|Plot Summary of Bad Business|
Marlene Cowley wants to hire Spenser to investigate her husband, Trent Cowley. She is convinced he is cheating on her and wants proof that will humiliate and destroy him in open court. Spenser reluctantly agrees as he does not care for this type of cases and such proof isn't required in the courts of today.
Before long, Spenser discovers that his client has a tail of her own. Apparently Trent shares the same concerns and has hired another investigator to tail her. The two investigators as a matter of professional courtesy acknowledge each other's case but neither can explain why there soon appears to be yet another investigator involved. Spenser begins looking at that angle and before he can get very far, the deaths begin. The two investigators soon vanish and Spenser is left working a case that grows stranger by the day.
This synopsis report prepared by Kevin R. Tipple
Robert B. Parkner
Putnam, March 2004, 22.95, 320 pp.
No case is ever easy for Boston private detective Spenser. Wealthy socialite Marlene Rowley hires Spenser to find evidence that her husband Trent, the CEO of Kinergy (an energy trading business), is cheating on her. He tails Trent and quickly learns he is having an affair with Ellen Eisen and that another sleuth is following Ellen, whose husband Bernard also works at Kinergy.
Spenser's case becomes ludicrous when he realizes that a third private detective is following Marlene. On only Spenser's second day of surveillance, Trent is murdered in his office during working hours and nobody saw a thing. Marlene wants Spenser to find out who made her a widow, which leads Spenser into a cesspool containing sexual predators, financial finagling and serial killers.
It has been three decades since Robert B. Parker write the first Spenser novel and the series is as fresh, innovative and appealing today as it was then. The sublime but well written story line is fun to follow as private sleuthing seems like a lucrative business at least in the Boston area. Told in the first person from Spenser's point of view, BAD BUSINESS is a work of humorous prose and fantastic characterizations.
This synopsis report prepared by Harriet Klausner
|Chapter Analysis of Bad Business|
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Composition of Book
descript. of violence and chases - 10%
Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives - 40%
Feelings, relationships, character bio/development - 30%
How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) - 20%
Tone of story
- suspenseful (sophisticated fear)
How difficult to spot villain?
- Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues
Time/era of story:
- 2000+ (Present)
What % of story relates directly
to the mystery, not the subplot?
Kind of investigator
- hard boiled/private eye
Kid or adult book?
- Adult or Young Adult Book
Any non-mystery subplot?
- feelings towards lover
Murder Mystery (killer unknown)
- private investigator
Accounts of torture and death?
- generic/vague references to death/punishment
Explicit sex in book?
What kind of sex:
- vague references
- descript of kissing
- touching of anatomy
A lot of techno jargon?
Kind of jargon?
Amount of dialog
- mostly dialog
- significantly more dialog than descript
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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