Silent Night: A Spenser Holiday Novel (Spenser Series #42) [NOOK Book]

Overview

“Brann does a seamless job…Diehard Parker fans will be delighted.” —Publishers Weekly



A special treat for the holiday season – a rumination on Christmas, family, and the meaning of home as conceived by Robert B. Parker.



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Silent Night: A Spenser Holiday Novel (Spenser Series #42)

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Overview

“Brann does a seamless job…Diehard Parker fans will be delighted.” —Publishers Weekly



A special treat for the holiday season – a rumination on Christmas, family, and the meaning of home as conceived by Robert B. Parker.



It’s December in Boston, and Spenser is busy planning the menu for Christmas dinner when he’s confronted in his office by a young boy named Slide. Homeless and alone, Slide has found refuge with an organization named Street Business, which gives shelter and seeks job opportunities for the homeless and lost. Slide’s mentor, Jackie Alvarez, is being threatened, and Street Business is in danger of losing its tenuous foothold in the community, turning Slide and many others like him back on the street. But it’s not a simple case of intimidation – Spenser, aided by Hawk, finds a trail that leads to a dangerous drug kingpin, whose hold on the at-risk community Street Business serves threatens not just the boys’ safety and security, but their lives as well.



Unfinished at the time of his death, Silent Night was completed by Parker’s longtime agent, whose decades-long association with Parker’s work gives her unique insight and perspective to his voice and storytelling style. Her contribution also speaks volumes about their enduring friendship.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
09/02/2013
Brann, the longtime agent of Robert B. Parker (1932–2010), does a seamless job of completing the unfinished manuscript of what’s billed as a Spenser holiday novel. The Boston PI gets a visit from an 11-year-old street kid, Slide, who asks that Spenser help out Jackie Alvarez, the director of an unlicensed shelter, Street Business, funded by Jackie’s affluent brother, Juan. Jackie, who’s been receiving threats, fears that someone is trying to close him down. Spenser takes the case, of course, enlisting his longtime muscle, Hawk, to watch his back while he gets into the requisite number of violent confrontations on the way to achieving justice. Love interest Susan Silverman lends support. As in Parker’s later books in the series and Ace Atkins’s pastiches, the storyline and characterizations offer more of the same with few surprises, but diehard Parker fans will be delighted. Agent: Helen Brann, Helen Brann Agency. (Oct.)
Library Journal
10/15/2013
Parker's longtime literary agent, Brann, completed this novel that was left unfinished when Parker died in 2010. It's December in Boston, and Spenser is working in his office when he's visited by a young homeless boy named Slide, who relays a message that Jackie Alvarez wants to meet with him. Jackie runs Street Business, an organization that houses and tries to find jobs for homeless boys. The Street Business kids are being threatened, and Jackie wants Spenser to help get to the bottom of it. Spenser, with some help from his buddy Hawk, soon realizes that the threat is much more dangerous than he expected. With the stakes suddenly higher than ever and Christmas just days away, Spenser prepares for a showdown. VERDICT This is the perfect holiday treat for crime readers needing another Spenser fix. [See Prepub Alert, 4/29/13.]
Kirkus Reviews
2013-10-01
Just what you've been waiting for: Spenser and his circle celebrate Christmas by asking some questions, doing some good deeds and shooting down some bad guys. Resurrected this time by Parker's agent and literary executor Brann, the Boston shamus (Robert B. Parker's Wonderland, 2013, etc.) is pulled back into the ring by Jackie Alvarez, who runs the unlicensed shelter Street Business, and Slide, one of the kids ("eleven going on thirty") he's taken in. Somebody is evidently bent on driving Street Business out of business, and Jackie wants the harassment to stop or at least wants to know who's responsible. Jackie's older brother Juan, a wealthy importer-exporter, has always supported Street Business financially and logistically, even to the point of sending two brutal minions to serve as Jackie's gofers. But he's kept his distance from his brother, and neither his meeting with Spenser at a society fundraiser nor the news that Spenser's been asking Juan's girlfriend, Carmen, a retired tennis player, questions brings the brothers closer together in time to light the Yuletide log. As Spenser goes through his routines--huddling with his main man, Hawk, calling in favors from Frank Belson of Boston Homicide and Capt. Healy of the State Police, working out at the gym, indulging in some discreet hanky-panky with his live-in therapist Dr. Susan Silverman, stuffing a turducken for the holiday dinner--you can feel Brann ticking off the boxes without adding anything of her own except for Christmas, which is a passing strange addition to the franchise. The mystery is even less robust than Parker's own final cases for the peerless PI, but Spenser lets nothing him dismay. If this adventure lights the tree, expect Christmas tales starring Jack Reacher, Alex Cross and Hannibal Lecter.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780698155152
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 10/22/2013
  • Series: Spenser Series , #42
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 13,401
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Robert B. Parker was the author of seventy books, including the legendary Spenser detective series, the novels featuring police 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.



Helen Brann was Robert B. Parker's literary agent for thirty-two years, from 1978 to 2010, and is the Literary Executor for the Robert B. Parker Estate. She is the owner of The Helen Brann Agency, Inc., which she founded in 1973.

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
( 45 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(20)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(8)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 45 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 29, 2013

    The first few pages I had a difficult time getting the rythm of

    The first few pages I had a difficult time getting the rythm of Brann's writing.    Shortly there after, I found the rythm and very much enjoyed this version of Spenser.     She seemed to have captured the essence of Spenser and the cadence of his speech, which is something that I  consistantly enjoy.

    As has been the case with many recent Spenser novels more Hawk would have been nice.    Also the book was much smaller in size and page count than I am used to.  When I purchase a hardback (always my preference) I want something of substance.   This felt almost like a paperback.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2013

    NebulaFrost

    BORED

    3 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 19, 2013

    Brann finished Robert B. Parker's novel Silent Night with a flou

    Brann finished Robert B. Parker's novel Silent Night with a flourish.

    As much as I hate to say this the men who took over for his Jesse Stone and Spencer novels is missing the point.
    It is time to let Mr. Parker and his wonderful characters rest in peace.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted December 12, 2013

    Uhg......

    I am a long tim Parker reader and was very disapointed!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 10, 2013

    Don't buy

    Do not read this book. It is a travesty. Plus, at less than 175 pages, it's not a novel. Also, it was not formatted correctly, so I was never able to read the entire book. Nor was I satisfied with BandN efforts to reformat the book to my nook.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 28, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Right out of the batter¿s box, let us get this straight: This n

    Right out of the batter’s box, let us get this straight: This novel is OK if it weren’t labeled Robert B. Parker. It isn’t even a resemblance of the master. Or even of Ace Atkins. If it were just another book by another author it would be an acceptable read. Presumably, the outline for the plot is Parker’s, but little else should or can be associated with him

    The plot is fairly simple, and it isn’t a “Christmas” story, although it takes place over a couple of weeks leading up to that holiday. It is, of course, peopled with Spenser, Susan Silverman, Hawk and even Vinnie. But none of them sound or act as they have in the past. In fact, there really is no reason to summarize the plot here.

    Helen Brann was Parker’s long-time literary agent, and, as such, was granted the privilege to “finish” the work he started, but left in the wake of his death. She approached it in a workmanlike manner, but IMHO did not rise to the occasion. One wonders what the book could have been, had Parker finished it, or if it was completed in other hands.

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

    Posted February 27, 2014

    to Kaylie and shaniqua

    Guys stop being a bully u guys r so rude stop being bullys what the h.e.l.l. did she do to u? So stop being so rude and being bullies God its so stupid

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

    Posted February 27, 2014

    Kaylie

    I have one p.u.s.s.y. face a bigger life then you nook datin are you dat ugly b.i.t.c.h. go die in a pitch b.i.t.c.h. cool that rymes lol your a useless piece of trash im just a white little 8 years old stop following me up you b.a.s.t.a.r.d. go die a.s.s. hole!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2014

    Shaniqua

    She runs in and pushes alex down. She steps on her fingers and smushes then by rubbing her foot all over them.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2014

    Drake goes in the locker room changes into sweatpants and a dhirt tyes his shoes walking out then starts running humming sugar were going down swinging

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2014

    Alex

    *chews gum and smirks* yah whatever. *ignores her and walks away.*

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2014

    Gym

    ...

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 9, 2014

    Didn't upload properly

    Unfortunately, I was not able to read this book through..........first I was unable to open one chapter - went ahead to the next...........then again, it wouldn't allow me to go on. I had to contact tech support - twice - as the 1st tech left me on hold so long we were disconnected. I was reimbursed the cost..........and appreciate that.

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

    Posted January 27, 2014

    Not worth it

    Not a triumph of stylistic imitation

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

    Posted January 3, 2014

    A visit from an old friend

    I've missed Parker so much since his death. This book was such a joy. All the old friends were there. If you love Spenser you must read this book. It's like meeting an old friend after a long time. Just wonderful.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2014

    good read very enjoyable

    Good Christmas read - good Parker story - he had started story prior to his death but Brann made it sound like all Parker - good job.

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

    Posted December 28, 2013

    Robert would be proud

    Such an exciting story with a touch of Christmas heart in it. I hope they continue his work. Need sone Jesse Stone now

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  • Posted December 27, 2013

    Take a pass on this one!

    I am a loyal fan of Spenser since the first book Robert B Parker wrote. Helen Brann did follow the demeanor that has been a Spenser trade mark for many years. This however is nothing more than a SHORT STORY! Penguin Group: You should be ashamed of yourself for charging more than it's worth.

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

    Posted December 20, 2013

    A great last Spenser read!

    I thoroughly enjoyed this last Parker written story. Spenser and Hawk are two of my favorite fiction characters and this final book conceived by Parker with Helen Brann contributions was a fitting farwell. I loved the inclusion of Christmas as part of the story line. Another vile criminal has bitten the dust. Another thing I enjoy about not only this book, but also the character of Spenser is his sense of justice. Things might not always go according to Hoyle, but somehow, the solutions are fair and workable.

    Rest in peace, Robert B. Parker!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 13, 2013

    recommended

    Glad Ms. Brann could pick up where Robert B. Parker left off.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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