Born in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1932, Robert Brown Parker attended Colby College in Waterville, Maine, graduating with a degree in English in 1954. Following college he enlisted and served a period of time in the infantry in Korea. In 1956 he studied for an M.A. in English at Boston University, then took a variety of white-collar jobs, returning to teach and work on a Ph.D. in 1962, at the urging of his wife, Joan, his childhood sweetheart who he had married in 1956. He went on to complete his thesis, on the American hero from the Revolution to the modern mystery, covering the novels of Chandler, Dashiell Hammett and Ross Macdonald, and to obtain a teaching post at Boston's Northeastern University, which gave him time to write, resulting in the first Spenser novel, the Godwulf Manuscript, in 1973. In 1978 he retired from the University, and has gone on to write many more novels featuring Spenser and his sidekick Hawk. He has also completed The Poodle Springs Story the fragment left by Raymond Chandler, at the request of the Chandler Estate, and a sequel to The Big Sleep called Perchance to Dream. More recently he has also introduced other, contrasting, central characters such as Jesse Stone in Night Passage and Trouble In Paradise, and has become involved in film and TV production through Pearl Productions, a company co-founded with his wife Joan and named after their German short-haired pointer. Robert B. Parker has written over 30 novels featuring Private Investigator Spenser, but that is not the limit to his work - (more...); Robert B. Parker on the Web; There are many excellent sites dedicated to the work of Robert B. Parker, giving details of the characters, the plots, even the food favoured by Spenser and the unforgettable characters that he's created.
Spenser's back to help a friend of his protg, Paul, track down the men who killed her mother years ago in a holdup. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Spenser's respectable 30th outing (he debuted 30 years ago in The Godwulf Manuscript) finds the veteran Boston PI teaming briefly with Jesse Stone, the cop hero of a newer Parker series (Death in Paradise, etc.). The move works because Parker plays it low-key, presenting Stone as just one of many characters who cross Spenser's path as the PI-hired by a friend of his adoptive son, Paul, for the princely sum of six Krispy Kremes-digs into the 28-year-old murder of a woman during a bank robbery; the friend is the slain woman's daughter and wants closure. Before Spenser bumps into Stone, the top cop in Paradise, Mass., he connects the killing to the daughter of big time Boston mobster Sonny Karnofsky, an old foe. When Spenser won't back off, Karnofsky threatens Spenser's girlfriend, Susan, then orders a hit on the PI. Enter as protection longtime sidekick Hawk; other series vets make appearances too on Spenser's behalf, including cops Belsen and Quirk and shooter Vinnie Morris. An interesting new character, a Jewish FBI agent, also helps out. The repartee between Spenser and Hawk is fast and funny; the sentiment between Spenser and Susan and the musings about Spenser's code are only occasionally cloying; and there's a scattering of remarkable action scenes including a tense shootout in Harvard Stadium. Series fans will enjoy this mix of old and new, but the title kind of says it all: this series, probably the finest and most influential PI series since Chandler, could use some forward momentum. (Mar. 10) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.