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Robert B. Parker's Lullaby (Spenser Series Book 1) by [Atkins, Ace]
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Robert B. Parker's Lullaby (Spenser Series Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Length: 316 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description


 “Handpicked by the Parker estate to be the keeper of the flame for the Spenser franchise, award-winning author Ace Atkins rises flawlessly to the occasion.”

Kirkus Reviews

 “Atkins succeeds. He doesn’t sound like somebody trying to emulate Parker. He sounds like Parker in a book that hits all the usual Spenser notes. He has the wisecrack-filled dialogue down and Parker’s cadences, too: Spenser, thankfully, sounds like Spenser. You also get the vivid sense of place, flexing of muscles and spare plot that were hallmarks of Parker’s 39 Spenser books….It’s a feat when a writer creates characters who live and breathe on the page and make readers care and keep coming back for more. To manage that with someone else’s characters, let alone with an icon like Spenser, is a minor miracle. Ace Atkins pulls it off.”

Chicago Sun-Times

 “Even the most fanatical Parker fans would be hard pressed to identify any aspect of this Spenser novel that doesn’t read as if it were penned by Spenser’s late creator.…Atkins hits all the familiar he offers familiar pleasures.”

Publishers Weekly

 “A brisk read. Atkins gets the important things right, from Spenser’s dark sarcasm to the gritty attitude of Mattie Sullivan, a 14-year-old Southie girl trying to solve her mother’s murder.”

Boston Daily 

"Ace Atkins has proven an exceptionally talented writer.... Taking on the challenge of continuing the much-loved Spenser series is a daunting task. Ace Atkins responds with a knock-out punch in round one. Parker would most definitely approve.
                   —Shelf Awareness

“It’s all there:  The crisp, rhythmic sentences. The ironic banter. The distinctly Spenserian attitude toward life that Atkins adopted as his own. And yet, those who have read both Parker and Atkins closely may also detect a muted, indefinable quality that’s pure Atkins. And that’s a very good thing…. Parker lives. Spenser is back.”

                    —Bruce DeSilva, Edgar Award Winning author of Cliff Walk

“It's the real deal. Atkins captures Parker's distinctive voice, the sardonic, self-deprecating, sharply observant first-person narration that makes the Spenser books so compelling, and so much fun.”

Tampa Bay Times

 “In Lullaby, Ace Atkins has brought back everything we love about Robert B. Parker’s Boston P.I. Spenser, and he makes it look seamless and easy…. Atkins takes the reins of the Spenser series with self-assured ease. He also proves he’s the right man for the job.”


Product Description

When fourteen-year-old Mattie Sullivan asks Spenser to look into her mother’s murder, he’s not convinced by her claim that the wrong man was convicted. Mattie is street-smart, wise beyond her years, and now left to care for her younger siblings and an alcoholic grandmother in a dilapidated apartment in South Boston. But her need for closure and her determination to make things right hits Spenser where he lives.

As Spenser becomes more involved, he thinks that Mattie may be onto something after all. And he’s going to need the help of his friend Hawk to find peace for Mattie—a job that’s more dangerous than he ever thought.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1278 KB
  • Print Length: 316 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons; Reprint edition (May 1 2012)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group USA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0072O02EQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #112,295 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Hardcover
"A copy of the document was to be issued as law in every province, being published for all people, that they should be ready for that day. The couriers went out, hastened by the king's command; and the decree was proclaimed in Shushan the citadel." -- Esther 3:14-15 (NKJV)

I don't recall reading a first novel in a mystery series continuation that is as carefully done and as faithfully executed as Lullaby. Mr. Ace Atkins is obviously a big fan and understands the foundations and appurtenances of the Spenser saga. I was impressed and intend to start reading Mr. Atkins' earlier works.

In the past, many people have complained when Robert B. Parker wrote a story about Spenser that focused on some aspects of the character and the sage . . . while omitting or downplaying other aspects. No one can have that complaint about Lullaby. The elements that I most like about the series were all on display to about an average amount reflective of all the past novels. That's a tight straitjacket to wear, and I hope that the future stories will take a few liberties to favor some elements over others.

The story is also interesting in that the plot employs some role reversals. For example, Spenser has mentored two young men in the past. This time he is asked to work for a teenage girl who wants to be in charge. I found it refreshing to think about how Spenser might react in such a situation.

For those who worry if Susan and Hawk are missing, there's plenty of both in their usual roles in this story.

I always found Robert B. Parker's dialogue to be stunningly beautifully written. There wasn't a spare syllable.

While Mr. Atkins is an excellent dialogue writer in capturing Spenser, his prose isn't as spare and as sharp as Parker's.
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Format: Hardcover
Robert B. Parker passed away just over two years ago. With the blessings of his estate, Parker's iconic characters - Jesse Stone and Spenser will continue to live on the written page. Author Ace Atkins was chosen to continue the tale of Boston P.I. Spenser.

It's always a gamble for a publisher to have someone new take on the voice of a character so many have read and loved. I really enjoyed Ace Atkins' first book The Ranger last year and am eagerly awaiting the second. Atkins himself credits Parker with his direction in life.

"I got into writing crime fiction because of Bob Parker," Atkins says. "For my 21st birthday, my mom waited in line for an hour at a bookstore in Atlanta to get a signed copy of (Parker's) Double Deuce. It was the greatest birthday present ever, and it shaped what I ended up doing for a living. I wanted to grow up to be Robert Parker."

So I had a feeling that things might turn out okay...and I was right.

Fourteen year old Mattie Parker stops by Spenser's office, looking to hire him. Her mom was killed four years ago. Although there's a man doing time for her murder, Mattie says he didn't do it. She know who really did - she saw them. Something about the girl - mostly her attitude - radiates with Spenser, so look into her case. And he finds she might be right......

The trademark short snappy dialogue is there from page one and never lets up. Spenser's wry outlook, his witty wise cracking repartee with Hawk and his smooth as silk interactions with Susan all ring true. Spenser's love of food, drink, good music and literature are all lovingly continued and described.

Favourite characters make a return - Hawk is just as big and bad as ever, but Atkins gives him a soft spot that was unexpected.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have read every Robert B Parker Spenser novel and this one by Ace Atkins is not bad but he needs to read a few more Parker novels. Way too much swearing, even in from of a teenager. Spenser and Hawk are way above that. I also bought the Jesse Stone but have not read it yet.
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Format: Kindle Edition
First Sentence: I spotted the girl even before she knocked on my door.

Tough, street-wise Mattie Sullivan hires Spenser to find her mother’s killer. Even though a man was convicted, Mattie doesn’t believe he’s the killer. Agreeing on a fee of doughnuts, literally, Spenser is intrigued enough to look into it. When the trail leads to old advisories, drugs, and the FBI, Spenser, with the help of Hawk, know they need to keep Mattie safe and to find the answers.

Atkins does a very good job of capturing Parker. All the elements that should be there; are there. In addition to the standard cast of characters—it is nice that Atkins as made Susan rather more likable—Spenser’s client makes a definite impression as she’s a girl who’s had to grow up way too fast and is handling it. An entire discussion could be held about Mattie in terms of our view of children growing up today, as opposed to how they grew up in the past and their different levels of responsibility.

One can also count on Spenser to trigger your hunger response—“I had envisioned a filet, medium rare, with creamed spinach and mashed potatoes.” He is also the single greatest representative for the Boston Tourist Board possible. You are in the city with him; everyplace from the roughest neighborhoods, to the best. But it’s his inclusion of dining spots that is particularly fun; Locke-Ober, Legal Seafood and, a particularly favorite, Union Oyster House; the oldest restaurant in Boston—“A big steaming bowl of clam chowder arrived with a thick wedge of cornbread. The heavens opened up. The angels reappeared.”—down to Dunkin’ Donuts.

Another retained element is Spenser’s sartorial descriptions—“Vinnie wore a navy cashmere topcoat with a glen plain suit underneath.
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