Looking for Robert Parker

I am crushed today at the death of Robert B. Parker, but pleased I was able to meet him in person and shake his hand at Sleuthfest in Florida six years ago.

The first Spenser novel I read was Crimson Joy, not one of the better Spenser books but it changed me. I was a young kid who knew I wanted to move away from the science fiction and fantasy I had read so much of for my early years but didn’t know where else to go. My uncle gave me this and a couple other of the 80s Spenser novels and I was hooked. I loved the dialogue and the interaction between the characters. And the I discovered the SPENSER FOR HIRE tv show it made things even better. I think I may be the only person who liked both the books and the TV show.

As the years went on I branched into other PI writers and then into straight crime fiction, but Robert B. Parker and Spenser remained my favorite legacy in the field, so much so that I even named my first born kid Spenser. As frustrating as it is for me to write one, the only reason I ever think about going back and writing a PI novel is because of the amazing experiences I had reading those early Spenser novels and the desperate need to recreate it in my own work.

RIP, Mr. Parker. I’m glad you existed.

2 thoughts on “Looking for Robert Parker

  1. You were very fortunate to have met him. i was a great fan of the TV show but had read several of the Spenser novels before I connected that they were the same character…I didn’t read the novels until well after the show had been off the air.
    When I discovered his books I thought they were beautifully written…I often copied paragraphs that impressed me.
    At a point in my life when I was quite depressed one of my saddest thoughts was the knowledge that Spenser ( and hence, Mr Parker)would find me to be a shallow and useless person, unworthy of his time or respect.
    I am sorry for the loss of someone who touched so many lives in a positive way.

  2. I started reading Parker shortly after high schhol, and recenty re-read all of his novels 20 years later. My father, who I recently got interested in Parker’s novels and happens to be the same age as Parker, has become an avid fan and reader. A year ago I even named my dog Spenser in honoor of my favorite character! I will remember Parker for all the hours of enjoyment and relaxation he enabled me to have!

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