Robert B. Parker Books

Robert B. Parker was one of the most popular novelists of the second part of the 20th century. He was the master of crime fiction, and wrote many notable novels within this genre. His full name was Robert Brown Parker. Parker was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, and lived from September 17th, 1932 till January 18th, 2010, when he died suddenly of a heart attack. As a child he met Joan Hall who later became his wife. Joan and Robert had two sons, David and Daniel. Parker also served as infantryman in Korea for the US Army, and in 1957 he earned masters degree in English Literature (Boston University). In 1971, he even got his PhD for the dissertation: The Violent Hero, Wilderness Heritage and Urban Reality. His greatest wish was to be a writer, but before becoming one, he had several other jobs: technical writer, editor of a magazine, worked in advertising too. But when he started his teaching career at Northeastern University, Robert finally had time to write.

Order of Jesse Stone Series

Order of Philip Marlowe Series

# Read Title Published
1 Poodle Springs 1989
2 Perchance to Dream 1991

Order of Robert B. Parker Standalone Novels

Order of Spenser Series

# Read Title Published
1 The Godwulf Manuscript 1973
2 God Save the Child 1974
3 Mortal Stakes 1975
4 Promised Land 1976
5 The Judas Goat 1978
6 Looking for Rachel Wallace 1980
7 Early Autumn 1981
8 A Savage Place 1981
9 Ceremony 1982
10 The Widening Gyre 1983
11 Valediction 1984
12 A Catskill Eagle 1985
13 Taming a Sea-Horse 1986
14 Pale Kings and Princes 1987
15 Crimson Joy 1988
16 Playmates 1989
17 Stardust 1990
18 Pastime 1991
19 Double Deuce 1992
20 Paper Doll 1993
21 Walking Shadow 1994
22 Thin Air 1995
23 Chance 1996
24 Small Vices 1997
25 Sudden Mischief 1998
26 Hush Money 1999
27 Hugger Mugger 2000
28 Potshot 2001
29 Widow's Walk 2002
30 Back Story 2003
31 Bad Business 2004
32 Cold Service 2005
33 School Days 2005
34 Hundred-Dollar Baby 2006
35 Now and Then 2007
36 Rough Weather 2008
37 Chasing the Bear 2009
38 The Professional 2009
39 Painted Ladies 2010
40 Sixkill 2011
41 Lullaby 2012
42 Wonderland 2013
43 Silent Night 2013
44 Cheap Shot 2014
45 Kickback 2015
46 Slow Burn 2016

Order of Sunny Randall Series

# Read Title Published
1 Family Honor 1999
2 Perish Twice 2000
3 Shrink Rap 2002
4 Melancholy Baby 2004
5 Blue Screen 2006
6 Spare Change 2007

Order of Virgil Cole & Everett Hitch Series


# Read Title Published
1 The Best American Mystery Stories 1997 1997
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Parker’s career as a writer was very successful, and his novels are still remarkable, as well as his famous characters. Character that completely won audience’s attention is definitely private detective Spenser. Spenser series includes forty novels, all of them bestsellers. Another series of novels that is noteworthy is Jesse Stone series consisting of nine books. Jesse is a police chef in Paradise, Massachusetts. He has struggles with alcohol, problematic relationship with his ex-wife, but he’s respected in the police department, and amazing at solving most intriguing cases. Finally, the series of six books, Sunny Randall, with the main female character Sunny, has also been known as an outstanding set of detective books. Sunny (Sonya) is captivating, brave woman, who successfully takes up the role of private detective in Boston.


As a highly appreciated writer of his time, Parker received many awards. The first award was Best Novel Award for the novel Promised Land in 1977. For the best novel published in Japan, he received the Maltese Falcon Award for his fourth novel from Spenser series – Early Autumn in 1983. Furthermore, he received two Edgar Awards from the Mystery Writers of America, an organization of crime writers from New York.


For his most notable character, private detective Spenser, ABC television network created the series called: Spenser for Hire. ABC ran the series from 1985 to 1988. A few TV movies based on his Spenser Novels were also produced. A series that came later, the Jesse Stone novels, has been adapted into many TV movies.


The three of Parker’s most popular and known books belong to the unforgettable Spenser series: The Godwulf Manuscript, Promised Land, and Early Autumn.

The Godwulf Manuscript: Published in 1973, this was the novel that first launched the most interesting character: private detective Spenser. The setting is in the early 1970s. The president of the unnamed university, Bradford W. Forbes, hires investigator Spenser to find a stolen manuscript. Manuscript is a medieval book of an immense importance. Spenser is intelligent, wise, and knows how to deal with different cases. He doesn’t believe everything he sees or hears. His adventures are enticing, and full of cunning mysteries. The book develops various themes, and the characters are impressive and striking.

Promised Land: In this book, Promised Land is the name of a real estate development company owned by a businessman Harvey Shepard. Spenser is assigned to find Harvey’s missing wife. During the search, he encounters a group of militant feminists, and discovers interesting things about the businessman himself. Spenser needs to cope with numerous dilemmas, and difficult choices, in order to survive and escape all the dangers. Parker’s astonishing use of language and prose is incredible in Promised Land, and Spenser’s adventures are exciting, and full of new challenges.

Early Autumn: Parker’s best published book in Japan, written in 1981. This time, Spenser is entrapped into divorce problems of a couple whose son becomes a victim of that separation. Spenser is hired to find kidnapped son of a desperate mother. On his way, he faces many difficulties, and gets involved into complicated family relationships. More and more, Spenser becomes complex character who has many responsibilities. Blackmailing, survival in threatening world, fighting skills, risky situations – all this turns this book into a masterpiece that deserves to be remembered in the world of crime fiction.