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It was said that no one would be able to replace beloved crime novelist Robert B. Parker when he died; and it was true, no one did. Shortly after the author’s death on January 18, 2010, Parker’s wife of 53 years and his long-time publisher decided that his favorite characters should live on. Two authors would continue his most popular series, with the “Jesse Stone” novels being penned by Michael Brandman, and the lengthy “Spenser” series going to journalist and novelist Ace Atkins.
“What an inspired choice Ace Atkins is,” enthused Joan Parker. “He is a true Spenser fan who possesses an extraordinary understanding and reverence for the characters Bob created.”
The author of the “Nick Travers” and “Quinn Colson” series, as well as four stand-alone novels,” Atkins is happy with his new gig. “I am thrilled and honored to be continuing such an iconic series. I’ve been a Robert B. Parker fan since high school; reading Spenser is what inspired me to become a crime novelist.”
Atkins was born in 1970, and worked as a crime reporter for The Tampa Tribune before publishing his first “Nick Travers” novel, Crossroad Blues, in 1998. Two years later, he became a full-time novelist.
While at the Tribune, Atkins was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for a feature series that followed the investigation into a 1950s cold case murder. This reportage provided the inspiration for his first stand-alone novel, White Shadows, in 1996. His next two novels, Wicked City and Devil’s Garden, were also stand-alones that some critics have compared to works by Dennis Lehane and George Pelecanos.
In The Ranger, The Lost Ones and Broken Places, Atkins developed a second recurring character, Quinn Colson, which allowed him to return to his love of hero-driven series fiction. The fictional Colson is a veteran of the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan who returns home to Mississippi to fight corruption. Although taking place in a contemporary setting, the “Colson” series combines elements of classic western novels with noir crime fiction and currently are in development for a television series.
Atkins first “Spenser” novels are Robert B. Parker’s Lullaby (2012) and Robert B. Parker’s Wonderland (2013). Parker’s agent of forty years, Helen Brann, predicted that “Spenser” fans will be pleased with Atkins’ continuation of the series, saying that Ace’s enormous respect and love for Bob’s work “show on every page.”
A two-time recipient of the Edgar Award for Best Novel, Atkins graduated from Auburn University, where he lettered for the football team. He and his family live on a farm outside Oxford, Mississippi.
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- Ea Also available as an e-audiobook
- P Also available as a Playaway
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