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Robert B. Parker
“You’re Spenser, aren’t you?’ she asked.
I said I was and then she asked me my first name and I told her. She repeated it, smiled and sipped some of her white wine. I was at the house in Cambridge with Susan who stood with Hawk on the other side of the room. We were there to pay our last respects and to keep an eye out for Joan and the sons.
The private wake for Robert B. Parker was a small affair. The guests were mostly his friends, a few folks from the publishing world and even fewer people from the entertainment field.
Through an archway on my left I saw Pearl the second curled up in the desk chair in Parker’s office watching me. I nodded and he lowered his head to his paws and closed his eyes. I wondered what he was thinking and if he would ever want to go out and play again.
Frank Belson brushed crumbs off his coat while Martin Quirk talked to Suitcase Simpson about police work in the big city. Sunny Randall had arrived with Jesse Stone and I watched the body language as she and Rita Fiore spoke quietly. Tough work, but someone has to do it. They were standing at a table loaded with refreshments in the center of the room.
In the backyard Jesse Stone was tossing a baseball with Paul Giacomin. I picked up Pearl’s leash and he came to sit at my feet. I walked him out the front door and down the walk to the gate. He whined and we looked down the block where two men stood next to a ratty green ‘66 Mustang.
‘So what is my first name?” Robert Urich looked over the roof of the car at Robert B. Parker. They were both wearing faded jeans, Boston Red Sox baseball caps, brown leather coats and new Addidas.
“Robert.” He answered. “You know, I liked you in Lonesome Dove.”
“I got hung in that movie.” Urich said.
“Yeah.” Parker said and opened the passenger door so Pearl the original could jump in the back. Parker slid into the front.
“That’s Spenser with an ‘s’," Urich said turning up his collar. “like the poet.”
“Let’s get a beer” said Parker.
“We’d be fools not to.”
"Stop that," Parker said. "or I may have to shoot you."
Fading, becoming almost translucent, the car drove by us. Pearl strained against the leash, trying to follow.
“Not yet,” I said. “Not yet.”
- Book Review on The Professional by Robert B. Parker
When Robert B. Parker's Spenser was first introduced in The Godwulf Manuscript way back in 1973 he was a man of action, scruples and a code that at least he understood. Throughout the 34 books that followed...