Cover image for Death in paradise
Death in paradise
Parker, Robert B., 1932-2010.
Publication Information:
Prince Frederick, MD : Recorded Books, LLC, [2002]

Physical Description:
5 audio discs (6 hrs.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
General Note:
Compact disc.

Added Author:
Format :
Audiobook on CD


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Lackawanna Library X Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks

On Order


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 4

Booklist Review

If this thinly plotted and flatly written thriller were a debut novel from an unknown, rather than the work of one of the reigning heavyweights in the mystery genre, it might not even merit a review. But the author is Robert B. Parker, justifiably touted for his Spenser novels, and his name will draw a crowd. The first problem is with Spenser's new hero, seen previously in Night Passage (1997) and Trouble in Paradise (1998). Jesse Stone, former LAPD cop and current chief of police in Paradise, New England, is no Spenser. He doesn't seem to be any character at all. He plays softball; he's divorced; he engages in painfully obvious station-house one-liners. There isn't the feeling, as there is on every page of a Spenser novel, that you're with a fine intelligence about to make interesting observations. The second problem is the writing, which reads like high-school Hemingway: "It was a bright summer morning. Jesse was feeling good." The relentless rhythm of choppy sentences and short chapters adds up to nothing and is finally only annoying. And the plot--Jesse's softball game is cut short by the discovery of a dead young girl floating in a lake--is a sleepwalk, as Jesse moves through the requisite grilling of negligent parents, oversexed boyfriend, and friends hiding a secret. There's very little to recommend here, except to say that Parker's fans will be curious about it. Connie Fletcher

Publisher's Weekly Review

Melancholy shadows this third, beautifully wrought Jesse Stone mystery; rarely if ever has Parker's fiction conveyed with such solemn intensity the challenge of living a good life in a world of sin. Jesse, erstwhile drunk and now sheriff of small-town Paradise, Mass., tackles two criminal and two personal mysteries here: the murder of a teenage girl found shot dead in a local lake, and the chronic beating of a local wife by her husband; the conundrum of Jesse's attraction to alcohol, and the mess of his love life, shaped by his dependence upon his estranged wife but encompassing a highly sexed affair with a school principal. The search for the identity and the killer of the girl brings Jesse, as such investigations traditionally do, into the realm of high society the prime suspect is a bestselling writer but also to the mean streets of Boston, where the sheriff parries with Gino Fish and Vinnie Morris (outlaws borrowed from the Spenser series). Dogged police work, a hot-to-trot wife, child prostitutes, the solace of baseball, hard-guy banter these and more classic elements inform and bolster this immensely satisfying tale. As usual with Parker these days, though, the book's ultimate pleasure lies in the words, suffused with a tough compassion won only through years of living, presented in prose whose impeccability speaks of decades of careful writing. (Oct.) Forecast: This is Parker's third outstanding novel of the year, after Potshot and Gunman's Rhapsody. To promote it, he plans a vigorous author tour. Expect high interest and sales. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

While his Spenser series may always define him as a writer, Parker again proves his range in this third entry of his Jesse Stone series. Stone, chief of police in the small New England town of Paradise, is relaxing after a softball game one evening when a murdered girl's body is found nearby. Jesse must first discover the identity of the dead girl and then determine why she was killed. As if searching for a killer isn't enough, Jesse must also balance his police work against personal relationships, especially his complicated relationship with his ex-wife. Stone is a deceptively complex character, one whose problems are both interesting and completely believable. Like his protagonist, Parker doesn't waste words, using them sparingly while still managing to create scenes so vivid that the reader feels like an intimate observer. Another strong effort in what is already an impressive series, this one is a lock for high circulation in public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/1/01.] Craig Shufelt, Lane P.L., Fairfield, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

Parker here gives Jesse Stone his third case (after Night Passage and Trouble in Paradise), which involves the murder of a prodigal daughter and hardly any clues. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Death in Paradise, Chapter One One out. A left-handed hitter with an inside-out swing. The ball would slice away from him toward third. Jesse took a step to his right. The next pitch was inside and chest high and the batter yanked it down the first baseline, over the bag and into the right-field corner, had there been a corner, and lumbered into second base without a throw. "I saw you move into the hole," the batter said to Jesse. "Foiled again, Paulie." They played three nights a week under the lights on the west side of town beside a lake, wearing team tee shirts and hats. One umpire. No stealing. No spikes allowed. Officially it was the Paradise Men's Softball League, but Jesse often thought of it as the Boys of Evening. The next batter was right-handed and Jesse knew he pulled everything. He stayed in the hole. On a two-one count the right-handed hitter rammed the ball a step to Jesse's left. One step. Left foot first, right foot turned, glove on the ground. Soft hands. Don't grab at it. Let it come to you. It was all muscle memory. Exact movements, rehearsed since childhood, and deeply visceral, somatically choreographed by the movement of the ball. With the ball hit in front of him, Paulie tried to go to third. In a continuous sequence of motion, Jesse swiped him with his glove as he went by, then threw the runner out at first. "Never try to advance on a ball hit in front of you," Paulie said as they walked off the field. "I've heard that," Jesse said. His shoulder hurt, as it always did when he threw. And he knew, as he always knew, that the throw was not a big-league throw. Before he got hurt, the ball used to hum when he threw it, used to make a little snarly hiss as it went across the infield. After the game they drank beer in the parking lot. Jesse was careful with the beer. Hanging around in the late twilight after a ball game drinking club soda just didn't work. But booze was too easy for Jesse. It went down too gently, made him feel too integrated. Jesse felt that it wasn't seemly for the police chief to get publicly hammered. So he had learned in the last few years to approach it very carefully. The talk was of double plays, and games played long ago, and plays at the plate, and sex. Talk of sex and baseball was the best of all possible talk. Jesse sipped a little of the beer. Beer from an ice-filled cooler was the best way for beer to be. From the edge of the lake a voice said, "Jesse, get over here." The voice was scared. Carrying a can of Lite beer, Jesse walked to the lakeside. Two men were squatting on their heels at the edge of the water. In front of them, floating facedown, was something that used to be a girl. --From Death in Paradise by Robert B. Parker (c) October 2001, G.P. Putnam's Sons, a division of Penguin Putnam, used by permission. Excerpted from Death in Paradise by Robert B. Parker All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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