The author Robert B. Parker -- an icon to anyone who loves a good mystery -- died at his desk today at the age of 77.
Some of my earliest memories in publishing are my days at Putnam Publishing Group (before they were swallowed whole by Penguin).
Every May, in time for Father's Day promos, there was a new Spenser novel. I learned to love mysteries at Putnam, and I adored Spenser.
I looked forward to Parker's book tour, taking him from book store to book store, opening the books for him and enjoying the friendly repartee between author and fans. He was well-loved by bookstore's large and small be they trade or mystery stores.
Not every writer was as genial, as easy-going, as Parker. In fact, he made it all seem so easy.
I was still in my slightly starstuck days then. And no one made quite as big an impression on me as he did.
Bob, you made me love hard-boiled mysteries. You gave us characters who seemed to float off the page and materialize right in front of our eyes.
You were a huge influence on the direction that this company, Buddhapuss Ink, chose to take and you will continue to influence readers and writers for years to come.
Here's hoping the Big Guy had your desk ready and that your long line of Pearl's are waiting by the fire to finally be reunited with their master.
And me, well, I'll always be waiting for you to spin your next tale. Godspeed.