Robert B. Parker

This is one page which the original Bullets & Beer did not have. In a sense, the whole site was about RBP, and was kept updated with notes on book signing tours, interviews, and other Parker-related trivia.

If you're here, chances are you're familiar with the man. I'm including here just a brief bio. Mostly this page is a place to gather links to the interviews and other material B&B collected on the esteemed Dr. Parker.

He has passed away, but his legacy has not - both the Spenser and Jesse Stone series are being continued (by acclaimed authors Ace Atkins and Reed Farrel Coleman, respectively).

Robert B. Parker: a brief biographyEdit

To borrow a succinct overview from his official website,  "Born and raised in Massachusetts, graduated from Colby College in Maine, married Joan Hall, had two sons, earned his Ph.D. at Boston University, taught at Northeastern University, and wrote nearly seventy books." He wasn't a boxer, but spent enough time lifting weights to lend veracity to Spenser's workouts. He enjoyed writing a great deal and wrote quickly as well. He published a Spenser book nearly every year for decades. By the 90s he had added two other crime series to his output, and then threw in a Western series as well; from the early 2000s, he was often publishing three books a year, and sometimes four.

Some critics have found Parker's writing did not benefit from this rapid pace. Known for his relatively quick writing style, erudite asides, and intimate knowledge of the Boston area, Parker apparently hated to revise anything he'd written and relied mostly on his memory for internal continuity, leading to some apparently unintentional inconsistencies and errors.

Few mystery writers can claim to have had the kind of impact that Robert B. Parker exerted. He maintained his unofficial title of "Dean of American Crime Fiction" to the very end.

Bob Ames put together an FAQ with miscellaneous questions people often asked RPB. Check it out here.

The Series: Spenser and BeyondEdit

RPB became famous for his Spenser books. With success, however, came the freedom to pursue other projects.

  • Spenser was his most famous and enduring creation, starring in 40 books and assorted short stories.
  • He wrote 9 books about Jesse Stone, reformed alcoholic police chief, starting in 1997.
  • Two years later he started the Sunny Randall series, which lasted for 6 books.
  • The Cole and Hitch series, set in the Old West and unconnected to the Spenser-related series, ran for 4 books from 2005 through 2010.
  • Other books.
  • Television and Movies. Many of RBP's books, Spenser and other, have been made into TV shows/movies.

Articles and InterviewsEdit

(Sorted chronologically). In cases where it is not explicitly indicated that the author has given permission to republish the article and the original source is still available elsewhere, I've substituted external links for the B&B page.


  • Parker Writes Love Stories, by Kevin Coupe. An interview which appeared in the Connecticut Post, reprinted with permission of the author.





  • A Life Story, by Joseph P. Kahn. This article appeared in a newspaper (source unknown) and was submitted by B&B reader Bruce Clark. It provides an unusually intimate look at RBP's marriage and family life, and explains a bit about the unusual relationship between Spenser and Susan Silverman.