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Sixkill (Spenser Mystery) Hardcover – May 3, 2011

Book 39 of 42 in the Spenser Series

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About the Author

ROBERT B. PARKER, who died in January 2010, was the author of more than fifty books, including the recent New York Times bestsellers Painted Ladies and Blue-Eyed Devil.


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Product Details

  • Series: Spenser Mystery (Book 39)
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult; First Edition edition (May 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399157263
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399157264
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (218 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #315,495 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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

Mostly a boring story written to a formula.
Anne M. Golden
It is, like its predecessors, a superb book, with witty dialogue and suspenseful, with good characters and plot.
Israel Drazin
Sixkill is the last of the spenser series written by Robert Parker.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

143 of 149 people found the following review helpful By Tom S. on May 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The 39th Spenser mystery, SIXKILL, is a good one. Our hero investigates a rape/murder case on a Boston film location, and the suspect is the star of the movie, a monstrously spoiled matinee idol named Jumbo Nelson. Jumbo's outrageous antics always create headlines, not to mention headaches for his employers (sound familiar?). Spenser also gets to know Jumbo's bodyguard, Zeb Sixkill, an interesting young man who soon bonds with our hero. By the time they get to the bottom of the mystery, we've learned a lot about the Hollywood studio system, modern-day celebrity, and our own fascination with all things famous and/or notorious. And we get a lot of wisecracks from Spenser, whose observations are always hilarious.

As much as SIXKILL entertained me, it also made me a little sad. We lost Robert B. Parker last year, and this is his last completed Spenser novel. Last week his publishers announced that his detectives, including Spenser, will continue in stories written by other authors. I hope those books are half as good as Parker's. I've been reading this series all my life, and Spenser, Hawk, and Susan are almost like family. It takes a great artist to create fictional people who can seem so real, and I'm grateful for all the wonderful books he gave us. He will be missed.
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112 of 118 people found the following review helpful By Don In Fremont on May 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover
A lot of stuff happens in Sixkill. It's a fairly action-packed and standard chapter of clearly the greatest series in the history of the genre. And it's also impossible, at this point, to talk about without the context of the author's passing early last year.

Sixkill is described on the flap as "the last Spenser novel completed by Robert B. Parker". A reasonable mind could take that to mean there will be more, perhaps, and that it will completed by someone else. Amazon is already taking pre-orders on a Jesse Stone novel written by the guy that does the Selleck TV-movies. So clearly there are plans. But, well, you know. Not the same.(UPDATED 10/4/11--Ace Atkins has been hired to continue the Spenser Series)

Point being, we should take no finality poignance from the events in Sixkill, as it was clearly not meant to provide any. But poignant is exactly what Sixkill becomes. Its' point is redemption/renewal and it's made in classic Parker style, going back to Early Autumn in more than one way in telling the story of one Zebulon Sixkill.

Z, as he comes to be called, is a Cree Indian bodyguard that Spenser puts a beat-down on while commencing the novel's case: the death of a young girl in Z's client's hotel room. Spenser is brought into the case by Capt. Martin Quirk, whom you've met.

Quirk is pretty sure that one Jumbo Nelson, Hollywood Miscreant/Icon, is being railroaded for murder, so he asks Spens to sniff around and see what stinks. Enter Rita Fiore, who happens to be defending Jumbo, and the stage is set for what Parker did better than just about anyone.

After Z gets canned by Jumbo for getting whupped, he consults Spenser, who agrees to help train him as a mechanism to among other things, get his help solving the case.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Whitehairedguy on May 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Happily got this book downloaded as soon as it was available. While I did enjoy the story, I could not rid myself of the sadness of knowing that Mr. Parker's last Spenser novel left us wanting one more adventure with Hawk. It seemed apparent to me that Sixkill was written to become a continuing character for future novels. As other have mentioned, there were visits from many of the familiar friends (Tony Marcus and T Bop and Junior, Victor Del Rio, Chollo, Bobby Horse, along with Lt Samuelson and Cpt Quirk) but I doubt that this is the book that Mr. Parker would have wanted as his final chapter. As so many have said in the past, it is a sad good bye to all of the characters we loved like family, particularly knowing that Spenser's last two cases were accomplished without benefit of Hawk by his side.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By R.G. Belsky on May 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is a sad book. Like many who have posted reviews, I've read every one of the Spenser novels. Some are better than others, but it is always fun to spend several hours with the Spenser character and the world he lived in. Reading this I kept realizing this was the last new one ever. It's decent Spenser, some good action scenes, some sparkling Spenser wisecracking and repartee - but I thought it had an unfinished quality to it. Especially the stuff with Sixkill which Parker goes to great lengths to set up - but then concludes rather quickly. Maybe he hadn't completely finished the book before he died. If you're a Spenser fan, definitely read this book. If not, go back to the beginning and read them all!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By C. Davis on May 5, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Robert B. Parker has carved written monuments and he gave them names like Spenser and Hawk. He created his Rushmore out of hope for the human race, and he did it with humor and style. My son didn't want to read some "old dude's" books. One day he was bored enough to pick one of mine up. He read every Spenser novel one after another until he had read them all. Every day he read, every free moment. When he had finished the series, he looked up said "what could I read now that would be that much fun? I feel lost." When I was a kid, I couldn't wait to read Mike Royko's column in the paper. I still wonder what Mike would say if he was still around when I read the news out of Chicago. So it will be with Mr. Parker. He has carved an enduring monument that is as solid as the rules his beloved characters lived by. Sixkill was a good book, but Parker/Spenser could make the most mundane things fun or interesting. Ahhh Parker...he had the talent of 10 men because he was pure of heart.
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