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.