Ah dammit, Robert B. Parker died.

He was 78 years old, lived in Boston, and was the author of the Spenser, Jess Stone and other mystery novels.

Parker was an efficient storyteller. He let short, crisp dialogue tell a lot of the story, left little to the imagination, and drew vivid word pictures. He never used “discern” and never wrote useless stuff like “the golden orb of the sun peaked over the distant green hills, casting elusive shadows over the haunting and dangerous landscape.”

Spenser was an ex-cop, had no first name, had a long-time monogamous relationship with a Harvard-trained psychologist named Susan Silverman, with whom he shared custody of a dog named Pearl.

Parker wrote in longhand, claimed he never rewrote, and usually was four books ahead of publication. His first posthumous book will be published in February.

He had style, a sense of humor, and knew how to write. For those of us who loved a good yarn told by a master, he will be missed.

Mark Johnson

Mark Johnson

Mark Johnson is a professional mentalist and mind reader who presents his unique and unforgettable program to conventions, college and universities, sales meetings, private parties, business and civic clubs and more. He has also appeared at the Punchline Comedy Club in Atlanta and produces, along with Jerry Farber and Joe M. Turner, Atlanta Magic Night at the Red Light Cafe in Midtown. He is a member of the Psychic Entertainers Association, the International Brotherhood of Magicians, the Georgia Magic Club,Buckhead Rotary Club and Friends of Jim The Wonder Dog. You can learn more at www.MarkJohnsonSpeaks.com. He is the author of three books: "Living The Dream," the story of the first ten years of FedEx; "Superman, Hairspray, and the Greatest Goat On Earth," a collection of mostly true stories;, and "Yes Ma'am, You're Right: The Essential Rules For Living With A Woman."  Mark's day job is as a freelance writer and communications and marketing consultant. Mark has traveled around the world twice but has never been to Burlington, Vermont. He does not eat beets or chicken livers, and he has never read "Gone With The Wind." He is the only person he knows who was once a card-carrying member of the International Brotherhood of Ventriloquists. He is a fifth generation Atlantan,  the father of three, and the grandfather of five. All offspring are demonstrably perfect. He lives in Smyrna with his wife Rebecca (aka The Goddess) and two dogs: Ferguson, an arrogant Scottish terrier; and, Lola, a Siberian husky who is still trying to figure out what the hell she's doing in Cobb County.