser as well.


Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

Spenser's last case.

The opening sequence, in which Spenser (The Professional,2009, etc.)makes a monkey out of a college professor who clearly needs him more than Spenser needs the professor, hearkens back to the Boston private eye's very first case (The Godwulf Manuscript, 1973). This time, however, Parker adds a pleasing twist. As forensic art consultant and all-around twit Dr. Ashton Prince returns from his rendezvous with the thieves ransoming the 17th-century canvas Lady with a Finch to the waiting Spenser, whom he'd hired to accompany him on the drop-off, the package he's picked up in exchange for the ransom explodes, killing him. Although Spenserfeels honor-bound to avenge his late client, nobody wants his help or is interested in talking to him, and the more he finds out about Prince, the less he likes him. Working patiently, Spenser breaks down the defenses of insurance-resolution specialist Winifred Minor; her daughter Missy, one of the many coeds Prince seems to have pursued; Prince's daffy widow, oh-so-sensitive poet Rosalind Wellington; and Morton Lloyd, attorney to the museum from which the painting was stolen. Only after several more people have died does he realize how tenaciously the painted lady's provenance is entangled in the Holocaust, so that the case becomes, as he tells his ladylove Dr. Susan Silverman, "the most Jewish thing I've ever dealt with."

The yawning gap between the customary attitudinizing and the serious issues the tale raises make this far from Spenser's finest hour, yet one no serious fan will think of missing.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101443873
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 10/5/2010
  • Series: Spenser Series , #38
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 40,187
  • File size: 198 KB

Meet the Author

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

Biography

Robert B. Parker began as a student of hard-boiled crime writers such as Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, but when he became a crime writer himself, he was one of the rare contemporary authors to be considered on par with his predecessors. The Spenser series, featuring a Boston-based ex-boxer and ex-cop, is one of the genre's most respected and popular fixtures.

Noted for their sharp dialogue and fine character development, the Spenser books carry on a tradition while updating it, particularly in giving its hero two strong alter egos in Hawk, a black friend and right-hand man; and Susan Silverman, Spenser's psychologist love interest. Parker's inclusion of other races and sexual persuasions (several of his novels feature gay characters, a sensibility strengthened in Parker through his sons, both of whom are gay) give a more modern feel to the cases coming into Spenser's office.

The Spenser series, which began with 1973's The Godwulf Manuscript, has an element of toughness that suits its Boston milieu; but it delves just as often into the complex relationship between Silverman and Spenser, and the interplay between the P.I. and Hawk.

By the late ‘80s, Parker had acquired such a reputation that the agent for Raymond Chandler's estate tapped him to finish the legend's last book, Poodle Springs. It was a thankless mission bound to earn criticism, but Parker carried off the task well, thanks to his gift for to-the-point writing and deft plotting. "Parker isn't, even here, the writer Chandler was, but he's not a sentimentalist, and he darkens and deepens Marlowe," the Atlantic concluded. In 1991, Parker took a second crack at Chandler with the Big Sleep sequel Perchance to Dream.

Parker took other detours from Spenser over the years. In 1999, Family Honor introduced Sunny Randall, a female Boston private eye Parker created with actress Helen Hunt in mind. Two years earlier, he introduced L.A.-to-New England cop transplant Jesse Stone in Night Passage. He also authored four bestselling Westerns featuring Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch, a few young adult books, as well as several stand-alone novels that were well-received by his many fans.

Parker died suddenly in January 2010 while at home at his desk, working on a book. The cause was a heart attack. He was seventy-seven.

Good To Know

Parker's thesis in graduate school was a study of the private eye in literature that centered on Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett and Ross MacDonald. Critics would later put him in the same category as those authors.

Parker's main hero is named for Edmund Spenser, the 16th-century author of The Faerie Queene.

Parker had a hand in writing the scripts for some television adaptations of Spenser books starring Robert Urich, who also played Spenser in the ABC series from 1985-88. Urich suffered a battle with cancer and passed away in 2002, but adaptations continue to be made for A&E, starring Joe Mantegna. Parker approved of the new actor, telling the New York Times: ''I looked at Joe and I saw Spenser."

According to a profile in the New York Times, Parker met his wife Joan when the two were toddlers at a birthday party. The two reconnected as freshmen at Colby College and eventually had two sons. They credit the survival of their marriage to a house split into separate living spaces, so that the two can enjoy more independent lives than your average husband and wife.

Parker told fans in a 1999 Barnes & Noble.com chat that he thought his non-series historical novel All Our Yesterdays was "the best thing I've ever written."

Parker had a small speaking part in the 1997 A&E adaptation of Small Vices. How does he have time to write his Spenser books, plus the other series and the adaptation stuff? "Keep in mind, it takes me four or five months to write a novel, which leaves me a lot of time the rest of the year," he told Book magazine. "I don't like to hang around."

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

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 151 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(40)

4 Star

(47)

3 Star

(35)

2 Star

(13)

1 Star

(16)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 153 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 6, 2010

    Spenser lovers will not miss this one

    Sure, a lot of this is like a lot of other Spenser books but that's why I like it. It is like spending time with a good old friend. Parker could always write dialog that makes you laugh out loud and there are bits in here that are as good as they get. I grew up in the Brighton Neighborhood of Boston and Parker gets Boston right like so few authors do.

    If you have not read other Spenser books you might want to start with an earlier one. If you like Parker, get a copy and read it.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 9, 2010

    a great good bye!

    although hawk is absent from this book, it's a great last spencer book. i've been a parker fan for years and he will be greatly missed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 9, 2010

    The last of a great author.

    This was short but I have read every Spenser and was not dissapointed in this one, if you are new to Robert B. Parker start with the Spenser series number 1 (The Godwulf Manuscript) and work your way up. There are not many authors that can say so much with so few words. If you like mysteries with some humor, not to much gore, and characters that become like family this series is for you

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 18, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    This book was an easy read. It followed the format of the classi

    This book was an easy read. It followed the format of the classic detective story with a tough private detective and the mysterious client. It had a few twists and turns in the plot. However, since this was the second book in this series, the author didn't bother to introduce most of the characters. He also didn't describe what the main characters looked like. It's hard for me to read a book that I can't adequately visualize.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2013

    Good read,

    Sounds more like Jessie Stone than the Spensers of past.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2012

    Clodyeyes to shadow

    Where the hell have u been

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 1, 2011

    ROBERT PARKER IS THE BEST

    Many years ago in the 80's someone gave me a Spenser novel. After that well you guess it -- I read them all as they came out. I love Jesse Stone and especially the TV movies maybe because of Tom.

    BUT nobody will be Spenser ever again. I join the many fans to say we will miss him. AND that is an understatement.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 21, 2011

    I will miss you Spenser

    Robert Parker and his Spenser novels are by far one of the greatest series I have read. I do not know what I will do without my Spenser and Hawk "fix". Robert Parker was a tremendous talent.

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  • Posted February 9, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Robert Parker The Great

    It pains my heart to know this will be the last Spenser novel. Robert Parker has been a blessing when it comes to page turning books. As always it keeps your attention. I'll miss Spenser & Hawk. Thanks for the last book. I appreciated it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2011

    Excellent

    As always a great Spenser read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2011

    Review of Nook Sample

    I just downloaded the sample, paged through to the start, and see that I will get a scant 2 pages of large type of the book

    Not enough to evaluate at all.

    I will buy it, but I'll have to decide if Nook or paper

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Goobye Spenser

    I half expected Spenser to get killed off at the end of this one as he is now gone. I will have a difficult time replacing him. I enjoyed this as I enjoy all of his Spenser books. They are smooth reads with familiar characters and behavior, and as always, great fun to read. I too spent a good deal of time in Boston and the surrounding area and he is always dead on.If you have enjoyed ANY of the Spenser series, you will like this.

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  • Posted December 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    SPLENDID NARRATION OF THIS SPENSER NOVEL

    Have to admit it - seeing the name Joe Mantegna on an audio book sells me immediately. His incredibly compelling reading of Boardwalk Empire is one of my all-time favorites and the same can be said of PAINTED LADIES.

    A 40 year show business veteran he is an accomplished, versatile actor as evidenced in over 100 films (The Godfather Part 3, Forget Paris, etc.) In addition, his television appearances have garnered critical praise (The Rat Pack, The Last Don. Criminal Minds).

    This wealth of experience is obvious in his stellar narration of what regrettably is one of the last Robert Parker Spenser novels. Mr. Parker will be greatly missed, and I join millions of others in remembering him for the many hours of listening/reading pleasure his books have brought.

    In his inimitable way Parker grabs us from the beginning with PAINTED LADIES. Spenser has agreed to guard art professor Ashton Prince during a ransom payoff - thieves are being paid for the return of a stolen painting. As it turns out Prince really needed a guard as he's blown to bits during the procedure.

    We all know that Spenser can't let that pass so he determines to find out exactly who stole the painting, why the ransom wasn't simply accepted and the painting returned, and why and by whom Prince was so explosively dispatched.

    We're treated to the return of some of the characters we've learned to appreciate in previous Spenser tales as well as some intricate sleuthing on Spenser's part.

    As I understand it there is one more Spenser novel due out next year. Meanwhile, enjoy PAINTED LADIES and the narration of Joe Mantegna.

    Highly recommended.

    - Gail Cooke

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    Posted July 1, 2011

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    Posted August 12, 2011

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    Posted November 15, 2010

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    Posted December 26, 2010

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    Posted November 19, 2011

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    Posted December 3, 2010

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