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January 19, 2010


Gerald So

I think you're right, Sarah; it's how he'd want to go. Parker said many times he would keep writing novels until a) he died, or b) no one bought them.

Dennis Calero

Robert B. Parker, in a way, had a thankless job in literature: he wrote fun, yet deceptively complex, but easy
to read crime fiction. He will be missed.


Really sad, he was a great guy and incredibly generous to other writers.

Richard Mabry

I can't believe this--can hardly process it. I've read every book Parker published. His novels gave me a way to escape from some of the toughest times of my life. What a loss.

Levi Stahl

The Spenser novels were as important to me when I was in high school as any books I'd read up to that point, still conjuring up very strong memories twenty years later. Rest in peace, Parker, Spenser, Hawk, Susan, and all the rest.

Sheryl Nantus


his kind shall not pass our way again.

I loved all his work.



Do you have a source for this? I don't see anything on the Quercus site, nor any news site.

Bill Peschel

This is sad, but if you have to go, this is the one way to do it.

Some many people recommended his early books to me that I picked up "Godwulf Manuscript" and "Rachel Wallace," and even after so many years (checking Wiki ... 20-plus years), they were still worth reading. Taut and evocative, as good writing should be.

RIP, Mr. Parker.

Karl G. Siewert

Please link to a reputable site that confirms this information. All sites I am finding point back to this blog entry, but you don't link to this Quercus announcement or anything else official. How did you hear about this? Did you speak to someone at Quercus? Why does nothing appear on his official site, and why would Quercus, and not Putnam (his U.S. publisher) make the announcement, anyway?

Harry Hunsicker

What a damn shame. I can still remember passages from THE GODWULF MANUSCRIPT. RIP, Mr. Parker. Thanks for all the great stories.

Jeff Abbott

Joe Finder just posted on Twitter that he called the Parker house, talked to one of Mr Parker's sons, and that they're all in shock. I don't know why it's not on any news feeds yet. A terrific writer, a great inspiration to many. My thoughts are with his family.

David Cranmer

I'm having a beer right now as a toast. He was my initial influence as a teen in following the crime genre and trying my hand at writing. I'm really blown away by this news.

RIP MR. Parker.


Oh, no! I feel like I know him! What a fantastic wit.

Austin Personal Trainers

Rest in peace Mr. Parker

Kim Stagliano

No! One my favorites. I'm so sorry. I thought I saw him at Wicked Pizza on The Cape last Fall. I didn't want to bother him and ask. I wish I had.

Another favorite is Ray Bradbury - I dread the news of his passing.


Peter John Andros

Add my sorrow to all those mourning Mr.Parker's sudden death. A really good writer of popular fiction. Don't know who he was or wasn't in real life, but his absence will be missed by all his readers.


Still, age 77 is too young to die, nowadays.

Charles Finch

As someone who has written both a master's thesis on Edmund Spenser and a couple of mystery novels...what a loss. My favorite.

Pete Tully

This is hard news. Our thoughts are with his family. May the memories they have sustain them during this difficult time.

He was my favorite fiction writer. Fantastic characterizations, dialogue, and references to the past era when pride mattered. And, he "got it right" when describing the "code" some men strive to live by.

David Halberstam, Studs Terkel, now Robert B. Parker. While some of the great ones have departed, their work lives forever with loyal readers (and the sons and daughters of loyal readers as their works will be shared down the line).

Clea Simon

Oh man, just had to pick five "must reads" for the Globe - http://www.boston.com - and was going back over his list. Picking FIVE was nearly impossible. Fifteen, maybe...

Pamela Atherton

Thank you for posting all the links, so that we can drink every last drop of information about Mr. Parker. He is my all-time favorite detective author, with many hours of happy escape due to his novels.

Irene Goodman

Lower the flag to half-mast. The great Parker is gone.

My sincere and deep condolences to his beloved Joan, and his adored sons, David and Daniel.

Spenser, Hawk, Susan, Jesse, and Sunny are all weeping in Authorland.

Heather New

Our son Spenser is now two and a half. If my husband and I have anything to do with it, some of the best of Spenser's character will live on. Thanks RBP.

Lindsy Parker

Omigod! That's all I could say when I heard the news on WBZ in Boston. Wasn't anywhere on the net then! He is a national treasure. I miss his voice already!! Did he have an illness, health conditions??? Too young to sign off.

jenny milchman

It *is* kind of a wonderful way for a great writer to go...and yet, he was young, and his loss resurrects that of other greats we've lost over the past year or so. Here's hoping they're all somewhere together, clattering away at their new silvery keyboards, and relaxing with a drink when the day's words are in.

R. Burke

I just came back from the library with his latest Spenser novel, The Professional. It's tough to think it's the end of the line for Spenser, the wittiest P.I. I've ever had the pleasure to read.

Robert Parker is one of the few men I've ever imagined I'd enjoy being married to as much as my husband!

Thank god for his existence; he made a great contribution and will be sorely missed.

Conrad J. Strabone

For Joan, our deepest condolences.

Howard Schwartz

Truly a sad day. My sympathies and good wishes to the Parker family. He has been - and will continue to be - one of my favorite authors. I have read all of his books, some several times, and never tired of his wit and the sense of morality that pervaded his work. To me he was more then just a writer of mysteries as he truly caught the sense of what makes a good man - honor, respect and a commitment to a way of life that would never have one regret a single day of their life.

Mr. Parker you will be missed, but your works will live on and will be appreciated for years to come.

Shane Gericke

Oh, Lord, what a cruel thing, losing one of our most beloved writers. Parker is one of the reasons I got into the thriller business, having been hooked early on to his wonderful work. I shall miss him greatly.

John C

I am trying to figure out whether Mr. Parker would have liked the following or not. I am sure he would have laughed:

from the NY Times obit: "No foul play was suspected, The A.P. said."

Tom Bradley Jr.

Outside of Elmore Leonard, quite possibly the greatest crime writer of our time.

Russ Hannagan

Robert Parker was my hero. He was what I always dreamed and wished I could be. I discovered his books over 20 years agao when I was stationed over seas in the army and his writing gave me a taste of Home, of Boston and made pulling guard duty that much easier. Whenever I got a new book it was like christmas time and I have reread every book in my collection, in fact I am rereading Bad Business right now. All of his characters are ao brilliantly written that they come alive on the page and the imagination. God Bless Robert! We all miss you already!

Colin Bateman

Huge loss, a new Parker was always a treat. He inspired me to write my first book, Divorcing Jack, and I named one of the main characters after him. My summer hols in the States won't be the same.

Dottie Siwakoski

I am so shocked to learn of Mr. Parker's death. I have read all of his books and just finished The Professional. I can't believe that I cannot look forward to any more of his books. I felt that I knew him and miss him as I would a dear friend. So glad he didn't suffer but we are suffering at his loss.
Good bye, dear friend.


I can't take in this sad news. I met Robert Parker in Cambridge 15 or so years ago at a book-signing at Kate Mattes's mystery bookstore. I am convinced he was really Spenser and, having seen photos of his beautiful wife Joan, that she was Susan. He was funny & gracious in our brief conversation. Since I left my beloved Boston 10 years ago, reading his Spenser novels has been like a visit "home." I could picture the location of his office, the restaurants, the South End, whatever. I will miss him dreadfully! RIP.


The only author that I have read or reread as nearly much as Parker was John D. MacDonald. Both were very versatile authors, both made storytelling seem easy, both had signature a strong central figure trying his damnedest not to be too jaded in their narration on the world around them. I will miss Parker's writing and Spenser's commentary. Rest in peace Robert B. Parker.

Louise Penny

I'm in shock. someone just wrote to tell me and I'm stunned. As others have said, he was a treasure. And he was a stepping stone for so many of us who also love poetry, majesty and mystery.

R.J. Baker

He will be...sadly missed.

David Love

I began reading Mr. Parker's books in my teens and have never stopped. I re-read them as often as I can and recently began reading the Spenser books in order from the beginning. His writing was deceptively simple, yet well crafted. He was an American hero like those he wrote about, with a typewriter instead of a gun.

He will be missed.

Dean Hunt

I must confess that I have not read any of Mr. Parker's novels, but have heard enough people speak of him and of his writing, with equal admiration for both, that I believe that it is time I turn to his first book to see why the admiration that so many are expressing is so unreserved. Many years ago a friend who was a high-school English teacher had brought up Robert Parker's name in a conversation with some friends at which I was present, speaking of his use of Shakespeare in his books. I should have started reading him way back then. My condolences to Mr. Parker's family.

Harvey Williamson

I visited Bob at his house in September 2003 and recorded an interview with him. You can listen to it here http://hiarcsx.co.uk/parker/Parker15Sep03.mp3

Elaine Perrin

How very sad...Mr. Parker was one of my favourite authors


My all time favorite author. I just started reading Bob's works last February. Sad to say, I am three books shy of all his works. Sad because, a great talent will not be able to feed my appetite for wit, humor, intellect and fun. I just ordered "The Professional" from RCPL this morning. Now I will be two books
shy of my appetite.

He wrote some things that astounded me. One was a book where the main character was "Jill Joyce" (my sister's name) and the second book he talked about a female walking down a street in Boston with a St. Lawrence Hockey Jacket on (St. Lawrence was my alma mater).

Bob, I will miss you.


Bryan Roberts

As we all are, I'm having a hard time trying to process this. He was a foundation and an inspiration to me. God speed, Sir, and well done. Well done, indeed.

Sarah, thanks for the post and the great list of links. It was good to find it as I was searching for answers after I heard the news. Thank you.

P OConnor

I am so saddened by this news. I loved everything Parker wrote. He got me hooked on private detective novels. My prayers are with his family and friends.

Pat Basin

The thing that I loved best about RBP was his lovely dedication to Joan in every novel he wrote. Also he wrote about love and passion but in a beautifully subtle fashion. I have to say I wish I could have met this guy - BOY I wish I could have met this guy!! I can't believe this, but I am crying about the passing of someone I have never met but so enjoyed over so many years. My love and sad condolences to his family and truly I am crying, because I could not wait until his next novel and now it is ended.

Richard Cambridge

I was in his American Lit. class in the summer of '69 at Northeastern. We were to read Moby Dick, and he came in and said to the class, something like "I know you're not going to read this, so I'll teach you all you need to know in three select chapters. One was "The Try-Works." One of the days class finished early. He was just chatting with us. Someone asked him what he really wanted to do. He said he was working on a novel, and if it hit, he'd quite and write full time. It must have been "The Godwulf Manuscript." I loved the Spenser series, although apparently he didn't.

Sandra Hugunin

I was on the last chapter of The Professional when I got the news. Didn't want to finish it last night at all....wanted to continue to treasure my favorite author. His Spenser character never stopped intriguing me. I loved his gentleness with his love Susan. I loved his friendship with Hawk. His intelligence and real grace of being a gentleman lead alot to the success of the Spenser books in my opinion. I have pre-ordered Split Image and can't wait.
But to know that my list will never again contain a Robert B. Parker leaves such a void....in my heart.
God bless him in his new journey with his Lord.
From a long time fan. You were always in my top 5. Sandra of Arizona

WD Gagliani

Another of the Greats is gone. I would like to extend my condolences to his family and friends and to his millions of fans who will miss him more than anyone can say. Robert Parker was -- and will continue to be -- an inspiration to me and thousands of other writers, and his characters, his voice -- his words -- will live on. Like Poe, he will be immortal. Thank you for those wonderful books, Mr. Parker.


Only know can people understand the size of shadow he cast over Crime and PI Fiction.

I have been lost for words since I heard, something that the prolific, articulate and legend Robert B Parker never was.


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