Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Sad Day at Black Rock: The last Robert B. Parker Western novel

The library called today with what is probably the last book by Robert B. Parker, which I had put my name on their list to read when it came in.

Blue-Eyed Devil is Parker's Western shoot-em-up series with the lead characters Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch, a pair of lawmen both officially and unofficially as they make their way through various adventures. Sometimes they're on the side of the law, sometimes not, but they're always on the "right" side of things, by their own set of inner rules.

The same is true of all Parker's characters, Spenser and Hawk in the Spenser Boston, Mass., private-eye series, Sunny Randall in the female Spenser-like series, and Jesse Stone in the Paradise, Mass., police chief series.

Parker died in January and unless he left behind more novels finished and yet unpublished, Blue-Eyed Devil will be his last book. I'm sure I'm but one of his legion of fans who will sorely miss his work. I've got a shelf-full of Spenser books and I may reread every one of them again when I get caught up with other current books.

In honor of Parker, here's a quiz on Spenser and Hawk you can take if you're familiar with his works.

1. What's Spenser's full name, and is Spenser his first name or his last?

2. What Hawk's real name?

3. Hawk once told Spenser that when he was a teen, his entire vocabulary consisted of five words, if you count what as two words?

4. What concealed-carry gun does Spenser normally have on him?

5. What gun does he keep in his desk drawer in case of a charging Rhinoceros?

6. What gun does Spenser carry when he thinks the occasion calls for a high-capacity pistol?

7. What gun does Hawk carry on all occasions?

And here's the answers to the questions above.

1. Nobody knows.

2. Same answer.

3. Initials of Hawk's two words are "M" and "F".

4. S&W .38 Special J-frame Chief's Special, no model given.

5. S&W .357 Magnum, no model given.

6. Browning 9mm, no model given.

7. .44 Magnum double-action revolver with 6" barrel, no make or model given.

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