Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Robert B. Parker

Bill Crider just floored me with the news of Robert B. Parker's death. My thoughts are a bit scattered.

I went from The Hardy Boys to Spenser and since 1984 have been a loyal fan. Each February or March I would look for the newest tale of Boston's #1 private investigator and first class cook. When I went to meet with a college advisor he asked me what I wanted to be and I said a detective. I was inspired to take up writing late in life because I knew Parker had. Spenser’s secure, time tested relationship with Susan inspired me to find my own charmer. My interest in Spenser began to wane, slightly, a few years ago but was renewed with Parker’s new creation, Jesse Stone. Plus his western novels featuring Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch proved his writing chops were still in full force.

I’m scanning the news and according to early reports, Mr. Parker died peacefully at his desk. I certainly hope so. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. He will be missed. RIP.

I’m going to have a beer now. I know Spenser would.

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Sarah Weinman blog: Robert B. Parker is Dead | Another Spenser novel is due in November | WSJ | The Washington Post | ABC News | USA Today | The Rap Sheet: On the Passing of Parker | CS Monitor | The Boston Herald

23 comments:

I.J. Parnham said...

Sad news.

Corey Wilde said...

I'll raise a glass to Parker also.

sandra seamans said...

Still reeling from this one.

Sue said...

Me too - he was one of those people you expected and wanted to live forever.

Richard Prosch said...

Wow. It's hard to imagine life without a new Spenser and Stone story each year.

David Cranmer said...

Richard, I'm seeing where there are a few books still coming out but my thoughts exactly. I've been following Spenser, Hawk, and Susan for twenty-six years and it's hard to accept it's finis.

Charles Gramlich said...

Wow, this is the first I'd heard. So sorry to hear that.

pattinase (abbott) said...

My first great mystery writer love.

Scott Parker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris said...

I, too, was a fan of Parker at a young age, and he served as a gateway for some of my greatest literary loves. He will be missed.

David Cranmer said...

Chris, You touched on something I forgot to mention. Through Parker, I discovered Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, and Ross MacDonald.

Anonymous said...

Definitely a sad and shocking day for Parker fans. I have only read Resolution but look forward to enjoying Mr. Parker's other works.

Jay

Cloudia said...

Spens-AH!



Sad indeed...


Aloha, Friend!


Comfort Spiral

David Cranmer said...

Cloudia, that line will always bring back Urich's old TV show and Avery Brooks. He had that line and part down cold.

Sarah Laurence said...

How sad to die, but how perfect for a writer to die at his desk. My children’s piano teacher died playing Chopin. There can be beauty in death. I like the idea of celebrating a life more than mourning a death. Cheers!

Nik said...

It's always a shock when a writer you've known for years quits this mortal coil. I'm thinking of Robert Holdstock and Michael Crichton who recently spring to mind. Wiki is quick off the mark, with Robert Parker's death on 18 Jan annotated already. Yes, sympathies extended to his two sons (it seems his wife Joan died this year too...)
Nik/Ross Morton

David Cranmer said...

Sarah, So true. From reports I'm reading, he was quite the humanitarian and his body of work he left behind will endure. That is a cause to celebrate.

Nik, I just updated my post. I was unaware the real life Susan had passed away. She was quite the talent herself.

Bee said...

May we all die peacefully at our desks! (And at an age that is at least 40x2.)

I am charmed by the thought that Spenser's relationship with Susan was a model for you.

Bee said...

I just read The Boston Herald article. It sounds like Parker really deserves all of the loving tributes.

David Cranmer said...

Bee,

Yes, it sounds like Boston has lost a generous friend.

Barrie said...

It'll be weird when his book comes out next month. Then again, maybe it won't feel weird. Maybe it'll feel like we got one extra book?

I found this great quotation by him (boston.com):"The art of writing a mystery is just the art of writing fiction," he told the Globe in 2007. "You create interesting characters and put them into interesting circumstances and figure out how to get them out of them. No one is usually surprised at the outcome of my books."

Bee said...

David, I just read a really wonderful tribute to Spenser/Parker on a blog called Flux Capacitator. You would enjoy it.

http://poemsandnovels.blogspot.com/2010/01/tribute-goodbye-robert-b-parker-thank.html

David Cranmer said...

That was a lovely tribute. I went ahead and left a comment.

Thanks Bee.