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Publisher's Summary

Spenser earned his degree in the school of hard knocks, so he is ready when a Boston university hires him to recover a rare, stolen manuscript. He is hardly surprised that his only clue is a radical student with four bullets in his chest.The cops are ready to throw the book at the pretty blond coed whose prints are all over the murder weapon but Spenser knows there are no easy answers. He tackles some very heavy homework and knows that if he doesn't finish his assignment soon, he could end up marked "D" -- for dead.
©1992 Robert B. Parker; (P)2009 Random House
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Critic Reviews

>"Spenser is Boston's answer to James Bond - irreverent, witty, worldy. His first-person recital of his detective work makes for fast, amusing reading." (The Pittsburgh Press)
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Customer Reviews

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By William on 03-31-10

Good start to a great series!

I've gone years without attempting the Spenser series. I decided to take up the task of trying to read all the books in the series in order. This book is a great start. Without spoiling anything, you get a sense of Spenser's humor while getting a great mini mystery. Yes the book is unabridged and great for a quick trip but the reader is wear it counts. At first his narration comes off as dull but you start to enjoy his interpretation of the character. The story is nothing revolutionary but the plus side is that you can tell Parker respects the likes of Chandler, Hammett etc...which adds to the feel of the novel.

Overall the book is a solid 4 out of 5 stars. Not the best, not the worst. If you're a completest like me then read it, if not still read it because it's the introduction of Spenser who is one of the greats in detective fiction.

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14 of 15 people found this review helpful

By Me & My Girls on 07-27-14

The First Spenser Novel: Still One of the Best.

Spenser's on campus in 1973 when one investigation leads to his being involved in a bogus murder charge against a coed as her only advocate and protector. The introductory novel of the series was a breath of fresh air at the time, and this one stands up as an excellent example of Spenser's best. It's also the one pre Susan Spenser novel and that alone would elevate it. This one however stands on it's own; the portrait of Terri's wealthy parents is the snapshot of the era. As are the professor and Terri's wannabe badass boyfriend. It's not a Spenser that's recognizable to those more familiar with his later works socially as he has sex with a mother and daughter in less than 24 hours. Iris Milford is another great character and it's interesting to watch Spenser and Quirk stand toe-to-toe ready to go. Even with a subpar narrator this one is a five star listen.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Maxine on 06-17-10

A no-nonsense read.

Fast paced, no nonsense, tightly written and witty. More gritty than the series Spenser for Hire which was based on this character and which I can remember watching when I was young. The TV series, with Robert Urich, was as much for the gals as for the guys but I would say this book would appeal more to the male reader.

I enjoyed it though and if you do, there are so many more in the series to chose from...

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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