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October 7, 2015

Robert B. Parker, author of the Spenser novels, dead at 77

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 19th 2010 2:00PM
Robert B. ParkerJust last week I posted one of my favorite episodes of the 80s ABC series Spenser: For Hire, and now comes word that the author of the novels, Robert B. Parker, has died at the age of 77.

No details yet, but Parker died at his desk in his Cambridge, MA home. When you're a writer that's probably the way to go.

If you only know Spenser from the TV series that starred Robert Urich (which was great), you should pick up the novels, too. He's been writing them since the 70s and they're quite good, very engaging first person mystery stories set in Boston. He started a new series of book based around the Jesse Stone character (who happens to live my neck of the woods), and while I've never read those novels I have seen the TV movies featuring Tom Selleck as Stone and they are very good. There's a new Jesse Stone novel coming out in May. Not sure if Parker had finished a new Spenser novel or not (his latest is The Professional).

I think it's time for a Spenser: For Hire marathon.

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February 28 2010 at 1:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I spent many hours immersed in Spenser's world. Thank you for the enjoyment!!

January 30 2010 at 11:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Patricia Parker

I had just finished The Professional a couple of days before Robert Parker passed away. Never have I been so sad about someone I did not know in person. I was never as fond of his Westerns or his Sunny Randall novels but Oh how I love Spenser and Jesse Stone. Just as I mourned and yearned for just one more day, each day, with my Grandfather when he passed away, I yearn for just one more Robert Parker mystery, each day, to read.

January 25 2010 at 4:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was stunned when I heard this. My Spenser collection goes all the way back to a first edition of "The Godwulf Manuscript." I'm REALLY going to miss his books. Spenser, Hawk, and Susan are like old friends. The Spenser novels are always a bright spot in my year. Sometimes it is the ONLY leisure reading I manage to do in a year.

There is still one final Spenser novel listed for publication. It's called "Painted Ladies" and will be out in November, 2010.

However, here's my secret hope: Years ago, Parker finished Raymond Chandler's unfinished Philip Marlowe novel, "Poodle Springs." Perhaps Parker, wanting the last word on Spenser, has secretly already written a coda to the series to only be published posthumously. I really hope this is the case and that it someday appears as the true last Spenser novel.

January 20 2010 at 9:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What a sad, sad day. Spenser for Hire was my favorite tv series and the books were fantastic.

Lately I've been hooked on Jesse Stone. I've read every book and bought every movie on dvd as soon as they were released.

Mr. Parker was an incredible writer and it was very difficult to put one of his books down once you started reading it.

The world is much more dreary without him. R.I.P. Mr. Parker!

January 20 2010 at 5:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

When I was in college in the early 80's ,our creative lit.class hosted this talented writer. Some of us had the joy of sharing dinner and stories with Mr. Parker ,at the home of our professor It was a remarkable, once in a lifetime opportunity that happened before his "Spenser For Hire" tv show was first aired. He was charming, so very witty and down to earth. When he mentioned the upcoming series for tv there was no bragging about it. To me Parker and Spenser were the same person as he wrote just the way the character was "acted". I was saddened by Robert Urich's death but this is harder. Thank you for all the novels you've left us. May God bless your family, Robert, and the large family of your fans. We will miss you but your wonderful characters will live on and that's a blessing and legacy to future reader's of your wonderful novels.

January 20 2010 at 2:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I only discovered Mr Parker about 10 years ago but I believe I have read every one of his books. Great entertainment. Wonderful reads. What a incredible loss for all of us. RIP.

January 20 2010 at 2:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I met Mr. Parker a few years ago in Washington D.C. at the National Book festival. He kindly signed a Spenser book and allowed me to take a quick photo of him. He was very friendly cheerful. I'll miss not being able to read any new Spenser books. Condolences to his wife and sons...

January 20 2010 at 1:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The world is poorer place today. But I am much richer to have known him. Goodbye Mr. Parker.

January 19 2010 at 11:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was first introduced to Mr. Parker when Spenser for Hire aired. Loved the T.V. series and then started reading the books more recently. I have only read half of what he wrote but have enjoyed them immensely as has my mom who I got to read them as well. I will miss his wit, rest in peace Mr Parker, job well done:)

January 19 2010 at 11:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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