Robert B. Parker's cultured Boston cop-turned-PI probes cases with his brooding, enigmatic pal, Hawk (later spun off into the `A Man Called Hawk' series). Various lady friends also helped the sensitive sleuth, notably guidance counselor Susan Silverman and ADA Rita Fiori. Parker was a consultant for this series. `The business of television,' he wrote in TV Guide, `is to put on good television, not to replicate my books.' And `Spenser: For Hire' was indeed good television.

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