I was stunned to arrive at work today and find out that Robert B. Parker had died. He was only seventy-seven, and the newspapers indicate he died at his desk. And, that's the place I'll always picture him, writing the wonderful Spenser novels.
I can think of no finer tribute, with all of the ones that have already come out, than to repeat what I said in my review of The Professional, the most recent Spenser book. "By my count, I've read forty-five books by Robert B. Parker, probably the most I've read by any author. When I finished The Professional, his latest Spenser novel, I had read all thirty-seven Spenser books, one Jesse Stone, four Sunny Randall, both Philip Marlowe ones, and even a teen novel. And, I just discovered he has "A Young Spenser novel," called Chasing the Bear, in which Spenser reflects back to when he was fourteen. I ordered it.
"What is it about Parker's books that appeal to me? The characters and conversation. It certainly isn't suspense, since there isn't much in recent books. And, I've said that before when I've reviewed the Spenser books. But, I like Spenser, the idealistic knight fighting for good, with his own code of conduct. He's a loyal friend, and his friendships with Hawk, Quirk, Belson, and even Susan Silverman are long-standing ones, that require little chitchat. Instead, there's humor, wordplay, and unspoken affection between Spenser and his friends. That loyalty and wit draw me back for one book after another."
I'm going to miss that loyalty, wit, conversation, and friendship. Rest in Peace, Robert B. Parker, and, thank you for Spenser.
Here's the link to the Washington Post obituary, http://tinyurl.com/yej66oo.