Re: RARA-AVIS: Speaking of the Edgars... and Parker

From: Joy Matkowski (
Date: 03 Feb 2002

Well, I didn't like the early ones either. I've read maybe three or four of them, and I wouldn't have read more than one except the library always had lots of them when I depended on library books for my fix. 1. The protagonist was forever cooking and eating, and the food didn't even seem appealing. These days this "hobby" pops up all over the place in mysteries, which I blame on Parker. 2. The protagonist has the most annoying significant other in all of literature. Is he attached to her in order to avoid a meaningful relationship? 3. He has a black sidekick who seems to surface whenever the plot calls for some thuggery. I always detected an odor of racism, which I'm sensitive to. 4. Worst of all, Jerome Doolittle's covers and reviews always said, "If you like Parker, you'll like Doolittle," so I figured, logically, "I can't stand Parker, so I won't like Doolittle." So wrong! I love Jerome Doolittle's books, and I never got to read them until they were out of print, which, maybe not all that logically, I blame on Parker. If only Doolittle had written as many books as Parker!

Joy, a fan of Crider's writing, if not his taste in reading

> > ...I see that Robert B. Parker will be receiving the Grandmaster award.
> > I have a feeling that some rara-avians might disagree with that one.
> > But not I.
> >
> > Bill Crider
> I agree. I never understood all this hostility. Maybe he deteriorated in
his later books, so what? Everybody agrees that his first six or whatever books were first class, so let's remember him by them.
> Regards,
> Frankie

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