R.I.P. Robert Parker & Spenser

Really sad news: Robert Parker died yesterday. He was the creator of the iconic, hardboiled detective character Spenser. If you’re old like me, you might remember the TV version Spenser: For Hire.

Spenser is the kind of character I’d love to create some day: true to his friends, honest, self-confident, romantic without being a pushover, and self-reflective without being a wuss. In short: a man’s man.

Looking at the twinkling eyes of Parker above, I bet he was a lot like Spenser. I hope he was.

The New York Times has a nice piece about Parker and his work:

Witty, self-aware and a conscious throwback to hard-boiled detectives of the literary past like Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe, Spenser is a bruiser in body and a softie at heart, someone who never shies from danger or walks away from a threat to the innocent. He is faithful in love (to his longtime companion Susan Silverman, a psychiatrist) and in friendship (to his frequent partner in anti-crime, a dazzlingly charming, morally idiosyncratic black man named Hawk), and with those two at his side, he is seemingly indomitable, vanquishing crime bosses, drug dealers, sex fiends, cold-blooded killers, corrupt politicians and several other varieties of villain.

Feed Your Mind: Reading People

About 25 years ago, when I was working at a big web development company in San Francisco, our Creative Director planned a team summit, the...

Read More
Some Things I’m Loving Right Now

As of today, there are just 50 days until Dave, Smudge, and I get on the plane to Prague! For now, I'm literally touching every...

Read More


  • Hilary @ Tiny Glow says:

    Hi! I came across your blog through Twitter at some point recently and I just have to comment on this news about Robert Parker. I use to proofread reprints of his Spenser books when they went from hardcover to mass-market back when I worked in publishing and grew to love those particular editing gigs because I enjoyed the characters so much.

    Also: Hawk is my hero!!

  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Oh! You're such a lucky-duck. How fun!

    I love love love Spenser — especially his relationship with Susan. I also read some of the Sunny novels and liked those, too.

    Are you still a proofreader?

  • Hilary @ Tiny Glow says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! I haven't proofread in a couple years and have a full-time gig doing unrelated admin work currently. Sometimes I do miss it, though; as it is, I am the go-to person in my office for "word stuff".

  • kid iowa says:

    Parker was awesome, one of my favorite authors. He really started to take off with his westerns and his Jesse Stone novels. I'm going to miss him. Maybe one day they'll do Spenser justice and do a big screen version of one of his works.