Spenser, part one

Hardy Boys

Boston PI “Spenser.” Don’t know why that didn’t show up on the amazon/google algorithm suggestion service. Maybe it did, and I am inured to its grasp. Thinking about a trip to Boston, maybe a little,light background reading?

God Save the Child

God Save the Child (Spenser)
First one, and even though it has a 1974 copyright date, presumably a similar first publication date, remarkable in its handling of some issues. Not totally, politically correct, but nice in that it did deal with issues. Historically, the styles worn? Yeah, that was then. Best I know. Decent amount of dated snark. Fisticuffs, platform shoes, and tasteless exploits.

Early Autumn

Early Autumn (Spenser)

“the readiness is all” Hamlet V.ii

Remarkable, especially in its era, these are early to mid-70s original copyright dates, but in its time? Smart-mouthed brawler in Boston, solving crimes while maintaining a remarkably enlightened view of the world. 1981 original release.

Looking for Rachel Wallace

Looking for Rachel Wallace (Spenser)
Feminist. I would suspect the aurora was a strong feminist. Shows in some of this work.

“I shrugged. “There are stranger things in this world than in all your philosophies, Horatio.” Page 87.

  • “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,/Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” (I.v)

Yeah, I remembered it correctly. Still, speaks volumes in a good way, rhetorical trick I’ve employed.

Mortal Stakes

Mortal Stakes (Spenser)
Baseball. 1977.

The Judas Goat

The Judas Goat (Spenser)
London, one I do, or don’t, recall. More than London, globe-trotting, London then Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Montreal (Canada — French Canada), and the Olympics.


Ceremony (Spenser Book 9)
1982? With a throwback 70’s style, big pimpin’, as well.

A Savage Place

A Savage Place (Spenser)
1981 release, which means… Los Angles and the movie business, mass media — of its era. Great term, “ethical relativism” (Page 92.)

The Widening Gyre

The Widening Gyre (Spenser)
Dirty politics, with current overtones, but a spin on that Right Wing, with a 1983 publication date. Allusion to W. B. Yeats poem, as noted before.


Valediction (Spenser Book 11)
Starts with a graduation. But the more I dig in, there’s a thin veneer of potboiler, dime-store detective layered with something else.

“The thing I like about Irish whiskey is that the more you drink the smoother it goes down. Of course that’s probably true of antifreeze as well, but illusion is nearly all we have.” Page 29.

While intriguing, I haven’t found any of the metaphors to be too heavy-handed.