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OBIT Crime Novelist Robert Parker Dies John Earle / AP Photo

Crime Novelist Robert Parker Dies

It’s only appropriate that Robert Parker, the crime novelist who both revived and modernized the genre with his private-eye series Spenser, died mysteriously Monday morning. The cause of the 77-year-old author’s passing is still unclear, but an ambulance was rushed to his Cambridge, Massachusetts, home after he reportedly died suddenly. Parker’s widow, Joan, was shocked to find her husband dead at his desk, considering he was “perfectly fine” at breakfast earlier that day, according to Parker’s agent. A workhorse, Parker wrote more than 50 novels, 37 of which featured his legendary Boston private-eye character, Spenser, who later became the subject of a 1980s TV series. “When Parker brought out Spenser, it reinvigorated the genre,” fellow author Ace Atkins said. “I wouldn’t have a job now without Robert Parker.” In his long career, Parker was honored with two Edgar Awards from the Mystery Writers of America and a Grand Master Edgar for lifetime achievement.

January 19, 2010 1:02 PM