Cover image for Potshot
Title:
Potshot
Author:
Parker, Robert B., 1932-2010.
Publication Information:
New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, [2001]

©2001
Physical Description:
294 pages ; 24 cm
Summary:
Boston P.I. Spenser returns, in the latest from bestselling author Robert Parker, to take on a ruthless local gang in the millionaire's paradise of Potshot, Arizona. Spenser heads west to the rich man's haven of Potshot, Arizona, to defend the town and its transplanted Los Angeles yuppie residents from a 21st-century posse of desert rats, misfits, drunks and scavengers who are robbing the town blind and threatening residents' newly-discovered sense of harmony.
Language:
English
Geographic Term:
ISBN:
9780399147104
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

"Boston P.I. Spenser returns - heading west to the rich man's haven of Potshot, Arizona, a former mining town reborn as a paradise for Los Angeles millionaires looking for a place to escape the pressures of their high-flying lifestyles. Potshot overcame its rough reputation as a rendezvous for old-time mountain men who lived off the land, thanks to a healthy infusion of new blood and even newer money. But when this western idyll is threatened by a local gang - a twenty-first-century posse of desert rats, misfits, drunks, and scavengers - the local police seem powerless. Led by a charismatic individual known only as The Preacher, this motley band of thieves selectively exploits the town, nurturing it as a source of wealth while systematically robbing the residents blind." "Enter Spenser, who has been hired by the comely Mary Lou Buckman to investigate the murder of her husband. The Buckmans, a pair of L.A. transplants, moved to Potshot and started a modest outdoor tour service. It is Mary Lou's belief that when her husband refused to pay The Preacher and his men protection money, he was killed. Without any witnesses, Spenser has little to go on, and it's clear the local police chief won't be doing much to help. Calling on his own cadre of tried-and-true cohorts, including Vinnie Morris, Bobby Horse, Chollo, Bernard J. Fortunato, Tedy Sapp, and the redoubtable Hawk, Spenser must find a way to beat the gang at their own dangerous game."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved


Author Notes

Robert Brown Parker was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, on September 17, 1932. He received a B.A. from Colby College in 1954, served in the U.S. Army in Korea, and then returned to receive a M. A. in English literature from Boston University in 1957. He received a Ph.D. in English literature from Boston University in 1971.

Before becoming a full-time writer in 1979, he taught at Lowell State College, Bridgewater State College and Northwestern University.

In 1971, Parker published The Godwuff Manuscript, as homage to Raymond Chandler. The character he created, Spencer, became his own detective and was featured in more than 30 novels. His Spencer character has been featured in six TV movies and the television series Spencer: For Hire that starred Robert Urich and ran from 1985 to 1988.

He is also the author of the Jesse Stone series, which has been made into a series of television movies for CBS, and the Sunny Randall series. His novel Appaloosa (2005) was made into a 2008 movie directed by and starring Ed Harris. He has received numerous awards for his work including an Edgar Award for Best Novel in 1977 for The Promised Land, Grand Master Edgar Award for his collective oeuvre in 2002, and the Gumshoe Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008. He died of a heart attack on January 18, 2010 at the age of 77.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Here's a real treat for fans of the long-running Spenser series: a sort of class reunion in which Spenser and all his favorite fellow tough guys get together to trade quips and bang a few heads. In a combination parody of and homage to The Magnificent Seven, Spenser takes on the job of clearing out a gang of "mountain trash" who are intimidating the residents of Potshot, Arizona. Even the supremely resourceful Spenser needs a little help with this one, so he drafts six of his compadres from previous adventures. There's the imperial Hawk, of course, Spenser's costar throughout the series, but in addition, this rainbow coalition of right-thinking thugs includes Latino Chollo, Native American Bobby Horse, gay ex-cop Teddy Sapp, and lovable mobsters Vinnie Morris and Bernard J. Fortunato. Much of the fun here is in the pregame strategizing between the players, as the ever-sensitive Spenser tries to avoid as much bloodshed as possible, and his henchmen argue for the efficiency of a guns-blazing ambush. (The master of understatement, Hawk merely rolls his eyes at Spenser's tough-guy morality and mutters, "Being your faithful Afro-American companion ain't the easiest thing I've ever done.") In the end, of course, there's plenty of violence (as we knew there would be) but not so much as to keep the thugs from their horseplay, much of which involves delightfully deadpan commentary on one another's racial and sexual characteristics. If the idea of mixing The Magnificent Seven with a touch of Blazing Saddles appeals to you, saddle up with Spenser and Hawk. --Bill Ott


Publisher's Weekly Review

HThe Spenser series remains fresh after 28 novels in about 30 years. How does Parker do it? Through recurring characters as alive as any in fiction, and through exceptionally clean, graceful prose that links the novels as surely as do the characters. The author also refreshes himself through other writings the Sunny Randall series, for example, or Gunman's Rhapsody, a tale about Wyatt Earp that Putnam will publish in June. So even when Parker resorts to a bit of gimmickry, as he does here, the vitality of his storytelling prevails. The manifest gimmickry is Boston P.I. Spenser's corralling of sidekicks from previous novels Hawk, of course, but also gay Tedy Sapp from Hugger Mugger, sharpshooter Chollo from Thin Air, Vinnie Morris (from several novels) and a few others to deal with trouble in the Arizona town of Potshot. Spenser is hired by a sexy blonde to look into the shooting death there of her husband, who tangled with an outlaw group known as the Dell, which for years has extorted the citizens of Potshot. There's an eventual shootout, of course (there are enough parallels between this tale and that of Wyatt Earp to guess that Parker's forthcoming Earp novel inspired this one), but not before Spenser digs into the town's secrets, uncovering the expected but in detail, always surprising domestic mayhem and corruption. Genuinely scary villains, sassy dialogue, a deliciously convoluted mystery with roots in the classic western and Parker's pristine way with words result in another memorable case. (Mar.) Forecast: A BOMC Main Selection, this novel will hit the charts, as Spenser novels do. The gimmick involving the many sidekicks should only help sales and may even draw back a few readers who have strayed from the series. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Spenser, Parker's famous sleuth, goes west to find a murderer and clean up a nest of mountain hoodlums in the 28th installment of the series. After reconnoitering Potshot, AZ, the scene of the crime, he decides he needs reinforcements, so he calls in allies from around the country. These dangerous men a Native American, an African American, a Georgia cracker, a Mafioso, and a homosexual provide much of the book's humor, as Parker has fun with stereotypes, and reader Joe Mantegna has fun with accents. The characterization of women is equally stereotypical, but less amusing to this feminine ear. Parker's women are there to provide sexual tension and little else, a fact that Mantegna emphasizes. He raises the pitch of his voice and slows the pace and successfully insinuates that sexual conquest is uppermost in the characters' minds. This will be popular with Spenser fans and those who don't mind political incorrectness. Juleigh Muirhead Clark, John D. Rockefeller Jr. Lib., Williamsburg, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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