Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Robert B Parker, RIP

We just lost one of the good writers, as Robert B Parker has passed on. The world is diminished with him gone. He created one of the most enduring and terrific figures of mystery fiction, Spenser. He created others, with his Sunny Randall and Jesse Stone series, as well as the "Appaloosa" novels, but Spenser still is the outstanding work.

Years ago, when I read the first one, I was hooked. With the proper nods to the Old School of hard-boiled, Parker revived a genre and made himself the new master. His Spenser novels were perfect, polished little jewels, tight and controlled. The only trouble was, he made it look too damn easy. Many imitated him, but fell short of his complete domination of what the tough guy PI stood for.

I met him once, at a book signing. I asked him how a new writer could manage to get read and published. He said, "Write the best book you possibly can, and send it in." Well, I've been doing that, but it takes so darn long in the publishing biz.

He and his work will be missed. But his characters will live on.

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