I just found out today that one of my favorite authors, Robert B. Parker, passed away last week. I discovered this as I ran through a book store to catch the elevator to get to the restroom. As the doors were closing, I quickly caught a glance at an end-cap that was featuring some of his novels. The sign on top of the end-cap said Robert Parker.....with something kind of small next to his name. My X- ray vision was not working at the time, so I decided to stop by on my way out. Considering I have read every single one of Robert B. Parker novels, I wasn't quite prepared for what the sign stated.
As I came back down the elevator, I went to the end cap and saw the sign. It simply stated "Robert B. Parker 1932-2010". My heart dropped. Never met the guy, but he was one of those authors who writes so well that his characters come to life and you feel like you know them. Spenser novels are still my favorite, but in the last few years, Mr. Parker created several new characters like Sunny Randal, Jesse Stone and the Old West characters Virgil Cole and Evert Hitch in the Appaloosa series.
My reason for going to this particular book store was to purchase a couple of children's books that I love. However, when I saw that Parker had passed, it took the breath out of me. I may be emotional, but when an avid reader loses one of their favorite authors, it truly stinks. This reminds me of when Lawrence Sanders passed and my beloved Archy McNally series stopped. Even though Vincet Lardo co-authored and tried to replicate Sanders description in the last few books of the McNally series, the Sanders style that captured my heart was gone.
I feel sad for the Parker family. It much have been fun having such an talented writer in the family. I would love to have met him, but somehow I feel I have through Spenser. I'm glad for the Internet interviews that I can hear, and the next few books that will be out. But in the long run, no one, or nothing can replace the space in my heart for Robert B. Parker and his superb stories.