Really sad news: Robert Parker died yesterday. He was the creator of the iconic, hardboiled detective character Spenser. If you’re old like me, you might remember the TV version Spenser: For Hire.
Spenser is the kind of character I’d love to create some day: true to his friends, honest, self-confident, romantic without being a pushover, and self-reflective without being a wuss. In short: a man’s man.
Looking at the twinkling eyes of Parker above, I bet he was a lot like Spenser. I hope he was.
Witty, self-aware and a conscious throwback to hard-boiled detectives of the literary past like Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe, Spenser is a bruiser in body and a softie at heart, someone who never shies from danger or walks away from a threat to the innocent. He is faithful in love (to his longtime companion Susan Silverman, a psychiatrist) and in friendship (to his frequent partner in anti-crime, a dazzlingly charming, morally idiosyncratic black man named Hawk), and with those two at his side, he is seemingly indomitable, vanquishing crime bosses, drug dealers, sex fiends, cold-blooded killers, corrupt politicians and several other varieties of villain.
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