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Publisher's Summary

A serial killer is on the loose in Beantown and the cops can't catch him. But when the killer leaves his red rose calling card for Spenser's own Susan Silverman, he gets all the attention that Spenser and Hawk can give.

Spenser plays against time while he tracks the Red Rose killer from Boston's Combat Zone to the suburbs. His trap is both daring and brave, and gives the story a satisfying climax.

Download more Spenser mysteries.
©1989 Robert B. Parker (P)2009 Random House

Critic Reviews

"Like Philip Marlowe, Spenser is a man of honor in a dishonorable world. When he says he will do something, it is done. The dialogue zings, and there is plenty of action...but it is the moral element that sets this series above most defective fiction." ( Newsweek)

What listeners say about Crimson Joy

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Disappointed

I was disappointed in Prichard's uninspired reading of what I've always thought was one of the better Spenser novels. I think I'd avoid his narrations in future.

4 people found this helpful

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Not Bad

Michael Prichard was not nearly the narrator that Joe Mantegna is in the later Spenser novels and this one needed all the help it could get. This selection seems to be more a paean to Susan as a psychotherapist than it is a work of detective fiction. Still it is a short, fast paced story that doesn't linger too long and ultimately reveals, albeit a bit too neatly, the means, method, motive, and opportunity and wraps up fully and easily. If you like Spenser you'll enjoy this effort at least somewhat, while still being disappointed and wishing Parker had been able to write more books as good as Early Autumn and Looking For Rachel Wallace.

2 people found this helpful

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Worse audiobook ever

I listen to a lot of audiobooks. This was easily the worse performance I have ever encountered. The reader had practically no emotion and read as if he was late for lunch. It was so bad I could not determine whether the story stunk or it was just badly read.

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And the Beat goes on

As you know, I am reading the Spenser series in order and this one made me laugh out loud with some of Spenser's quips.
Enjoyed this audiobook but must agree that the narrator could be better.
This narrator doesn't do Parker's audiobooks any justice.

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This is the Spenser that hooked me on the series.

I dare you to listen to this one and not be hungry for more. Spenser is a stand up guy and CJ puts a spotlight on Susan too.

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    3 out of 5 stars

Good book -- disappointing narration

This Spenser book narration was flat and lacking the sardonic humor expressed by the Spenser character. The story was good and I made it through the book. Of all of the narrators I have listened to over the past 12 years of Parker books, this was the absolute worst! Of the past narrators, Joe Mantegna was the absolute perfect Spenser. I am very disappointed to see that many of the new releases this summer were read by this Michael Prichard....bring back Mantegna!

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    4 out of 5 stars

First audio book

For my first book I wanted to choose an author and character that I knew and was pretty sure I would enjoy. I liked the tv series and have enjoyed many Parker-Spenser novels. I enjoyed this one very much. The he saids, she saids don't bother me. I did not have a problem with the narrator. I am glad to get back into "reading".