Synopses & Reviews
A client from a decades-old case reaches out to Boston PI Spenser but can he rescue troubled April Kyle once more?
Longtime Spenser fans will remember that once upon a time, though not so long ago, there was a girl named April Kyle a beautiful teenage runaway who turned to prostitution to escape her terrible family life. The book was 1982's Ceremony, and, thanks to Spenser, April escaped Boston's "Combat Zone" for the relative safety of a high-class New York City bordello. April resurfaced in Taming a Sea-Horse, again in dire need of Spenser's rescue this time from the clutches of a controlling lover. But April Kyle's return in Hundred-Dollar Baby is nothing short of shocking.
When a mature, beautiful, and composed April strides into Spenser's office, the Boston PI barely hesitates before recognizing his once and future client. Now a well-established madam herself, April oversees an upscale call-girl operation in Boston's Back Bay. Still looking for Spenser's approval, it takes her a moment before she can ask him, again, for his assistance. Her business is a success; what's more, it's an all-female enterprise. Now that some men are trying to take it away from her, she needs Spenser.
April claims to be in the dark about who it is that's trying to shake her down, but with a bit of legwork and a bit more muscle, Spenser and Hawk find ties to organized crime and local kingpin Tony Marcus, as well as a scheme to franchise the operation across the country. As Spenser again plays the gallant knight, it becomes clear that April's not as innocent as she seems. In fact, she may be her own worst enemy.
"April Kyle, the damsel in distress that Spenser rescued in two earlier books, Ceremony (1982) and Taming a Sea Horse (1986), again turns to the iconic Boston PI for help in the 34th entry in Parker's popular series. Cynical yet romantic, Spenser easily handles the immediate threat of some men trying to muscle in on the high-class Boston whorehouse April is running. Unfortunately, that isn't the real problem, and Spenser without much surprise finds that April, the thugs and everyone else involved is lying to him. Instead of walking away, Spenser continues to probe, following trails that lead to New York, a con artist, mob connections and other complications. This is vintage Parker, with Spenser exchanging witty dialogue with the faithful Hawk, sexy dialogue with his beloved Susan and smart-alecky dialogue with cops and villains. The old pros can make it look easy, and that goes for both the author and his hero as they deliver the goods smoothly and with inimitable style." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"There are no great surprises in Hundred-Dollar Baby, but Spenser and company guarantee a pleasant outing to Boston with just enough thrills and bad guys to spice up the trip." Orlando Sentinel
"Spenser's detective chops are less in evidence than his messiah complex. Even the dialogue, always Parker's specialty, sounds suspiciously like Elmore Leonard." Kirkus Reviews
April Kyle, a prostitute from Spenser's past, comes back into his life-with deadly complications.
About the Author
Robert B. Parker has long been acknowledged as the dean of American crime fiction.