Thursday, January 21, 2010

R.I.P. Robert B. Parker

Yesterday, I learnt of the passing away of Robert B. Parker. He was a brilliant author, responsible for the Spenser, and later Jesse Stone and Sunny Randall crime/mystery books. These books brought enjoyment to millions, and he was revered in his field.

I first encountered one of his books in a Thrift Store in Palm Springs, California where I lived in the mid/late 90s, and decided to have a read. As a result, I scoured every Thrift Store I could find, and I still manage to find a new book every now and again - he was publishing up to four books a year. In fact a few more are still in the pipeline.
Spenser was my favorite. The ultimate Mr. Cool. Never afraid of any one. A fine example was in his book 'Small Vices', where he meets a lady, who says,

"'Can I get you some coffee?' she said. 'Or something stronger?'

'Coffee would be fine,' I said.

She unbuttoned the last button and shrugged out of her coat. Except for the high boots, she had nothing on under it.

'Or maybe something stronger,' I said."

Brilliant writing, and much of it derived from his relationship with his wife Joan, who was Susan the psychatrist in the books and his love of dogs, especially Pearl who was his wife's dog in real life. He often said that he and Spenser were similar, except that Spenser was taller. His wry wit always showed through. I have to admit, I've often used some of his words from his books (but I've never met a lady in such a situation as described above, you understand)!

He was a very clever, well read man, and at one time became an Assistant Professor at Boston's North Eastern University. I once wrote an email to him to show my appreciation of his work. He actually responded, I was very proud of that.

I feel as if I've lost a good friend. Someone once said that a good book is similar to a good friend. I guess he was right.

R.I.P. Bob, you will be sorely missed by your 'family' around the world.