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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Robert B. Parker

"Robert B. Parker, who is largely responsible for the rejuvenation in the 1970s of the hard-boiled genre of crime fiction, died today at his desk at his Cambridge, Mass., home, it was reported. He was 77 years old."

If there ever was a great writer in the tradition of Chandler, this man was it. His writing grew stronger and more spare as the years went by. I seldom remember to list him as an influence when asked, but I read every one of his books and learned something about writing from each. The strength of his narrative voice became the equal of a Heinlein or a Hemingway.

So I'll be tipping out a drop of Maker's Mark tonight for the maestro, and saying farewell to my old friends Spenser, Hawk and Jesse Stone. He wrote far ahead of his publication schedule, so it will be awhile before we see the final books. Something to look forward to and slowly savor, knowing that these will be the last bottles of this fine vintage.

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