Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- This article is about the fictional detective named Spenser, not Edmund Spenser, the English poet.
Spenser is a private eye in the mold of Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe, a smart-mouthed tough guy with a heart of gold. Unlike Marlowe, Spenser maintains a committed relationship with a woman (Susan Silverman). Although he is an extremely tough guy, an ex-boxer who lifts weights to stay in shape, he is also quite erudite, cooks, and lives by a code of honor he and Susan sometimes discuss -- though as infrequently as he can manage.
The other major character in the Spenser novels is his close friend Hawk (which is unlikely to be either of his real names), an equally tough but somewhat shady echo of Spenser himself. Hawk may be modeled on the sidekick in Book Five of Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene. Artegal, the knight of justice, has a helper named Talus who is an invincible man of iron.
The Spenser books were the inspiration for the late-1980s TV series Spenser: For Hire starring Robert Urich and Avery Brooks. Several made-for-TV movies based upon the series followed in the early 1990s. In 1999, Joe Mantegna played Spenser in the first of three TV movies.
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