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Publisher's Summary

Hired by Loudon Tripp, an aggrieved Boston aristocrat who believes his late wife Olivia's brutal street slaying to be something other than random violence, Spencer immediately senses that his client's picture-perfect portrayal of his family life is false. For starters, the victim's reputation is too saintly, her house is as lived-in as a stage set, and her troubled children don't appear to be the product of a happy home.

Spencer plunges into a world of grand illusion, peopled by cardboard cutouts, including a distinguished public servant with plenty to hide, a wealthy executive whose checks bounce, a sleepy southern town seething with scandal and the ambiguous Olivia herself, who may or may not really be dead.

Crack another case with Spenser.
©1994 Robert B. Parker (P)2009 Phoenix

What listeners say about Paper Doll

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  • Anne Lemon
  • 07-04-2015

Dark & Deep Story

This story was great because it just kept taking turns, and the plot kept getting thicker and thicker. It is a very dark story with multiple tragic situations. Definitely kept me listening to see what would happen. I agree with many readers who have commented that this narrator isn't the best, but I have to say, he really did shine here. All of the characters on the Boston police force really came alive in a new way. The scene where Martin Quirk breaks bad is fantastic.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Grandma
  • 09-12-2018

Spencer always delivers

Another unsolvable crime solved by Spenser. Robert B Parker makes reading fun. There were several twists in this mystery which added to the intrigue.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Elizabeth Ramirez
  • 04-08-2022

This may be one of my favorite Spensers

Though the narrator is not my favorite for the Spenser series, he somehow stepped it up for this one. As others also wrote, the story did deal with some touchy issues like AIDS, racism and other crunchy subjects that must have been harder to write about in the early '90s. The story was enticing the whole way, and I especially liked that not everything was resolved in a nice neat package. Wish there was more Hawk, but since I think this Narrator doesn't do that character justice, may be just as well.

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  • Hannah
  • 29-12-2021

I’ve read nearly all of Robert B. Parker’s Spenser and Hawk novels..

This is the first one I’ve listened to as well. In my opinion Spenser was not embodied in this reader ‘s version. The characterization failed completely, and I’ll not listen to any more of this pairing of book and reader.

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  • Shirley Y. Thomas
  • 26-03-2020

A little dated

Details in the story are clearly 40 or so years out of date. Still it has the true ring of the Spenser series, which is a good one. The narrator handles the text well except that the black and southern characters might be a bit stereotypical. Maybe that’s unavoidable. It’s a pleasant,beady listen, and I enjoyed it

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  • kctElgin
  • 22-10-2019

not prime Spencer

The dialog shines in spots, Parker works in social issues to be relevant, but it seems forced. I missed Hawk's presence

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  • deena
  • 03-04-2019

one of his best

story was amazing. well told and full of suspicions. Robert b parker was and always will be the best crime writer in my eyes.

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  • S.R.L.
  • 24-10-2018

Very good narration and story

This is a typical Spenser novel by Parker. It is very entertaining with great characters and suspense. The narration is very good, though Susan's voice wasn't great.

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  • Ken Ray
  • 12-09-2018

Suspected city

Unsuspecting suspected a variety characters that keep the plot moving right up to the end

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  • ryngie
  • 06-06-2018

Great story enhanced by narrator

Thoroughly enjoyed story. Entertained by distinct voice change with each character.
Nice touch of humor interjected with suspense.

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