another old master departs.

Robert B. Parker, author of the Spenser novels (among many others), died today at the age of 77.  Word has it he passed away peacefully at his desk.

I’m a big fan of the Spenser novels, and while I’m bummed to hear about Mr. Parker’s passing, I can think of worse ways to go than dying peacefully at my desk at the age of 77, after a long and distinguished career, having written fifty-eight novels in thirty-nine years.  He was a veteran of the Korean War, and a former English teacher.  By any measure, I’d say he lived a full life.

Rest in peace, sir, and thanks for all the good reads over the years.


18 thoughts on “another old master departs.

  1. Tony Muhlenkamp says:

    Bummed is the right word. If you enjoyed Spenser, you might enjoy his Westerns as well (Appaloosa, Brimstone, a couple of others.) May he rest in peace.

  2. Snarky says:

    I grew up on Spenser novels… And I am sad to see such an excellent author go.

  3. joated says:

    He will be sorely missed.

  4. George Wmith says:

    Yup … a good one gone. Still … he has left us his stories especially that sharp, cutting dialogue that made the Spenser novels such a treat. I’ve read most, if not all, of his novels and can’t think of one that I didn’t enjoy.

    Condolences to his wife, Joan, his constant canine companion as well as to us, his fans.


  5. Colin says:

    I, too, grew up on his Spenser novels. Never had to purchase them, since our small-town library always had them “hot-off-the-press”.

    On the bright side, it will be time to introduce my oldest kid to them in a couple of years.

  6. murgatr says:

    Thanks for the tip Marko! I will miss his witty Spenser novels, they were always such an enjoyable read.

    Love yer blog BTW!


  7. tjbbpgobIII says:

    Hated to hear this, as I didn’t know his age, just his ageless novels and stories. I have enjoyed all the Spensers that I’ve read and the westerns as well. Appolo0sa was one of the best westerns that I’ve seen.

  8. Anon says:

    Pass from this world while doing what you love, and after having done it for so long and so well? Perfect.

    But from this world to…what?

    “Rest in peace, sir…”

    By that do you infer a Hereafter? Unexpected from you, considering.

  9. Glamdring says:

    I also like the Tom Sellec tv movie adaptions of the Jessie Stone series

  10. Wai says:

    I never read the Spenser novels, but I was a huge fan of the Spenser: For Hire T.V. series with Robert Urich (rest his soul too).

  11. Weer'd Beard says:

    He will be missed, tho he did live a great life.

    Also he’ll live on both on the printed page, but also in things like the really kickass Jesse Stone movies they’re still filming.

    Another great man achieves immortality.

    Oh and on another note, Parker got the rights from Raymond Chandler’s estate and wrote at least two Phillip Marlowe books (maybe more, Parker wrote a LOT of books, I haven’t read or even seen them all), maybe somebody just as talented Author might continue the stories of Spenser, Hawk, Vinnie, Sonny Randell, and Chief Stone, who we love so much.

  12. Matt says:

    I was hoping the same thing as Beard, that someone will pick up the unfinished pieces and complete them. Given that he said he did a book about every three months, there should be at least one finished Spenser novel in the editing pipeline, and more perhaps undone.

    The estate of Louis L’Amour has been releasing that author’s works for years since his death in 1988.

    I’m just worried about the other old guys I’ve been reading for years dying. Dutch Leonard, William E Butterworth (WEB Griffin), we lost Donald Westlake last year. So many stories untold…

    St Paul

  13. Brian J. says:

    If anyone picks up on Parker’s unfinished work and I get a vote, I cast it for Robert Crais.

    He had books in the hopper a couple years ahead, so I’d wager there are at least one of each series and maybe two awaiting print, so there’s probably no rush to get the unfinished manuscripts complete.

  14. Will says:

    Reminds me of John D. McDonald. When he died, the word was there was one more Travis McGee novel in the works. Eventually heard his agent say that was wrong, none finished or in process. Bummed.
    Guess I need to hit the library to get up to speed on Parker. Don’t know how I missed him before. Saw some of the Spenser tv shows, liked them. Well, except when they destroyed his ’65 Mustang. They did that because Ford wanted to give them a new Mustang.

  15. Seems like an appropriate way for a writer to go. Godspeed, Mr. Parker.

  16. El Gordito says:

    Have just about completed (3 await pickup at the library) reading the entire Spenser series in sequence (we’d be fools not to).

    Well done, Dr. Parker. You placed a jar in Tennessee.

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