Robert B. Parker was an American writer who specialized in crime novels. His greatest creation, “Spenser” (the adventures of a Boston detective), includes 41 novels as of this writing.
He was born September 17th 1932 in Springfield, Massachusetts. He earned a BA degree at Colby College, Waterville, Maine. He later served in the infantry during the Korean War.
Mr. Parker married his childhood sweetheart, Joan Hall in 1956. They had two boys.
He earned a Masters degree in English Lit from Boston University in 1957. He continued study and received a PHD in from the same school in 1971.
Mr. Parker began working at Northeastern University in 1971. His first Spenser novel was published in 1973. He received a full professorship while at Northeastern “U” in 1976.
After publication of 5 “Spenser” novels, Mr. Parker began devoting himself to writing books full-time. His 4th Spenser novel, entitled “Promised Land” received the coveted Edgar Award in 1977.
By the time the 12th Spenser” was published, Parker’s creation had been made into a successful TV series entitled “Spenser for Hire” starring Robert Urich, Avery Brooks, and Barbara Stock.
The Spenser character became so popular that Parker created a coffee table book entitled “Spenser’s Boston” with Japanese photographer Kasho Kumagai.
By 1997, Mr. Parker had created the “Jesse Stone” series of novels. This too became so popular that several TV movies based on the character were made starring Tom Selleck.
Always busy, Parker created a series based on the adventures of a female detective named “Sunny Randall” in 1999. He also wrote western novels, most notable “Appaloosa” in 2005.
Parker and his wife would also create their own film company entitled “Pearl Productions” which was based in the Boston area.
In addition to the Edgar Award in 1977, Mr. Parker also received the Grand Master Award Edgar in 2002. Later, in 2008 he received the Gumshoe Lifetime Achievement Award.
Sadly, Robert Parker passed away on January 18th, 2010 at his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. At the time of his death, he’d published:
- 39 Spenser novels
- 1 Spenser novel published posthumously in 2011
- 9 Jesse Stone novels
- 6 Sonny Randall novels
- 1 short story (“Surrogate”)
and 4 non-fiction works including “Spenser’s Boston
Ace Atkins, is a young, American author and journalist. He was born 1970 in Alabama, raised in San Francisco, and pursued his writing career in Tampa Florida.
He became a crime reporter for the New Tampa Tribune. Atkins, graduated from Auburn University in 1994. He published his first novel, “Crossroad Blues” in 1998.
While working for the Tampa Tribune, he was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for a series of articles regarding a long forgotten murder in the 1950’s. These articles would heavily influence his later work, “White Shadow.”
By age 30, Ace Atkins was a full-time novelist.
His other works include:
- Leavin’ Truck Blues
- The Dark End of The Street
- Dirty South
- The Ranger
- The Lost Ones
- Wicked City
- Devil’s Garden
In 2011, the estate of Robert B. Parker chose Atkins to continue the “Spenser” series of novels. Today Atkins lives with his family in Oxford, Mississippi
Material source: Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia