Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Robert B. Parker i.m.

Sad news for fans of the long-running Spenser series of crime novels: the Boston Globe reports that author Robert B. Parker has died, aged 77, at his writing desk:
Publishing 65 books in 37 years, Mr. Parker was as prolific as he was well-read. He featured Spenser — “spelled with an ‘s,’ just like the English poet,” he said — in 37 detective novels. He also wrote 28 other books, including a series each for Jesse Stone, the police chief of fictional Paradise, Mass., and Sunny Randall, a female PI in Boston.

His latest book is “Split Image,” part of the Jesse Stone series, and is due out next month, his agent, Helen Brann of New York City, said today.

Mr. Parker’s marquee character became a TV series, “Spenser for Hire,” starring Robert Urich. “Jesse Stone” became a TV vehicle for Tom Selleck, and “Appaloosa,” his 2005 Western, was made into a 2008 movie directed by and starring Ed Harris.

“He was a master of the genre, as many have noted,” said Brann, who has represented Mr. Parker for 42 years. “And he was the most fun, the most real, highly intelligent, witty, down-to-earth, warm, endearing guy I’ve ever known. I adored him.”
Fellow author Jim Fusilli remembers him this way.

The Globe has added a good 2007 interview with Parker. He sounds as though he would have been terrific company.

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