Robert B. Parker’s wife dies

The wife of famed author Robert B. Parker died last week. 

Parker, called the The Dean of American Crime Fiction, used his wife Joan Parker as a model for one of his characters. (Spenser’s girlfriend, Susan Silverman.)

Parker was one of my favorite authors and a huge influence on me. I’m not sure anyone writes dialogue better, and his short chapters and fast pace are a model I try my best to follow.

His wife seemed like an incredible lady — running stadium stairs even in her 70s, for instance — and I enjoyed reading about her life in The New York Times.  (Here’s the story: Joan H. Parker, 80, Mystery Writer’s Muse, Dies.)

I feel like after reading it that I know him better, and if you’ve never checked out any of his books, make sure you do someday. I think you’ll really enjoy them.

It’s really weird, but after reading about thirty of his books, watching interviews, and doing quite a bit of research on him, I just feel I know him in this intimate way. Any of you out there Robert B. Parker fans?

And have any of you gone over the top in love with an author like I have with Robert B. Parker. (I’d say he’s in my top 5 of favorite authors.)

UPDATE: 1:26 P.M., 6/18/13 — The Robert B. Parker facebook page just linked to the Times article referenced above, but added this:

For the record, she was an extraordinary woman in her own right and much much more than a muse for Bob. And she would not like to be remembered as Susan Silverman.

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

P.S. If you enjoy fast-paced books, you just might like my works. “Sold Out” tracks the life of a legendary Marine Sniper after a CIA unit decides to kill him for reasons of national security. “Little Man, and the Dixon County War” tells the uphill fight a young deputy faces after surviving three years of war only to find himself in the sights of a mighty cattle baron. And “Soldier On,” a short novel, follows the lives of several German soldiers in a depleted infantry company trying to make it through the final, miserable months of World War II.

11 Comments

Filed under Great writing

11 responses to “Robert B. Parker’s wife dies

  1. Boston University’s Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center is the home for all of Parker’s papers – hundreds of boxes’ worth of material.

    Let’s just say I know a guy…

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  2. You know, I’ve never read any of his books. I’m gonna have to start. You’re the second fan of his I’ve run into. I trust the good taste of both of you.

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  3. FDL

    Except for Training With Weights I have read every book that Robt.B.Parker has written. I own them all and re-read them frequently. In some strange way I feel as if Spencer, Hawk, Susan, Quirk, Jesse, and Sunny are actual persons and that I know them quite well.
    Mr. Atkins and Mr. Brandman are doing extremely well at keeping the characters true to Mr. Parker’s vision. No one, in my estimation, could portray Jesse Stone better than Tom Selleck has done. Whereas the Jesse Stone movies do not stay true to the story line of the books they are true to the feel and flavor of the character of them and, as such, most enjoyable.
    When I read that Mr. Parker had died I felt that I had lost a friend, someone that I actually knew.
    After reading Three Weeks In Spring I could feel a stronger bond with Mrs. Parker than that brought about by his dedication to her in each book or by his having modeled Susan Silverman after her. Now she has died also.They were an amazing couple and the world will greatly feel their loss.

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    • FDL,

      Thanks for the very thoughtful post. I agree about the world feeling their loss, and like you, I love re-reading his books over and over and over.

      I haven’t tried Mr. Atkins and Mr. Brandman yet. It just feels a little wrong to me, like losing your woman and then trying to replace her with someone that you try to mold to just be precisely like her. Even though Parker has no peers in his genre (as far as I’m concerned), I’d rather find a new author than read an imitator. Perhaps that will change in time, but I’ve been saying that for a while.

      Thanks again for the comment. Appreciate you dropping by and speaking from your heart.

      Yours,
      Stan

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  4. Jaime G. Miranda

    The Robert B. Parker and Susan Silverman will never die.

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  5. Victoria

    Am new to the internet and a huge Robert B Parker fan – in fact, I re-read his books rather than fruitlessly search for a new author.

    Do you know of any sites where I can share my observations with other fans.
    Thanks.

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