Small Vices

by Robert B. Parker

A Spenser Novel

Ellis Alves is no angel. But his lawyer says he was framed for the murder of college student Melissa Henderson...and asks Spenser for help.

From Boston's back streets to Manhattan's elite, Spenser and Hawk search for suspects, including Melissa's rich-kid, tennis-star boyfriend. But when a man with a .22 puts Spenser in a coma, the hope for justice may die with him...


"Parker's finest in years...What keeps us so enthralled is the way Parker so deftly manages questions of racism, heroism, family life, assassination, old money, cop humor, retribution and expiation all in one can't-put-it-down story. Again."
San Francisco Chronicle

"It's a tribute to Parker's professionalism that he takes a device as old as Sherlock Holmes—the death and rebirth of a detective—and infuses it with renewed urgency and moral weight, showing the thoroughbred form that put him and Boston on the PI map in the first place."
Kirkus Reviews (starred)

"Spenser, still thoroughly convincing as the tough and decent PI, seeks bits of justice where he can. Even after 23 years on the job, nobody does it better."
Publishers Weekly (starred)

"Terrific...The action scenes are some of the most suspenseful Parker has ever written. Small Vices deserves instant inclusion in the Spenser canon."
Washington Post Book World

"What's best about the Spenser books is not what Parker needs to put into them—instead, it's what he doesn't, what no one could expect, the dimensions of social and moral awareness."
Boston Globe

"One of Parker's best ever...His snap, crackle and pop keeps things moving, but the novel also offers insight into the singular blend of violence and compassion that motivates Spenser."
Orlando Sentinel

The New York Times Book Review

"The best Parker in years."
Globe and Mail

"Direct and satisfying."
Chicago Tribune

"It's clear that Parker still has this Boston private-eye thing all to himself. Everyone else is an imitator. And it's also clear that, even after all these years, he has not lost his touch."
Providence Sunday Journal

"A first-class mystery, an intriguing investigation and pursuit, perceptive observations on contemporary relationships...The confusion of guilt and innocence will keep the novel in your memory for some time."
The Jerusalem Post Weekend Magazine

"Robert B. Parker is a tough act to follow..."
The New York Times Book Review

" might be a good time to check back in with Parker, who can still sling similes with the best of them."

Buy the book

paperback | Putnam | 1997 | ISBN: 9780399145476