Author Robert Parker, Creator of “Spenser” Character, Dead at 77

Mystery writer turned out more than 50 detective books

Robert B. Parker, whose best-selling series about a Boston detective spawned the TV show "Spenser: For Hire," died at the desk in his Massachusetts home at 77.

A spokeswoman for the Cambridge police department said an ambulance was sent to the prolific novelist's home at about 11 a.m. Monday on a report of a sudden death. The spokeswoman, Alexa Manocchio, said the death was of "natural causes."

A publicist for Parker's publisher confirmed the death but had no further details.

Parker wrote more than 50 novels, including 37 featuring Spenser, the memorable character  played by Robert Urich in the 1980s TV series. He won two Edgar Awards, the prestigious prize given annually by the Mystery Writers of America for the best mystery novel of the year. His last book, "The Professional," came out last year.

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