Another bestselling author in my library has passed away. Robert Parker, who helped revive and modernize the hard-boiled sub-genre of crime fiction died last Monday of natural causes. He was just 77.
Thirty-seven of his more than 50 novels feature his main hero, private eye Spenser who has no first name. Parker’s style will remind you of classic crime writer Raymond Chandler.
Prissy readers would surely not want to read Parker. In one of his books, Spenser slammed a small, violent old woman, who masterminded a grisly murder, to the floor. Yet his humor is great.
Hard-boiled is my target niche but because of censorship, you have to be famous first before you can become famous in hard-boiled. Almost a catch-21 isn’t it?
I collected about seven of his books.
The author of the bestseller Love Story, Erich Segal, has died of a heart attack at 72. The book was turned into a hit film in 1970, starring Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw.
Even its most famous line – “Love means never having to say you’re sorry” -became a national catch phrase.