Captain Spaulding on Skull Island

Robert B. Parker R.I.P.

January 19th, 2010

Mystery writer Robert B. Parker died yesterday at the age of 77. He was just “sitting at his desk.” Not a bad way to go for a writer that put out 3 books a year, who wrote 5 to 10 pages a day.

He was one of the great ones, one of those writers that gave the private-eye novel several standards that we take for granted now (the dangerous, possible psycho sidekick ala Hawk comes to mind). And if he didn’t invent a new element, he certainly made it popular.

I haven’t read a lot of his stuff. I started reading the Spenser books in 2001, going in order, trying to read a novel a year. This always felt like a strange way to work through the canon. I think of these works as “popcorn books” – I can usually finish a Spenser in one or two sittings and then immediately be ready for more. I spaced them out because I knew from experience that rushing through an author and reading too much too soon can be a bad thing.

Tonight I’ll be starting A SAVAGE PLACE. And, who knows, maybe on Friday I’ll throw my one-a-year rule out the window and dive into the next one.

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