Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Bad Business by Robert B. Parker

Bad Business

by Robert B. Parker

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Spenser (31)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8171911,139 (3.49)4



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 4 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
Bad Business is the 31st (!!) novel by Robert B. Parker featuring Boston private detective Spenser. This one, unlike many of the others, is an actual who-done-it of the Agatha Christie form. It features many of Spenser’s sub-characters, notably Hawk, Vinnie Morris, and Boston homicide detective Healy, all acting in their usual macho-competent roles. Susan Silverman is also present, and not as cloying as she can be.

When a woman hires Spenser to see if he is cheating on her, Spenser discovers that the husband has hired his own p.i. to check up on his wife. It gets more complicated from there.

This one is better crafted and more suspenseful than most Parker novels (which sounds like quite a complement), but it is also pretty repetitive in its themes and the tone of its conversations. For Parker fans (and I count myself among them), it delivers what we have come to expect, but maybe is just a little too much like all the others in the series.

(JAB) ( )
  nbmars | Jan 5, 2016 |
I happened to be listening to the audiobook of this 2004 Spenser novel at the same time I was reading a 1982 Spenser novel and, well, I became utterly depressed at the clear decline of the series. I guess I shouldn't abuse an author as prolific as Parker over slacking--who wouldn't get lazy?--but this cliched, repetitive, and downright dull entry into the series was a bit of a wake up call. Maybe I should just stop in the 80s. ( )
  CherieDooryard | Jan 20, 2015 |
I apologize for saying anything about much of a muchness. This one was a goodie, with an Enron style scandal and enough twists and turns to dazzle and enjoy. The new Pearl seems to be settling in and Vinnie may have found an admirer in Adele, as well as the introduction of Cecile, who will be gone by the next time but still seems a cool character.
  amyem58 | Jul 15, 2014 |
Another Parker novel within a month of each other. Too soon, a couple of months would be bette to get your mind to reset. A silly, murder murder, wife swap wife swap story with a little too much cutsie pie banter to suit me. ( )
  repb | Jan 16, 2014 |
From Publishers Weekly Spenser #31 finds the veteran Boston PI tackling corporate crime in a routine yet absorbing outing. As usual, Spenser enters the case at an angle, this time because he's hired by one Marlene Rowley to prove that her husband Trent, CFO of energy firm Kinergy, is cheating on her. Before long the PI learns that marital cheating is all the rage among Kinergy's players, with the hanky-panky orchestrated by radio personality Darrin O'Mara, who runs popular sex seminars on the side. Maybe all that cheating explains why Spenser keeps running into other PIs hired by Kinergy folk, but it doesn't point to why Trent is found shot dead at Kinergy headquarters. Spenser links Kinergy's slick founder/CEO to the sex ring and blackmails him to gain access to Kinergy's records, unveiling a pattern of accounting deceptions that reveal a company about to go under. There's less violence than usual in this Spenser novel but more detecting, which may explain why there's little of the PI's tough sidekick Hawk but much of his psychologist girlfriend Susan, which may not please the many Spenser fans who grew tired years ago of the love banter between the soul mates. The novel ends with suspects crowded into a room to be questioned by Spenser, a classic yet tired climax that is emblematic of the tale: Parker is treading water here, albeit with some flair and a good deal of humor. One suspects that his heart belongs not to this story but to his other book due out this year, in May, the highly anticipated Jackie Robinson novel Double Play.
Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. From Parker, declared a Grand Master in 2002 by the Mystery Writers of America, delivers another combination of wry satire and sly action in his thirty-first mystery starring Spenser, the Boston private eye. This time he employs to devastating effect one of his signature devices--an observation on how someone dresses or walks into a room, or a few lines of dialogue between the victim and his hero--to fillet the greed and arrogance of corporate types. At novel's outset, Parker indulges in Keystone Kops comedy played out by private eyes. A distraught wife hires him to tail her husband. Surveillance turns complex and comic when Spenser finds that the husband is having his wife watched; an outside party is having both husband and wife watched; and Spenser himself is being tailed. Spenser is soon being watched by the Boston PD, since he is sitting in the lobby when the husband he's following is shot to death in his office. The action takes a more serious turn here, as Spenser is hired by the energy-selling corporation's CEO to investigate the murder. Of course, Spenser uncovers big-time corruption. Longtime love and psychologist Susan Silverman figures in as a commentator on the action. Spenser sidekick Hawk seems more like a vestigial remnant from other books than a realistic character here. Spenser swaggers a bit too much, and the dialogue can get one-two punch formulaic, but even so, Parker still runs at the front of the private-eye pack. Connie Fletcher
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved ( )
  Hans.Michel | Sep 13, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert B. Parkerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mantegna, JoeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
FOR JOAN: good business
First words
"Do you do divorce work?" the woman said.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425199576, Mass Market Paperback)

One of the great series in the history of the American detective story gets even better when Spenser is hired by a jilted bride to follow a cheating husband, only to cross paths with a detective hired to tail the two-timing wife. They aren't the most trusting couple in town, but as it turns out, they are the most dangerous.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:33 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

A cheating husband and a wayward wife provide Spenser with an unconventional and dangerous surveillance job. When Marlene Cowley hires Spenser to see if her husband, Trent, is cheating on her, he encounters more than he bargained for: Not only does he find a two-timing husband, but a second investigator as well, hired by the husband to look after his wife. As a result of their joint efforts, Spenser soon finds himself investigating both individual depravity and corporate corruption. It seems the folks in the Cowley's circle have become enamored of radio talk-show host Darrin O'Mara, whose views on Courtly Love are clouding some already fuzzy minds with the notion of cross-connubial relationships. O'Mara's brand of sex therapy is unconventional at best, unlawful-and deadly-at worst. Then a murder at Kinergy, where Trent Cowley is CFO, sends Spenser in yet another direction. Apparently, the unfettered pursuit of profit has a price. With razor-sharp characterizations and finely honed prose, this is Parker writing at the height of his powers.… (more)

» see all 6 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
150 avail.
9 wanted
2 pay5 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.49)
1 2
2 10
2.5 8
3 46
3.5 21
4 52
4.5 2
5 14


3 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 103,147,814 books! | Top bar: Always visible