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

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

3.3 57
by Ace Atkins
     
 

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Old friends. Small favors. Bitter rivals. Stirred together, it all makes for one explosive cocktail. Spenser can feel the heat stretching from Boston to Vegas—and people are about to get burned.

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 developer is…  See more details below

Overview

Old friends. Small favors. Bitter rivals. Stirred together, it all makes for one explosive cocktail. Spenser can feel the heat stretching from Boston to Vegas—and people are about to get burned.

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 developer is trying to buy up Henry's condo on Revere Beach—with a push from local thugs. Soon Spenser and his apprentice, Zebulon Sixkill, are on the trail of a mysterious woman, a megalomaniacal Las Vegas kingpin, and a shady plan to turn a chunk of land north of Boston into a sprawling casino. As alliances shift and twisted dreams surface, the Boston political machine looks to end Spenser's investigation one way or another—and once and for all.

“Atkins…has managed to nudge this venerable series in a new direction while staying true to its core, seemingly channeling its creator at every turn. It’s a magnificent accomplishment that is not to be missed.” —Bookreporter.com

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In his solid second estate-authorized Spenser novel (after 2012’s Robert B. Parker’s Lullaby), Atkins explores the plot potential of the Boston PI’s last sidekick—recovering alcoholic Zebulon Sixkill, introduced in 2011’s Sixkill, the final series entry written by MWA Grand Master Parker (1932–2010). An old friend, boxing trainer Henry Cimoli, asks Spenser for help. Thugs are pressuring Cimoli and his Revere Beach neighbors to sell their property, to advance a plan for a casino. It’s easy enough for the detective and Sixkill, his new muscle, to drive the bad guys away, but harder to get to the bottom of the cascading violence that follows. Atkins’s ability to perfectly mimic the originals will please diehard fans hungry for familiar pleasures, but this outing won’t change the minds of those who feel that the lead character should have been retired many books ago. Author tour. Agent: Helen Brann, the Helen Brann Agency. (May)
From the Publisher
Praise for Robert B. Parker’s Spenser Novels:

“A-Grade Parker.”—Chicago Sun-Times

“A must-read.” —Boston Herald

“Superb.”—The Associated Press

“A page-turner.” —The Boston Globe

“One hot mystery.”—The Washington Post 

“A kinky whodunit…snappy…sexy.”—Entertainment Weekly

“Delicious fun. Bottom line: A merry Widow.”—People

“Outrageously entertaining.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Spenser can still punch, sleuth, and wisecrack with the best of them.”—Publishers Weekly

“Smooth as silk.”—Orlando Sentinel

“[A] can’t-put-it-down story.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“As brisk and clever as always.”—Los Angeles Times Book Review

“Full of action, suspense, and thrills.”—Playboy

Kirkus Reviews
Spenser goes to bat for an old friend whose condo in Revere has become a most desirable property for all the wrong reasons. The money bantamweight boxing promoter Henry Cimoli's been offered for his place in the Ocean View Condominium isn't bad, but it isn't great either, and he's too old to move without some inducement; getting beaten up by a pair of goons is not his idea of an inducement. So, although he hates asking Spenser for a favor, he grits his teeth and asks. First, Spenser and his Cree apprentice, Zebulon Sixkill, help even the odds against the goons; then Z gets beaten up himself before Spenser's able to identify Vegas casino mogul Rick Weinberg as the player behind Envolve Development's sexy, brutal Jemma Fraser, who hired the thugs. Armed with knowledge as well as fists and guns, Spenser threatens to go to the newspapers with Weinberg's plans, which will send Ocean View values skyrocketing before he can close the deal, unless he sweetens his offer. Weinberg, perhaps egged on by the conscience of Rachel, his wife of 40 years, obligingly ups the ante, and the condo board votes unanimously to accept his offer. The win-win scenario collapses, however, when someone cuts off Weinberg's head, putting the deal in doubt and forcing Spenser to look deeper into the financials--until he finds himself up against not just two hirelings, but the full majesty of old-time mobster Gino Fish's troops. Since his creator's death, Spenser's dialogue, flippant to start with, has become relentlessly arch, and the tendency must be catching, since several other characters get into verbal jousts with him. Still, it may be unfair to complain that Atkins (Robert B. Parker's Lullaby, 2012) doesn't write exactly like Parker. All in all, an entertaining effort.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101621226
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/07/2013
Series:
Spenser Series , #41
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
30,375
File size:
903 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Praise for Robert B. Parker’s Spenser Novels:

“A-Grade Parker.”—Chicago Sun-Times

“A must-read.” —Boston Herald

“Superb.”—The Associated Press

“A page-turner.” —The Boston Globe

“One hot mystery.”—The Washington Post 

“A kinky whodunit…snappy…sexy.”—Entertainment Weekly

“Delicious fun. Bottom line: A merry Widow.”—People

“Outrageously entertaining.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Spenser can still punch, sleuth, and wisecrack with the best of them.”—Publishers Weekly

“Smooth as silk.”—Orlando Sentinel

“[A] can’t-put-it-down story.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“As brisk and clever as always.”—Los Angeles Times Book Review

“Full of action, suspense, and thrills.”—Playboy

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Meet the Author

Robert B. Parker was the author of seventy books, including the legendary Spenser detective series, the novels featuring Chief Jesse Stone, and the acclaimed Virgil Cole/Everett Hitch westerns, as well as the Sunny Randall novels. Winner of the Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Award and long considered the undisputed dean of American crime fiction, he died in January 2010.

Ace Atkins is the author of thirteen novels, including the New York Times bestseller Robert B. Parker's Lullaby . He was nominated for an Edgar Award for Best Novel in 2012 for The Ranger, the first book in his Quinn Colson series, which also includes The Lost Ones and The Broken Places. Atkins, whom the bestselling author Michael Connelly has called “one of the best crime writers working today,” lives on a farm outside Oxford, Mississippi.

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Robert B. Parker's Wonderland 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 57 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I see an awful lot of single stars and whining going on. Apparently nobody read the book. I've read all the Parker books since the 1980s and have read the majority of Atkins'. This is an outstanding example of Parker-esque writing, a superb development of a key character that I had hoped Parker would develop (Z), a new involvement with Henry, and a genuinely high-quality plot. I was totally pleased and the only whining I'm going to do is that it takes too long to get a new book out. (and, by the way, this is not the only book where Hawk and Susan don't play key roles ... Parker did the same thing himself).
lori416 More than 1 year ago
Please tell Ace Atkins to stop writing. Without him describing what Spenser had for breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus every single time he took a drink, the book would be about 10 pages long. NEVER again do I buy a book written by someone who thinks he can pass himself off as Robert Parker. Biggest waste of 20.00 ever!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Was very disappointed in this book. Have read all of Robert Parker's books. Since his passing it isn't the same. This one has no Susan or Hawk.   So disappointing. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a disappointing read to me.   Spenser has been reduced to being rather lecherous rather than appreciative of beauty.   Robert B. Parker did not need to fill his pages with unsavory language as this book exploits.  For many of us who have read all of Parker's books, this is not keeping true to form. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Parker's gone now but this like the last one is written in the true Robert B. Parker style with all the he said she said if you know what I mean. I'm only half way through the book as I have been side tracked with library books which I have to return. That's one of the beauties of a Parker mystery; pick it up or put it down any time you like and the stories continues.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I usually read these in one night, but have left this one after a few chapters. All of the "cutesiness" of Spencer, but none of the substance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This one was just plain boring. Not the usual entertaining Spenser story.
pennyf62 More than 1 year ago
I feel as though the authors taking over Robert B Parkers stories are trying to capitalize on them....the cost for the last few books have been way too expensive. Disappointed to say the least.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Humor in and grafic violence sex language to acceptable limits for PG 13 will keep to the originals was as nad as that try of christie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Spenser was his old self but missed Hawk
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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tedfeit0 More than 1 year ago
Well, Ace Atkins signed a contract for three Parker novels, but apparently he didn’t agree to the tried and true formula. In this interesting book, he deviates from the usual cast of characters, concentrating on some of the background participants, like Henry Cimoli, proprietor of Spenser’s gym, and his sort-of assistant-in-training, the Cree Indian Zebulon Sixkill (“Z”), sending Hawk away to Miami, and Susan Silverman to the Carolinas to teach for a semester. It’s an interesting change of pace, contributing strongly to the plot’s progression. The plot revolves around the competition for a casino in Boston, with the usual strong-armed tactics, bribes, politicians and underworld interests. Henry, along with a lot of other senior citizens, lives in a condo on the beach in Revere near a bankrupt dog track named after its former occupant, Wonderland. The coop is a key plot of land giving the proposed casino site on the Wonderland site access to the beach. Physical pressure is put on the coop owners by thugs, and Henry asks Spenser for assistance. And it’s Spenser and Z, off to the races. Atkins has Parker’s style down pat, and the dialogue and smart aleck cracks flash by regularly. Spenser remains Spenser and the chapters remain short although some of the paragraphs are longer than in the master’s versions. While the conclusion turns out to be an old-fashion motive for some murders, it is entirely believable and appropriate, and the novel is recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Always an issue when transitioning a new voice into a character to start changing the formula. No Hawk, limited Susan. Some scenes are drawn out, while others that in the past would have been detailed are glossed through. Obviously a copy of Spenser's mystique and not the real thing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Granted, Ace Atkins is no R.B.P., but I think he does an admirable job of keeping true to R.B.P.'s characters. He does a MUCH better job than the clown who took over the Jesse Stone franchise! I felt that this was still the Spenser I've come to know over the years but a little older and more refined. True...no Hawk and vey little Susan but then they weren't in every one of R.B.P's stories either. I really like Zebulon Sixkill, but felt Atkins missed the opportunity to take the last character that Parker introduced us to and make him his own and further develop him. I do think I got to know Henry Cimoli better. The action is tight, dialog witty and there are enough plot twists to keep you guessing. I did expect the bodyguard, Bernard, to take a bigger role and was disappointed in how he turned out. All and all, good entertainment; especially for a rainy summer afternoon!
Deacon_Tate More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. It is nice to know that Spenser and the other people I have enjoyed in the series still have a life. I look forward to more stories and hope that Hawk will also be rejoining the action sometime in the future.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed every minute.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I still like his these books would like to know Spensers current age it is never mentioned
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
reader37CT More than 1 year ago
Reads like the original Parkers. Missed hawk. Not sure the new cahracter is as weol developed. But I enjoyed it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago