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Thursday, March 14, 2013

In Pursuit of Spenser: Mystery Writers on Robert B. Parker and the Creation of an American Hero edited by Otto Penzler

Published  in 2012 by Smart Pop

Robert B. Parker 
I discovered Robert B. Parker's Spenser about 20 years ago. In a way, that is sad because I could have been enjoying Spenser for a lot more years. But, in a way it was fantastic because I had so many Spenser books to read to catch up and there were new ones coming out regularly. For years I was able to read or listen to his books as quickly as I wanted. But, eventually I caught up and had to just wait for the new ones. Sadly, in 2010 Parker died so all of his series came to an end.

In Pursuit of Spenser is an attempt to honor the long and noteworthy career of Robert B. Parker. Editor Otto Penzler has collected 14 essays by such writers as Lawrence Block, Loren D. Estleman and Dennis Lehane (and one work by Parker himself that explains Spenser) in a must-read for any fan. Although the focus is on Parker and Spenser, many of the other of the dozens of characters that  he created are covered as well. His role in re-invigorating the detective story, his take on male-female relationships, race relations and, of course, Spenser's wonderful wisecracks are thoroughly discussed.

I found it to be a wonderful celebration of a unique voice in American literature and a fitting tribute. I know the Spenser "franchise" is being continued by Ace Atkins, but I found myself agreeing with Lawrence Block who decided made the analogy between tribute bands and the real thing. I won't be moving forwards into the  "tribute band" portion of the Spenser franchise. I'll just re-visit the real thing from time to time.

I rate this book 5 stars out of 5.

This book can be found on Amazon.com here: In Pursuit of Spenser: Mystery Writers on Robert B. Parker and the Creation of an American Hero

Reviewed on March 14, 2013

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