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Sixkill (A Spenser Mystery) (Spenser 40) [Paperback]

Robert B. Parker
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
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Book Description

29 Sep 2011 Spenser 40

A girl has been found dead, seemingly strangled, in the hotel room of movie star Jumbo Nelson. Jumbo's lawyers want Spenser to find out whether Jumbo did it - not because they care either way, but because the knowledge will help them work out how to block his conviction.

Jumbo is a sufficiently repulsive individual that Spenser finds it hard to contain his distaste. And then there is his bodyguard, Zebulon Sixkill, a Cree Indian who squandered his pro-football career thanks to an inability to control his temper, and turned his attentions to alcohol instead.

Also involved in Jumbo's case for reasons that remain unclear is a cold-blooded assassin who just might be the most dangerous enemy Spenser has faced yet. But if he can persuade Sixkill to turn his life around, Spenser might just have the ally he needs...


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Sixkill (A Spenser Mystery) (Spenser 40) + Painted Ladies (A Spenser Mystery) (Spenser 39) + The Professional (A Spenser Mystery)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus (29 Sep 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857382136
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857382139
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 150,196 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Product Description

From the Inside Flap

When a young girl is found dead, all fingers point to the movie star and rapacious womanizer Jumbo Nelson. Jumbo's lawyers want Spenser to find out whether Jumbo did it. Never one to turn down a challenge, Spenser starts to investigate. Unfortunately, he can't stand the arrogant Jumbo. And then there's his bodyguard, Zebulon Sixkill, an alcoholic Cree warrior with a bad past and a worse temper. Spenser helps him to turn his life around, and subsequently Sixkill becomes an ally when he needs one most. But the LA mob are involved, and will stop at nothing to protect their 'asset'. Has Spenser finally met his match? This sharp and witty page-turner leads the legendary private eye into a case where his morality is questioned and his life laid on the line.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From the Back Cover

Was she strangled? A young girl has been found dead in a hotel room. The womanizing movie star Jumbo Nelson is the obvious suspect. Given that he spent the night with her. But he's innocent. Or at least he says he is. Enter Spenser. Jumbo's lawyers hire him to find out who did it. Never one to turn down a challenge, Spenser starts to investigate. He finds an unlikely ally in the shape of Jumbo's bodyguard, Zebulon Sixkill. He's an alcoholic Cree warrior with a bad past and a worse temper. But given that there's a cold-blooded assassin on the loose, he might just prove to be the secret weapon Spenser needs.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Last but not least 29 April 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Before he died in January last year, Parker announced: "I am currently writing a book with the working title Sixkill in which a new character joins Spenser's world." Well, this is the book - published posthumously, it sadly is his very last and final Spenserian adventure: I feel like crying, sort of anyway. I've enjoyed Parker's novels for more than three decades and it's like leaving a very dear friend: his Spenser series, begun with The Godwulf Manuscript in 1973, has brightened my readings with its humour, its great dialogues and clever plots. What crime thrillers am I going to read now, so much rubbish flooding the bookshelves?

This last Spenser is great indeed, and I believe Parker's introduction of a new character (a former football-playing Native American named Zebulon Sixkill, from which the homonymous title) was a novelty he was going to develop further in future episodes. Too bad: we just have to enjoy this one and make the best of it.

Briefly, the story goes that a nasty actor is accused of rape and murder, and Spenser is called in by the Boston PD to investigate the case. Enter the actor's bodyguard Sixkill, and to be sure things get complicated, with dark secrets and strange alliances gradually unravelling. Will our hero overcome all odds to successfully resolve this last assignment?

You bet.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GOODNIGHT, SWEET PRINCE 22 May 2011
By Diacha
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
"Sixkill" is a final treat for fans of Robert B Parker and of the Spenser series in particular. It is Parker's fourth book to be published posthumously and while his literary estate has reportedly decided to engage other writers to continue the Spenser and Jesse Stone series, this is definitely the last from the master's pen.

When I was a child, my father recounted the same bedtime story to me every night. Despite its predictability, I looked forward to its every word. There was something magically pleasurable and deeply comforting in its familiarity. So too it has become with Parker's books. The plots, the characters and the dialogue are all utterly predictable but yet they are a pleasure to read, comforting too.

"Sixkill" conforms to this pattern. As usual, Spenser gets fired by his intolerable client (in this book, a horribly obese but popular movie star) early in the case but decides to investigate anyway. The case involves the death of a college age girl with a dysfunctional family background. Spenser's probing comes close to exposing the secrets of evil men. They decide to eliminate him. They fail. Many of the usual characters make their bow: Lieutenant Quirk, Rita Fiore, Henry Cimino, Tony Marcus and various hit-men from earlier books. Spenser has the usual self-definitional dialogue with Susan, who, despite her doctorate in psychology from Harvard (how do you know someone went to Harvard? They tell you) pretends not to have figured out the Big Man - but we know by now that this is merely part of their courtship dance. Hawk is not present; he is still off on some hazardous mission in the Former Soviet Union - or East Bumf*** as Quirk prefers to put it.

Spenser is a marvellous creation, a modern knight. This is hardly a coincidence.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
"So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen." -- Matthew 20:16 (NKJV)

Think of all the fictional detectives you've ever read about. How many of them feel like friends you would like to have had? I'm sure most people would take Spenser over Sherlock Holmes and Harry Bosch any day.

The jacket copy says that this is the last Spenser novel completed by Robert B. Parker. Does that mean there are uncompleted ones that might be produced someday? Or perhaps that someone else will be selected to continue the character. The results of such efforts have often been disappointing. Time will tell what's to come next with Spenser.

The good news is that Sixkill is an unusually good Spenser novel, enriched by the addition of a new character, Zebulon Sixkill who is a younger version of Spenser . . . with a different life story. We see Spenser in the role of mentor here, an infrequent . . . but powerful . . . element of the series.

There's sexual ugliness in this story, but it serves to create light rather than darkness by pointing out the importance of doing the right thing . . . even if it means mucking around in a sewer of human depravity.

Thank you, Mr. Parker! You've been very good to us, and we love you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars End of an era 30 Sep 2011
By walrus
Format:Paperback
Without giving too much away the last line " I got in my car and drove west" serves as a fitting obituary for Robert B Parker whose death leaves crime fiction much poorer for his passing BUT he goes out on a high note.I always rated the earlier Spenser as the best of the bunch but Sixkill is pretty damm good. Z has so much potential in so many ways. Thanks Bobby
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Kills a Couple of Hours 23 April 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Robert B Parker was a prolific writer in his time and no more so than with the Spenser series of PI novels. `Sixkill' closely follows the basic pattern of so many of the books that it is both a blessing and a curse. Spenser is hired to look into the death of a young women found strangled in a hotel room after spending the night with a notorious and chubby Hollywood actor. During the case Spenser comes up against the Mafia, but also Sixkill, a Native American former football player turned alcoholic bodyguard. The book mostly follows the case itself, but on occasion it reflects back on Sixkill's life and how he ended up where he has.

It is these moments of pathos that the book is at its best. Spenser and Sixkill form a bond that is highly enjoyable to read - they can quip with the best of them. Unfortunately, there is more to the book than just this buddy comedy. A murder needs to be investigated and it follows almost the exact same pattern as so many of Parker's other books. There is also far too much Spenser and his girlfriend moments that were cute 10 years ago, but have now become incredibly tiresome for me. Get married already.

Fans of Parker's work and the Spenser novels will no doubt enjoy this quick read, I know I did. It's just that it lacks any depth or uniqueness when compared to so many in the series already written.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars I always enjoy reading a Spenser novel!
The story line is easy to follow, witty and full of intrigue. I would recommend all books by Robert B Parker , one of my favourite writer .
Published 2 months ago by mae appleton
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice to get reacquainted
Long time since I read a spencer book
. It was excellent and a very easy read. Get it now
Published 2 months ago by jinxy
5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks For All The Adventures
I was,sad to read the last Spenser novel. Invade read them all and enjoyed them . I am happy to say that this s didn't disappoint. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Corinne Davidson
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, almost up to original author
Good Service, Good story, Ace Atkins continues the Robert B Parker Style Quite well, the new "Hawklike" character works well
Published 8 months ago by macriery
3.0 out of 5 stars Spenser novels have become boring.
I found this somewhat tedious. I have probably read too many. I used to find the lierary references funny but now the plots are pedestrian
Published 9 months ago by Garstang
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read
He is so laid back and cool. A really good read. The bad we're really bad but the good we're better
Published 11 months ago by marj
2.0 out of 5 stars Sixkill A Spencer novel
I did not enjoy it as much as previous Spencer novels. I found it distasteful and did not enjoy reading it.
Published 11 months ago by Bernard Morris
5.0 out of 5 stars Sixkill:A Spencer Novel
I have rarely had a poor quality edition in any of the books I have purchased and this was one of the better ones and I shall certainly use the seller again.
Published 12 months ago by Fred Chaucer
4.0 out of 5 stars The final curtain...
I waited and waited to read this - its the last RB Parker Spenser novel but the series now continues via a new writer. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Cambridge Ian
4.0 out of 5 stars And so, farewell
The last Spenser. Somehow one had never considered the author's mortality. Wouldn't he go on recreating his unsurpassed corner of Boston criminality, and always with a grin,... Read more
Published 21 months ago by G. M. Sinstadt
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