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Silent Night: A Spenser Holiday Novel Hardcover

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Frequently Bought Together

Silent Night: A Spenser Holiday Novel + Robert B. Parker's Damned if You Do (A Jesse Stone Novel) + Robert B. Parker's Wonderland (Spenser)
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Product Details

  • Series: Spenser
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult; 1st Printing edition (October 22, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399157883
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399157882
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (207 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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.)

From Booklist

The late Robert B. Parker was apparently surrounded by people eager either to keep his Spenser legacy going, or to keep the profits flowing. Following the publication of new installments of Parker’s various series written by different authors, we now have an unfinished Spenser novel, a Christmas story, that has been finished by Brann, the author’s agent. This is a shortish but fairly satisfying Spenser tale set in the run-up before Christmas and featuring many of the signature elements of the beloved series: we have Spenser’s cooking preparations, always a marvelous part of his books, and appearances by his longtime love, Susan Silverman, and best friend, Hawk. The mystery on which it all rests starts with a scared street kid showing up in Spenser’s Boston office. Spenser quickly determines that someone is using intimidation tactics to drive street kids out of their group home. The novel is long on atmosphere, a bit off when it comes to dialogue, and almost totally lacking in detective methods, making the reader wonder just how much of the book Parker wrote. Readers will decide if this last Christmas story is a gift or a stickup. --Connie Fletcher

More About the Author

Robert B. Parker (1932-2010) has long been acknowledged as the dean of American crime fiction. His novel featuring the wise-cracking, street-smart Boston private-eye Spenser earned him a devoted following and reams of critical acclaim, typified by R.W.B. Lewis' comment, "We are witnessing one of the great series in the history of the American detective story" (The New York Times Book Review). In June and October of 2005, Parker had national bestsellers with APPALOOSA and SCHOOL DAYS, and continued his winning streak in February of 2006 with his latest Jesse Stone novel, SEA CHANGE.

Born and raised in Massachusetts, Parker attended Colby College in Maine, served with the Army in Korea, and then completed a Ph.D. in English at Boston University. He married his wife Joan in 1956; they raised two sons, David and Daniel. Together the Parkers founded Pearl Productions, a Boston-based independent film company named after their short-haired pointer, Pearl, who has also been featured in many of Parker's novels.

Parker began writing his Spenser novels in 1971 while teaching at Boston's Northeastern University. Little did he suspect then that his witty, literate prose and psychological insights would make him keeper-of-the-flame of America's rich tradition of detective fiction. Parker's fictional Spenser inspired the ABC-TV series Spenser: For Hire. In February 2005, CBS-TV broadcast its highly-rated adaptation of the Jesse Stone novel Stone Cold, which featured Tom Selleck in the lead role as Parker's small-town police chief. The second CBS movie, Night Passage, also scored high ratings, and the third, Death in Paradise, aired on April 30, 2006.

Parker was named Grand Master of the 2002 Edgar Awards by the Mystery Writers of America, an honor shared with earlier masters such as Alfred Hitchcock and Ellery Queen.

Parker died on January 19, 2010, at the age of 77.

Customer Reviews

Great plot, New character's and a concise story line.
Maylon Reader
The ending is rather abrupt, but some of Parker's other novels ended rather abruptly too--after all, in 70+ novels there was quite a bit of variation.
Neal J. Pollock
This review is actually about the printed book, not the audible version.
avid learner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 55 people found the following review helpful By David Hupp on October 23, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Let's stop this ghostly ghost writing.
I'm amazed the author worked closely with Parker, because I wondered if she'd ever read the real thing!
"We were at my place. I was making supper. Susan was at my kitchen counter." This passive-voice drivel introduces a chapter! Parker didn't waste words in such manner and never stopped the action with turgid mush. And, while making supper, Spenser manages to "plate" the linguini without adding the toasted pignoli and bread crumbs just described at some length. Not a minor error and Parker wouldn't "plate" anything (nor would Spenser).
She is inconsistent with Hawk's dialect: first, "Jag be subtle elegance, babe" (correct); second, "Tell Susan I'm looking forward to it." (no, no, no!).
This particular book makes me wonder how Joan Parker ever let it be produced. The only good "Parker" author was Ace Atkins. Enough!
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth J. Hudak on October 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are expecting a story scripted in the manner of Robert B. Parker...this is not it...Just because you use the names of Spenser , Susan and Hawk...and others does not make it a Spenser novel...I have only read the first 34 pages...and may not finish this...the characters have no charm and are actually out of character ...I recommend to spend your money elsewhere

Well I tried to read some more and it is pretty much not readable...I'll just donate it to the local library

Well I keep seeing positive reviews popping up...and these people certainly have never read a Robert B. Parker Spenser novel before...and I am guessing that they have not read Silent Night either...I am tired of people posting reviews that are there only to help sales...this needs to be stopped....If I could I would rate this book a minus 100 stars...and that would be kind...loook at the other negative reviews...we are the fans...we have no underlying agenda...I have nothing against the author or the publishing company...if you do decide to buy this book... and if I were a betting man...I would bet you would have a hard time finishing the read...I definitely feel like my money was stolen
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Lee Goldberg VINE VOICE on November 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This is hands-down, the worst Spenser novel in the series. What it does do effectively is really make you appreciate the remarkable job Ace Atkins has done with his two Spenser books (even though Parker wrote part of this one, which was finished by his agent). The plotting, if you can call it that, is limp. Spenser is an utterly passive character in this tale who does nothing but sit in his office and wait for people to come by and tell him what he needs to know. He does no detecting. And what little action he does take makes no investigative or rational sense. Come to think of it, nobody in this book....particularly the state and local police...behave in anything remotely realistic or rational. Usually, when Parker's plotting was weak, he'd distract you from it with punchy dialogue and sharply drawn characters. Not this time. The dialogue is expositional and leaden and the characters, especially Spenser, Hawk, and Susan, are reduced to one-dimensional caricatures. SILENT NIGHT is a disappointment on every level. Save yourself the disappointment and skip this book.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia Kirkland on October 24, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have always been an avid Robert B. Parker/Spenser fan. As such, I have come to expect a certain level of action, including a fair amount of cooking, working out at the gym and gun play/fighting. Regrettably, "Silent Night" doesn't live up to my expectations. I appreciate Helen Brann's desire to continue Parker's writing. She's just not Robert B. Parker and never will be.
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43 of 57 people found the following review helpful By bk on October 24, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

The CEO of Penguin Books cocked an ear, wondering what he just heard. He looked at the expansive view offered by his window, taking in the cityscape. Across the way were the windows of another building and he could see the secretaries within, sitting at their desks.

"Excuse me, Sir." buzzed his intercom. "There are people in the lobby and security is concerned for our safety."

"Thank you," he said. "I'll look into it." A questioning look took over his face. Rising from his exquisite leather covered chair, the CEO crossed his office and opened the door. A security guard immediately grabbed him and pressed him back into his office. "Hey!"

"Remain inside and keep this door locked!" yelled the guard.


"What's happening?" yelled the CEO.

"Zombies!" cried out the security guard. "The undead are swarming the offices and attacking everyone. They're eating BRAINS! It's awful. There's Spenser and Martin Quirk, Captain Healy, Vinnie Morris, Hawk, Henry Cimoli and Rita Fiore. All dead but brought back to life. Zombies I tell you! Zombieeeees! Oh my God, it's Susan Silverman. Whew! Not as pretty s described anymore. And what's that smell?"

"My God!" cried the CEO. "What have we done?"

"Look out!" screamed the guard. "Jesse Stone is breaking through the outer door. My God, next we'll see Sunny Randall and her friend Spike!" BAM. BAM. BAM. The security guard shot a festering and rotting dog that had made its way through the shattering outer door. "Jeez, I think that was Pearl." said the guard.

Screaming. Chaos. "We just wanted to make a little money! shouted the CEO.
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