Tuesday, January 19, 2010

RIP, Robert B. Parker

Yes, it's true - Robert B. Parker died today. I just called my husband to tell him the news; it was on the book page at Amazon. He was 77 years old, and after doing a bit of surfing, I found an article by the Los Angeles Times confirming it. According to said article, when news broke about his death and began circulating the Internet, it was said that he died sitting at his desk. I really hope that's true because it probably means he died doing what he loved best - writing.

He was born in 1932 in Springfield, Massachusetts, and left a career teaching college English when his writing took off. If you've never read him (or heard of him), he created the character Spenser, a tough detective made famous by the TV show "Spenser for Hire" back in the 80s. That series was up to 38 installments. He also wrote about Jesse Stone and Sunny Randall, and often his characters made small "guest appearances" in each other's series (but according to my hubby, not always by name - often just a reference that a fan would understand). And for those not into the detective books, perhaps you've heard of a movie called "Appaloosa", starring Ed Harris and Vigo Mortenson; Parker wrote the book the movie is based upon. The man was prolific considering that he started later in life, and he will be greatly missed.

The good news for fans is that two more books are expected by Parker this year. However, I'm not sure if that includes the newest Jesse Stone novel, "Split Image", which is due for release next month. And there's always the chance that someone will find a "lost" manuscript, which is always a crap shoot. Hopefully Parker did not make any kind of deal to have someone else write under his name (or the estate's name - a trend that I'm not totally comfortable with). The man had class, and I know several of our patrons will be very sorry to hear of his passing. We lost a good writer today, folks. But he had a great life and got to make a living doing what he loved. We should all be so lucky.

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