What the top books are about

Early Autumn

This book is about Spenser’s surrogate fathering of a lost 15-year-old boy named Paul who is a pawn in his own life. It is sort of a coming of age novel, but really not because it is told from Spenser’s perspective like all the Spenser books.

Mortal Stakes

The first two novels in the series are entertaining but this is where we see Parker’s potential for the first time. Spenser has become more complex than his predecessors like Spade or Marlowe, as we see here. He lures the bad guys into the woods.

A Savage Place

Spenser visits LA and experiences its cold indifference, he finds his own savage side. Spenser is such a poised but quick private investigator. We see his visceral reaction to brutality. Candy Sloan, his reporter/ client, is a woman making her path in a man’s world.

The Judas Goat

Spenser has gone to London — and not to see the Queen. He’s gone to track down a bunch of bombers who’ve blown away his client’s wife and kids. His job is to catch them. Or kill them. His client isn’t choosy. But there are nine killers to one Spenser.

Promised Land

Spenser is good at finding things. But this time he has a client out on Cape Cod who is in over his head. Harvey Shepard has lost his pretty wife — and a very pretty quarter million bucks in real estate. Now a loan shark is putting on the bite. Spenser finds himself doing a slow burn in the Cape Cod sun.

Pale Kings and Princes

Wheaton is a typical New England small-college town, not the sort of place for drugs and murder. But when a reporter gets too inquisitive, he finds both — the latter on his own. Spenser’s call comes when the local cops work a cover. He needs help to solve this one. 


Pretty teenager April Kyle is in grown-up-trouble, involved with people who’d beat her up for a dollar and kill her for five. Now she’s disappeared, last seen in the Combat Zone, that side of Boston where nothing’s proper, especially the sex for sale. With Hawk, his sidekick, Spenser takes on the X-rated industry.


Spenser has just lost the woman who made life his number one priority. So when a religious sect kidnaps a young dancer, no death threat can make Spenser run. Now a hit man’s bullet is wearing Spenser’s name but Boston’s big boys don’t know he is ready.

God Save The Child

Fourteen-year-old Kevin Bartlett disappears. Everyone thinks he’s run away — until the comic strip ransom note arrives. It doesn’t take Spenser long to get the picture — an affluent family seething with rage, a desperate boy making strange friends.

Looking for Rachel Wallace

Rachel Wallace is a woman who writes and speaks her mind. She has made a lot of enemies who threaten her life. Spenser is the tough guy with a macho code of honour, hired to protect a woman who thinks that code is obsolete.