Potshot (Spenser #28) (Mass Market)

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This is book number 28 in the Spenser series.

Staff Reviews

Unlike most of Parker's mysteries, this one takes place in the southwest.  Mary Lou Buchman is a very pretty young woman whose husband was recently murdered.  She asks Spenser if he would agree to go to a small town in Arizona to find the killer.  The earlier residents were an assortment of panhandlers, drunks, and mountain men living off the land.   People with plenty of money, mainly from Los Angeles, relocated to the dessert town, and it became more of a rich man's retreat.  Then a man, referred to as The Preacher moved in,organized the rag tag group of earlier residents.  The Preacher's group began to demand “rent” from the wealthier residents and businessmen. The general consensus seems to be that these people are responsible for Mary Lou's husband's death. But there is a lot more going on behind the obvious conflict between these two groups.  Spenser recruits some of his former cohorts from LA and Boston, including Hawk. With their help, hidden agendas are discovered and exposed, and Spenser has the wherewithal to stand up to the bad guys. True to Parker's style, Spenser presents his sense of morality and his rules to live by throughout. He is the modern version of the hero with the white hat. Laden with wit and the unmistakeable Spenser humor, the book is truly an enjoyable read.


— Nancy Nelson


Boston P.I. Spenser returns—heading west to the rich man’s haven of Potshot, Arizona, a former mining town reborn as a paradise for Los Angeles millionaires looking for a place to escape the pressures of their high-flying lifestyles.

Potshot overcame its rough reputation as a rendezvous for old-time mountain men who lived off the land, thanks to a healthy infusion of new blood and even newer money. But when this western idyll is threatened by a local gang—a twenty-first-century posse of desert rats, misfits, drunks, and scavengers—the local police seem powerless. Led by a charismatic individual known only as The Preacher, this motley band of thieves selectively exploits the town, nurturing it as a source of wealth while systematically robbing the residents blind.

Enter Spenser, who has been hired by the comely Mary Lou Buckman to investigate the murder of her husband. The Buckmans, a pair of  L.A. transplants, moved to Potshot and started a modest outdoor tour service. It is Mary Lou’s belief that when her husband refused to pay The Preacher and his men protection money he was killed. Without any witnesses, Spenser has little to go on, and it’s clear the local police chief won’t be doing much to help. Calling on his own cadre of tried-and-true cohorts, including Vinnie Morris, Bobby Horse, Chollo, Bernard J. Fortunato, Tedy Sapp and the redoubtable Hawk, Spenser must find a way to beat the gang at their own dangerous game.

About the Author

Robert B. Parker was the author of seventy books, including the legendary Spenser detective series, the novels featuring police chief Jesse Stone, and the acclaimed Virgil Cole–Everett Hitch westerns, as well as the Sunny Randall novels. Winner of the Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Award and long considered the undisputed dean of American crime fiction, he died in January 2010.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780425182888
ISBN-10: 0425182886
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Publication Date: June 4th, 2002
Pages: 352
Language: English
Series: Spenser