On the Case with Robert B. Parker


The exhibition began with the opening heavily hand-corrected typescript pages from Parker's first Spenser novel, The Godwulf Manuscript, shown with a first edition copy of the book published in 1973. There was a classic photograph of Parker taken in 1994 by John Earle; and a photograph of Parker with his wife, Joan, at a Friends of the Libraries event at Boston University in 2007, which featured Parker as the primary speaker talking on his life and career. The exhibition continues with an uncorrected proof copy of God Save the Child (1974), Parker's second Spenser novel, which marked the introduction of the detective's enduring love-interest, Susan Silverman. This was followed by heavily hand-corrected typescript draft pages and outline notes for Promised Land (1976) which introduces the character of "Hawk." Shown with the manuscript pages is a letter from Parker to actor Avery Brooks, who played Hawk on the popular television series, Spenser for Hire, sharing his thoughts on the character. Next came a letter to Parker from fellow novelist, Stephen King, regarding Parker's novel, Mortal Stakes (1976), stating his initial fears, as a Red Sox fan, regarding the subject matter's parallel to a non-fictional Red Sox baseball player - and his relief at finding his fears "groundless." He assured Parker that the story was well told - "humane and honest." Along with King's letter is a handwritten outline for chapters one through four of Mortal Stakes (initially titled, Squeeze Play) and a 1987 paperback edition of the book. Next came heavily-corrected pages from an essay written by Parker entitled, "The Private Eye," discussing the origins of the American form in such examples as James Fennimore Cooper and Mark Twain. The exhibition was rounded out with a copy of Night Passage, originally published in 1997, which introduces Parker's second sleuth, Jesse Stone; and Family Honor (1999), which introduces Parker's third sleuth, Sunny Randall.

This exhibition is no longer on view.