Maeve Binchy died in July. She was “a weaver of magic whose stories touched the hearts of millions” and I was one of them. With a few deft strokes Maeve sketched vivid characters whose warm humanity quickly charmed. We were swept along in their lives, gasping with delight at the surprising twists and turns that had the characters’ lives interweaving. What is to become of the owners, staff and patrons of Quentins? What will Frankie be when she grows up? Maeve Binchy “died far too soon; she had many more stories to tell” and she leaves those questions unanswered.
Two years ago, another favourite author of mine passed away: Robert B. Parker, creator of the Spenser detective mystery series. I first met Spenser when Robert Urich played him in a TV movie. I couldn’t resist this full-of-contradictions Boston P.I. – tough guy and gourmet cook, an erudite charmer of a ladies’ man who is deeply in love with a gorgeous Jewish psychiatrist that inspires him and keeps him grounded.
Last Christmas, I got a Kobo (anagram for book) e-reader. I downloaded Robert B. Parker’s entire collection – the 40 Spenser novels as well as the Jesse Stone and Sunny Randall series. I am reading the books in the order they were written. Spenser is one of a kind, and I’m enjoying getting to know him as I watch him grow and his relationships develop and flourish.
I highly recommend this reading approach with any author and series that you enjoy. One caveat: avoid saturation and over-familiarity by reading some other books in between. This is especially true for authors whose novels tend to be somewhat formulaic (like Danielle Steele, Jayne Ann Krentz, Linwood Barclay and others).
If you do not own an e-reader, then do it the old-fashioned way – visit your local library, either in person or online. First, Google the author and get a list of the books in order. Then start reserving the titles through the library. Read and enjoy!