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Sixkill (Spenser Mystery) Hardcover – May 3, 2011

4.1 out of 5 stars 253 customer reviews
Book 39 of 41 in the Spenser Series

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Editorial Reviews

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: G.P. Putnam's Sons; 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 (253 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #500,525 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Note that it's not "the Last Spenser novel." Clearly there's another in the pipeline. Who will finish it? Will it be the way Parker wanted it? Will Hawk be back? ... The author's death, and where this book will fit into the Spenser saga, overshadows this whole story. And that's not fair to Sixkill. So I will try to review this book on its own terms.

And it's simply OK. The primary plot is reminiscent of Fatty Arbuckle. There's Jumbo, a ginormous star -- both in profitability and girth -- with a dead girl in his room. How did she die? Who is responsible? Quirk of the Boston PD isn't 100% sure that Jumbo is guilty and persuades our man Spenser to investigate. He uncovers a lot that's spooky and unsavory. He cracks wise and annoys people. He works out at the gym and plays with Pearl and continues the maddening (for me, that is; highly satisfying for him) relationship with Susan Silverman.

Then there's a subplot that gives the book its name and its rather stale feel. It revolves around Zebulon Sixkill, the Cree college football star Spenser takes under his wing. Though a new character, there's something disturbingly familiar about Z. That's because he's Paul Giaccommin crossed with Hawk. Their "banter" is racially saturated and hopelessly dated (at one point, while discussing race with a Hispanic character, Spenser references a JACK BENNY routine!) and feels as forced as the "sho 'nuff" talk with Hawk.

So it was an OK book. It was fine. But not one of Parker's best. At the very end of the book, when our hero talks about life and illusion and metaphor, and heads off toward the sun and Susan, I was reminded anew by how well Parker could write, how fond I am of Spenser, and how much I will miss these characters.
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