Three of my favorite mystery authors have died recently.
Ralph McInerny was the author of the Father Dowling and Andrew Broome mysteries. He was also a renowned scholar and professor at Notre Dame. I met Ralph at one of the Harriette Austin Writers conferences in Athens, GA. I was thrilled that he remembered me from year to year (he came often to the Conference). He was a good speaker and an excellent mystery writer. His presence at the conferences will be greatly missed.
Robert B. Parker was one of my all-time favorite writers. His Jesse Stone novels are wonderful and the TV movies produced by CBS and starring Tom Selleck were spot on as far as I'm concerned. Selleck was an excellent choice to play Jesse Stone. I started reading his Spenser novels after seeing Robert Urich play Spenser on TV. His earlier novels are dated, mostly because he described what people were wearing and Lord knows the 1970s was one of the worst decades for fashion. I will truly miss his novels.
Dick Francis wrote the very first mystery I ever read. I believe it was Whip Hand (one of his Sid Halley novels). That was back in the 70s when I still lived in Charleston. I have read every one of his novels and thoroughly enjoyed them all. Selfish me, I'm hoping that his son Felix, with whom he collaborated on his most recent novels, will continue writing these racing mysteries.
It's interesting how you can develop a good relationship with a long-time writer without ever having met him.