Spenser creator Robert B. Parker dead at age 77

by MediaPhile@evpl on Thursday, January 21 2010, 4:24pm. Viewed 995 times.


Prolific and beloved mystery/suspense author Robert B. Parker died suddenly on Monday, January 18.  He was at his desk working on his latest Spenser novel.

Parker actually wrote three different series, as well as a number of unrelated titles, but his most well-known character was, of course, Boston P.I. Spenser.  Spenser (whose first name was never revealed) was the centerpiece of 38 mysteries, many of which were made into TV movies.  The mystery series was also adapted into the TV series "Spenser for Hire" which ran on ABC from 1985-88, with Robert Ulrich playing Spenser.

Here is a list, from Robert B. Parker's website, of his series and the titles in each series:

The Spenser Series

Back Story
Bad Business
A Catskill Eagle
Cold Service
Crimson Joy
Double Deuce
Early Autumn
God Save the Child
The Godwulf Manuscript
Hugger Mugger
Hundred-Dollar Baby
Hush Money
The Judas Goat
Looking for Rachel Wallace
Mortal Stakes
Now and Then
Pale Kings and Princes
Paper Doll
The Professional
Promised Land
Rough Weather
A Savage Place
School Days
Small Vices
Sudden Mischief
Taming a Seahorse
Thin Air
Walking Shadow
The Widening Gyre
Widow's Walk 
The Sunny Randall Series
Blue Screen
Family Honor
Melancholy Baby
Perish Twice
Shrink Rap
Spare Change: A Sunny Randall Novel  

The Jesse Stone Series
Death in Paradise
High Profile: A Jesse Stone Novel
Night and Day
Night Passage
Sea Change
Split Image
Stone Cold
Stranger in Paradise
Trouble in Paradise 
Other Books
All Our Yesterdays
The Boxer and the Spy
Chasing the Bear: A Young Spenser Novel
Double Play
Edenville Owls
Gunman's Rhapsody
Love and Glory
Perchance to Dream
Poodle Springs

Comments (2)

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gawell@evpl wrote
on Friday, January 22 2010, 9:33am

What is Spenser's first name?


Not only do we not know, we will never know.  While writing "The Godwulf Manuscript" way back in the seventies Parker decided to name the character after his son David and actually typed the manuscript that way. The problem was he had two sons, the other being Daniel, and he didn't want him to feel left out. Parker went back and deleted all references to a first name and so a legend was born.

By now it has become a trademark, or an inside joke. I have read numerous interviews in which Dr. Parker has vowed never to reveal Spenser's first name. He's teased a couple of times about it; here's one from Stardust Chapter 2:

"'Do you have a first name Mr. Spenser?' Jill said...I told her my first name."

Jenn Montes de Oca noticed another in Small Vices chapter 14:

"Spenser your first name or your last."


"What's your first name?"

I told her

BTW:  Marcylwhite turned up this interesting piece of trivia

"In watching an episode of 'Spenser: for Hire' he once signed an invoice and dotted twice. Possibly William?"


How about D?

Spenser de Man

Parker de real man.

on Friday, January 22 2010, 11:39am

neat stuff!