Taming a Sea-Horse

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Press:Bantam Books Dell (May 1, 1987)
Publication Date:1987-5
Author Name:Parker, Robert B.


Spenser's interest in teenage prostitute April Kyle leads him to Robert Rambeaux, ersatz Juilliard student and April's pimp, and to Ginger Bucky, another of Rambeaux's hookers, who suddenly turns up dead.

From the Publisher

5 1-hour cassettes

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Robert B. 
Parker was the author of seventy books, including the legendary Spenser detective series, novels featuring 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, Parker died in January 2010.


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Comment List (Total:14)

  •     I'm ashamed to admit this about my reading weakness. I did overcome it, given full use of the gift of Parker's skill as an author. The confession:The first few paragraphs of TAMING A SEA-HORSE worked more as the wrong end of a magnet than a draw into the story. My immediate, automatic response was I didn't want to immerse my emotions again into the heartbreaking, depressing world of Patricia Utley and April Kyle.And then the save:Reading into the story a couple pages, I was hooked into Spenser's world and cares. I wanted to know why April had gone to the different call agency, and how Spenser might convince her to return to Utley's more realistic, kinder "retirement program." And, the conversation with Utley was engrossing, about the various angles of Call Girls' dreams, the sour and the creme.I was also caught by Spenser's description of compulsions and controls (successes and failures) of his rampant appetites, in this case for martinis over lunch, through lunch, concluding with a healthy cherry cheesecake wallow.Of course Spenser's first conversation with April over a noon lunch, which was breakfast for her, was full of reader bait, as was his first exchange with April's high-brow musician pimp. With Spenser's satiric takes on the seedy sides of NYC ambiance swirled into the mix, I willingly gave up any resistance to sinking into the unique plot mix in book # 13 in the series. Given the sensitive ending (and the increasingly engrossing ride to it, youthful shrugs included) I'm really glad that resistance would have been futile here.Susan and Hawk didn't show up until about half through the plot, but their scenes were prime, especially if a reader has come upon them in sequence, through the storms of the previous novels. A special playful newness to Susan and Spenser's relationship had emerged, and I could feel the subtle pride and quiet warmth in Hawk, which had expanded due to the intense intimacy of soul ripping situations through which they had passed in absolute commitment to each other, in previous novels.Due to the delay of entrance of Susan and Hawk, though, readers were again allowed the ambiance of the private eye walking alone, for another while. Instead of reeking of loneliness, though, this time disgust and frustration fumed in the solitary detective who realistically makes very little progress in his games, enduring endless hours and hour-packed days of tedious observation, and expensive exploration into seeming dead ends. Parker does Spenser's boredom shuffle to perfection.The plot heat-up (from the appealing gumshoe dragging) was gradual in a satisfying way (with literary style and bits of great humor), and effective in easing me into reading a few hours in the middle of the night... thinking I would just read long enough to get sleepy and fall back asleep. Sure. Finished the book first, then went back to sleep, after another 30 minutes tumbling the story around in my mind, feeling a healing contentment about what Spenser accomplished in this one, even if it was just a novel.I was haunted by knowing, first hand from my experiences in police work, about the young girls who would never have a Spenser to save them. Some of them would have someone; some of them would somehow save themselves.Linda Shelnutt
  •     Great Read
  •     This is a very complicated and convoluted detective story. There is lots of clever dialogue and considerable violence. Also lots of information about the hooker industry.
  •     Great macho detective story
  •     Another excellent Spenser!
  •     Pretty good. I've read it before and I've gotten to the point where they are all alike. I read somewhere that Parker wrote a dozen good stories and then just rewrote them over and...
  •     none
  •     "Taming a Sea-Horse" finds Spenser returning to simpler pursuits after the imitation James Bond heights of our hero's previous story, "A Catskill Eagle." Susan Silverman is back in Spenser's life with minimal mention of the hell she put him through in the last couple of books when she was off in California. But they are very happy together, although they now find very little time to do any real cooking. The problem this time around is an old one revisited: April Kyle, the teenage prostitute Spenser saved in "Ceremony" has left the call girl service of Patricia Utley and has started turning tricks for Robert Rambeaux, the man she supposedly loves. Spenser does a little investigating but before he gets too deep into the matter April disappears, Rambeaux is beaten up by somebody other than Spenser, and one of the hookers our hero intereviewed is murdered. Once again, there is much more to the case than meets the eye.This is an intimate Spenser novel, which was certainly a wise move on Robert B. Parker's part after the epic scale of its predecessor. At the end of "Ceremony," Spencer and Susan were planning on taking April to meet Mrs. Utley because they could not come up with a better solution and we could only guess at what would become of the young girl. Now the gap of the last four years has been filed in and our hero has another chance to help the young girl, whom I suspect might be on her way to being the surrogate daughter in Spenser's growing symbolic family unit. While "Taming a Sea-Horse" might seem to cover some of the ground Robert B. Parker has covered before, there is always some sort of twist, and it is not understatement to say that this time around the story ends not with a bang, but with a whimper.
  •     Great Read
  •     Standard Parker.
  •     Old titles or new, Robert B Parker always delivers.
  •     it is not quite what I as looking for. I needed a tarnish free case and will use this however it does not hold what I needed. i have 2 necklaces in it.
  •     Robert B. Parker, Taming a Sea-Horse (Delacorte, 1986)One of the fun things about Robert Parker's Spenser novels is that way folks keep popping up and making Spenser's life miserable. In this case, the poppee is April Kyle, a prostitute Spenser encountered a few years before. That story didn't end to anyone's satisfaction, least of all Spenser's. Now it's time for him to find out why. April has left the employ of the madam with whom Spenser set her up to turn tricks for her new boyfriend, a woodwind player struggling through Julliard. Or so everyone's been told. Spenser starts asking around, and the more he asks, the less he finds out. Typical, huh?In no time, one of April's associates who Spenser talked to is dead, and the pimp has had his face rearranged. There's more to this than a runaway streetwalker. Enough "more," at least, for another Spenser novel.This isn't one of Parker's more elegant works, but then, a bad Spenser is still better than most anything else. It has all the hallmarks of Robert Parker. There's some cooking, some literature, a lot of snappy one-liners, and inherent readability. What's missing is the necessity to down the whole thing in one long swallow that pervades such Spenser gems as A Catskill Eagle and Early Autumn. But that's comparable to a pizza with one slice gone; the rest will still taste good. ***

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