A Tribute to Robert B. Parker and His Greatest Creation: Spenser

In Pursuit of Spenser

Mystery Writers on Robert B. Parker and the Creation of an American Hero
Edited by Otto Penzler
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2013 Edgar® Awards nominee in Critical/Biographical
2013 Anthony Award nominee in Best Critical Nonfiction

“A close and revealing examination of Robert B. Parker–the author, the man, and the husband–brought to life by the observations and insights of fellow authors who knew him and his work. Extraordinary!”

–Joan Parker

Join award-winning mystery editor Otto Penzler and a first-rate lineup of mystery writers as they go in pursuit of Spenser and the man who created him, Robert B. Parker. These are the writers who knew Parker best professionally and personally, sharing memories of the man, reflections on his impact on the genre, and insights into what makes Spenser so beloved.

Ace Atkins, the author chosen to take up Parker’s pen and continue the Spenser series, relates the formative impact Spenser had on him as a young man; gourmet cook Lyndsay Faye describes the pleasures of Spenser’s dinner table; Lawrence Block explains the irresistibility of Parker’s literary voice; and more. In Pursuit of Spenser pays tribute to Spenser, and Parker, with affection, humor, and a deep appreciation for what both have left behind.

Includes a reprinted piece on Spenser from Robert B. Parker

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On Our Blog

In Pursuit of Spenser
Posted March 15th

Each season we announce our new titles individually, each in their own post, to give you a little extra background behind the book. If you’ve missed any, you can check them all out here. Spring 2012”²s intro posts are here.


One of our upcoming titles is not entirely like the others. I mean, vampires, girls on fire, Mad Men, zombies, Starks–all of that seems pretty squarely up Smart Pop’s alley. Private detective Spenser? Not our usual fare.

I have to...

Our Fall 2011 Smart Pop Titles
Posted May 19th

Our Fall 2011 Smart Pop titles are already on Amazon and elsewhere, and we’ll be promoting them next week, too, at BEA (see tomorrow’s post) . . . so we wanted to give them an official introduction here, as well. (And as we’ve been doing with our Spring 2011 titles, we’ll give them a more in-depth intro closer to their actual pub date!)

Here are the six new Smart Pop titles to look forward to later this year:



The Psychology of Twilight

What People Are Saying

The fourteen essays here examine Spenser’s place in the literary genre and anatomize the aims, techniques, and achievements of his creator. Included, too, are commentaries on Spenser’s accepting–but never self-abasing–attitudes toward race and sexuality.

— Edward Morris at ForeWord Reviews

A baker’s dozen of crime and mystery writers–including Loren D. Estleman, Lyndsay Faye, Gary Phillips, Max Allan Collins and S.J. Rozan–who look back on the author’s award-winning body of work, his Boston milieu, his continuing players and any influences his fiction had on their own.

— J. Kingston Pierce at Kirkus Reviews

If you're a fan of Robert B. Parker's work, particularly the Spenser novels, you won't want to miss this book. For those of us who felt as if we lost a favorite author, and a favorite character, with Parker's death, this extensive profile brings both of them back to life for just a little while.

— Lesa at Lesa's Book Critiques

Robert B. Parker, the man widely credited with reviving the hardboiled PI genre, gets the respect he amply deserves in this anthology of 15 essays. Editor Penzler . . . provides a thoughtful introduction that sets the stage for insights into a wide range of topics, including the role of food in the Spenser books, TV adaptations, and the series' Boston setting. Every piece is worthwhile.

Publishers Weekly

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