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Bob Ames maintained this list from the time he took over B&B up through 2003. Think of it as a time capsule detailing the story of a website's creation.


  • c 1996: A volume on the New detective-fiction shelf at the library caught my eye. Chance, by Robert B. Parker. I'd never heard of him, but the story proved interesting. On my next visit I picked up a few more at random. They also proved to be good reading.
  • 1997: I'd read most of the books, some of them by interlibrary loan, and started looking for copies at the used paperback stores. If I like a book I want it on my shelf where it can be instantly accessed.
  • Later in 1997: On a whim I chose a few authors I liked and started doing web searches for fan pages and more info. I found Bullets and Beer and fell in love with the concept. I came up with a few additions and E-mailed them to Mike, who assured me they would be in the next update. Some of them did, but the site disappeared. See the FAQ for full details.
  • July 1999: Since the original site seemed to have vanished, I decided to recreate it. See the FAQ again for the gory details.
  • December 1999: I uploaded the pages to my ISP. A total of six people in the world knew of its existence.
  • December 1999: After Christmas dinner my brother-in-law, the internet guru, clued me in about meta-tags, the need to submit my site to search engines, and other details that I had never heard of. About this time Kevin Smith, of the Thrilling Detective site (see the Links page) pointed people my way.
  • 07 January, 2000. Yahoo wrote that they had accepted my site. Wow, I've hit the big time; my very own listing (mingled somewhere in with 200 gazillion others, but it's a start.)
  • 08 January, 2000. I had been lurking for a few weeks on the robertbparker board at Onelist when I saw that Gerald So had put up a link to my humble establishment.
  • 08 January, 2000. My most fervent wish got its first answer. Aian Campell sent me four E-mails detailing points that I had missed. The best way for this site to improve is if the rest of you tell me where my efforts have fallen short.
  • 02 February, 2000. Brian J. Meyers offers his opinion on a quote from "Early Autumn" and dives into Oliver Twist to look it up. Feedback, I need feedback.
  • 02 February, 2000. At last, someone admitted that they liked the Spenser 2310 poster. Thanks, Bill. I'm still waiting for the intersection of the sets "Spenser fans" and "Tolkien fans" to generate a few words of praise for "Arrows and Ale."
  • 05 February, 2000. Appleita said she liked the Matrix poster. She cannot imagine Susan Silverman dressed in the rubber cat-suit Carrie-Anne Moss sports. I can, and my reaction would get me arrested in at least one southern state.
  • 20 February, 2000. The help I asked for comes rolling in. Thanks to both Susan Rushdon and "Rindy." After a little research, updates on several pages will follow.
  • 25 February, 2000. Posted updates to nine pages. Susan Rushdon gave good answers to seven of the unknown quotes and pushed me into doing some more research that answered three others. I think Stimpson J. Cat put it best: "Joy."
  • 28 February, 2000. A public apology. As I have said many times, I count on help from others to improve this site, and I vowed to thank contributors within a day or two. Matthias from Germany sent me some information on the Parker story Surrogate almost a month ago and it accidentally fell into my extensive "to be read someday" E-mail file. His follow-up letter last week arrived as I was doing the above research, and I finally came across it tonight. I'm sorry, Matthias, you deserve better. Check out the Books page for further info.
  • 06 March, 2000. Nicholas Allen sent me some very well thought out sources, especially the one I had overlooked entirely in Pastime. An English major, a Spenser fan, what more could I hope for?
  • 13 March, 2000. Updates posted to seven pages. Thanks to Joel Zimmerman for pointing out that I overlooked Rachel Wallace in the Players section of Sudden Mischief.
  • 15 March, 2000. Linda Hickman answered one of my unknowns from Mortal Stakes.
  • 19 March, 2000. While re-reading chapter 16 of Mortal Stakes to properly place the above I caught another Unknown quote related to one in Promised Land. Looks like I'm not going to be wrapping up this project in the near future.
  • 19 March, 2000. Quite a few changes to the Book page. The non-Spenser books deserve pages of their own with more details than I can fit into the frames there. I have copies of most of them. Three Weeks in Spring is going to be transferred to my local library from the local network this week, and I have begun negotiating for a compilation containing Surrogate at an online book finder. After I get my copy I'll tell you where to look for one of your own :)
  • 25 March, 2000. Posted a major redesign of the first page, plus new supporting pages. I think it's a big improvement, but then again I like well organized directories and sub-directories. My nephew keeps bugging me to do frames but I am fighting the idea.
  • 25 March,2000. Mike Beckman was kind enough to point out that I mistakenly listed Laurence Shames as the author of the McNally series on my Who I Am page. Lawrence Sanders wrote the McNally books, of course. Laurence Shames also writes funny books set on the Florida coast and my mind must have shorted out. Thanks for the heads-up, Mike.
  • 28 March, 2000. My copy of New Crimes 3 arrived today, containing a reprint of the only Spenser short story Dr. Parker ever wrote. It's pretty good.
  • 06 April, 2000. What a great day. Amy Sneed answered one of my Unknown Quotes from Mortal Stakes, Hugger Mugger arrived from Amazon.com, and Three Weeks in Spring came to me through an inter-library loan.
  • 14 April, 2000. Jess Schilling pointed out that Snow Man by Wallace Stevens was hidden in Double Deuce. I copied it to the Poetry page. Iain Campbell came up with two helpful suggestions in Pastime. And Harvey sent over a copy of the transcript from the interview on the Sunday Morning show.
  • 24 April, 2000. Iain Campbell came through with more info on Mortal Stakes.
  • 28 April, 2000. I want to thank James A. Weeks, a member of the E-groups discussion list, for bringing up the topic of how many times Spenser has been shot. I added a new hyperlink from the Background Info page tonight. I would also like to thank Amy Sneed for her philosophical question about the age of our favorite gumshoe, prodding me to finally post my article about novelization time being not quite the same as real time, and why I approve of it. It's in the same place as the above.
  • 30 April, 2000. Michael Frasier attached a name to the Arizona reporter who was assassinated in 1976 that Spenser referred to in A Savage Place. It led me to revisit some of the other links and do a major update on that page.
  • 6 May, 2000. More help from Iain Campbell, this time on A Catskill Eagle, including a very large mathematical "Oops." Plane geometry is obviously not a required subject in Thug school.
  • 12 May, 2000. In quick order Iain has sent more info on God Save the Child, Valediction, and Crimson Joy. I had to move three phrases over to Oft Quoted and update no less than eleven pages tonight. I may have to name him to the post of Associate Editor soon.
  • 3 June, 2000. Katrina Yurenka has been a big help toward finding the author of "the ways of the lord are dark, but never pleasant." RBP spelt the name wrong in two books, but she points out that he may have have been referring to Theodore Roethke. Research continues.
  • 12 June, 2000. It was just a little throwaway remark near the end of Crimson Joy, but Bruce Knight convinced me that a late 1980s reference to the Red Sox as "clumsy" should be explained. The '86 World Series is not a subject for polite conversation, but I included a brief synopsis anyway.
  • 18 June, 2000. Joel Zimmerman answered an unknown quote from A Catskill Eagle. Dr. Parker is quite fond of books about sports, and Life, its Ownself by Dan Jenkins came out just as he was writing his manuscript.
  • 28 June, 2000. Less than four hours after I posted my intentions of putting together a Spenser cookbook Michael Frasier pointed out that in the compilation book A Taste of Murder Parker refused to give an actual recipe and noted that his publisher is thinking of issuing the very thing. It's possible, but that talk has been going around for decades. Let's see how wrong I can be at guessing some of them just for the fun of it. He also traced one of the Unknown quotes in Walking Shadow to Will Rogers, an eminently quotable man.
  • 9 July, 2000. Thanks go out to Danny Dunlap, who pointed out that Spenser was shot in The Godwulf Manuscript and it wasn't included in The Bullets of Spenser. Okay, the count stands at six times with nine bullets. Unless I missed another one somewhere :)
  • 30 July, 2000. Busy, busy, busy. Finally finished working on Hugger Mugger and got it posted. Put an express lane to the books on the index page and included a guest book.
  • 9 August, 2000. Finally tracked down "open-shuttered and passive" from Hush Money. By coincidence I was listening to the audio book this week and noticed that it was also used in Thin Air.
  • 31 August, 2000. Added quite a bit of research to Valediction. Spent hours researching the life of John Donne and tied the dedication back to his poem; included it in the Poetry section. Would you believe it started by my trying to backtrack "I had a lovers quarrel with the world" by Robert Frost? Ask me for details. I may write up a scholarly essay someday but haven't a clue as to where I should put it on the site.
  • 31 August, 2000. Linda Hickman kindly pointed out that I spelled Mr. Hammett's first name as Daschiel on the Hugger Mugger page. Doh!
  • 12 September, 2000. Even worse, Corey Bradford pointed out that I spelled the name of OFG as Spencer at the bottom of Double Deuce. Aaaaaagh.
  • 12 September, 2000. On a happier note Brenda Powell led me to Kubla Khan with a quote in chapter 6 of Pastime, which gave me a lead on chapter 20 of Ceremony. She also pointed out a shocking error in A Catskill Eagle. See the big Oops at the bottom of the page.
  • 17 September, 2000. Corey Bradford pointed out that the book Hawk was reading in Walking Shadow was actually Race Matters by Cornel West. And James Dickert wrote to say that Alton, South Carolina, as mentioned in Paper Doll and Hugger Mugger, was based on his hometown of Aiken, SC. Thanks for the help, guys.
  • 22 September, 2000. Corey gets the nit-pick-of-the-month award for pointing out a couple of spelling errors on the Double Deuce page. Thanks; I am from the old school and I find misspelled words offensive. To many peple just dont care what their teiping nowadays :)
  • 22 September, 2000. Brenda Powell came through again, answering the last unknown quote from Pale Kings and Princes. Check out chapter 18.
  • 26 September, 2000. David Gerber answered the "Dress for Success" question in Double Deuce.
  • 27 September, 2000. As I type this my site is offline. My server limits each regular customer to 225 Megs of bandwidth per month to be sure everyone get their fair share of system resources, and I actually topped out at almost 250 Megs before they shut me down. With just under 2 Megs of content and my counter ramping up to almost 100 hit per day I am starting to be too popular. I have to either pay extra for more bandwidth or change servers. I'll let you know.
  • 30 September, 2000. Bruce Knight wrote in to note that Hush Money was not just a two-fer of not getting paid, it was a hat trick. Dive on down to the Notes section for his comments.
  • 7 October, 2000. Jack O'Toole pointed out that I overlooked the obvious in chapter 40 of Hugger Mugger. I'm trying to work up a computer geek joke along the lines of "I left my heart in San Francisco and my wallet in Cupertino" but it's slow going.
  • 7 October, 2000. Can someone tell me how to hack the spell-checker in FrontPage 2000 so that "Spencer" shows up as an error? My favorite nit-picker Corey Bradford noted that I typed the name wrong twice in "The Aging Gumshoe."
  • 15 October, 2000. Webmaster Gerald So pointed out a new catch phrase Parker used in Thin Air and Hush Money. Not directly, but he posted the info to the Spenser board on eGroups. Follow that link for info on how to join. You'll be glad you did.

15 October, 2000. Thom Pigaga helped to unlock part of the mystery surrounding one of the Oft Quoted lines ("the small rain down can rain.") It's half an answer, but I'll take all the help I can get.

  • 2 November, 2000. Gerald So sent me a transcript of a web interview with RBP after the publication of the newest Sunny Randall novel, and I posted it as a page off of Background Info. BTW Parker nailed down a reference to Leslie Fielder in A Catskill Eagle that I got wrong.
  • 2 November, 2000. With no fanfare whatsoever I have posted a very few recipes in the Spenser Cookbook. Let's see how long it takes before people who know better tear me apart.
  • 18 November, 2000. Frank G. Wilkes pointed out two references that slipped right by me, and he is now mentioned on the Stardust and Pale Kings and Princes pages.
  • 18 November, 2000. I made a heroic effort and completed the Thanksgiving menu from Ceremony, updating the Cookbook and adding a Thanksgiving page.
  • 22 November, 2000. Appleita pointed out a typo in my green herb mayonnaise recipe. Thirty seconds of boiling herbs will do quite nicely; the thirty minutes I originally posted would have been a bit much,
  • 23 November, 2000. Mark Collins wrote in from the UK with an interesting tidbit about the TV movie version of Pale Kings and Princes.
  • 23 November, 2000. I was delighted to receive a post from Dennis Tallett, a contributor to Bullets and Beer back when Mike Loux ran it and long before I even knew of its existence; look around the book pages and you will see his name associated with some excellent research. I updated the God Save the Child, Pastime, and Hugger Mugger pages with his wisdom.
  • 26 November, 2000. Usagi wrote to say that he owns a copy of Pastime with the Ebbets Field typo I mentioned on the Pastime and Hugger Mugger pages and gives us the exact error, which is not what Parker remembered.
  • 26 November, 2000. Kevin Hugus wrote in to tell me that Amazon.com has a description of the next Spenser novel. I put the info in Latest News.
  • 1 December, 2000. Dennis Tallett weighed in with another letter showing his research skills. I updated Valediction, Crimson Joy, Hugger Mugger, and Thin Air with the results.
  • 3 December, 2000. Simone Hochreiter, writing from Germany, ended an E-mail submission by saying "So much for my two cents, I hope you can use some of it." After looking up the sources I was able to post updates to Mortal Stakes, Promised Land, The Widening Gyre, A Catskill Eagle, Taming a Seahorse, and Stardust.
  • 9 December, 2000. A bit of a record here. I updated at least 14 pages this weekend and boy are my fingers tired. Dennis Tallett contributed new information on Chance, Mortal Stakes, Hugger Mugger, The Godwulf Manuscript, Promised Land, and Small Vices. Simone Hochreiter not only picked apart Sudden Mischief and Small Vices but raised issues leading me to update half a dozen others.
  • 17 December, 2000. More updates based on the above, and I now include the date each page was last updated on the Express Lane buttons. Simone Hochreiter suggested I do so and it seemed like a good idea.
  • 25 December, 2000. Santa and I sat down and updated Valediction and Hush Money with more information sent in by Simone Hochreiter.
  • 20 January, 2001. SUNC noted a continuity error between A Catskill Eagle and Sudden Mischief. Thanks Jim.
  • 05 February, 2001. I thank Corey Bradford for pointing out how obvious an "Unanswered Question" was in Hugger Mugger.
  • 09 February, 2001. Jeff Spence noted a Great Gatsby reference in Double Deuce.
  • 14 February, 2001. Jeff wrote again to note I added an "e" to "Absolut" vodka on the Double Deuce and Walking Shadow pages. Hey, I'm a scotch drinker, what do I know.
  • 23 February, 2001. Dennis Tallet dropped by again and added some information for the Sudden Mischief, Pastime, and Double Deuce pages. Excellent research, Dennis.
  • 26 February, 2001. Jeff Spence corrected me on the subject of hit records on the Thin Air page. Don't try it at home, kids, this guy is a professional.

27 February, 2001. Usagi Yojimbo sent me a copy of Pastime with the infamous typo in ch. 27 about Ebbetts Field: "It was a short 2976 feet to the right-field screen." My collection feels so much more complete now.

14 March, 2001. Doug Oleson wrote in clarify a quote in Walking Shadow but didn't remember which chapter it came from. During my re-read I found at least five more references I had previously overlooked and did a little research. Expect another update in a week or so.

29 March, 2001. Ron Hopkins answered an Unknown Quote from The Judas Goat that has been there forever. Thanks, dude.

2 April, 2001. Doug Oleson pointed out a few passages in Sudden Mischief that might have been better written if Parker knew something about computer files.

6 April, 2001. Dennis Tallett contributed a link to a nice article in Book magazine. Simone Hochreiter found a link leading to everything written by or about RBP in the New York Times. You will find both of them on the Background Info page.

14 April, 2001. Lotta work going on here. Finishing up my page on Potshot made me put more stuff on the Oft Quoted page and rewrite over a dozen others.

26 April, 2001. I decided to finally get around to looking all the lyrics of the songs Parker has referenced over the years. Almost every page has been updated with links to the new Lyrics page. And I also posted Potshot.

28 April, 2001. My helpers have been busy. Todd Gillin and dmkb pointed out a few errors on my Potshot page, and the very talented Carol Sloane wrote to point out the third mention of her music in a Spenser novel. Parker really likes her, with good reason.

  • 8 May, 2001. Aaargh, a typo I am especially ashamed of. On the Potshot page I referred to "Star Trek III: The Wrath of Khan." Thomas Moser was kind enough to point out that I put in an extra "I." It was "Star Trek II," of course. Also, Constance Erickson-Loucks wrote me ever so long ago about an inconsistency in Pastime that I finally got around to including, and I added a bit in Sudden Mischief about the Brad dilemma.
  • 13 May, 2001. I finished a massive update on the Poetry and Lyrics pages and linked them to the individual books. Look at the Express Lane on the index page to see how many have been changed.
  • 27 May, 2001. Updated the Hugger Mugger and Potshot pages with the help of input from Simone Hochreiter and Iain Campbell.
  • 31 May, 2001. Updated many pages with new research. More to come.
  • 4 June, 2001. Simone Hochreiter is a hard taskmistress. I've spent the last week updating the Hush Money page with the information she sent.
  • 10 June, 2001. Dennis Tallett wrote another of those letters that resulted in updates to ten book pages. Look at the Express Lane for dates no earlier than this. BTW: I reread The Widening Gyre to look up one of his hints and found over a dozen new topics, resulting in an extensive rewrite. I swear Parker writes on a fractal typewriter; the closer you look the more details emerge.
  • 14 June, 2001. Jay R. Ashworth supplied a minor but amusing addition to the Mortal Stakes page.
  • 24 June, 2001. Collapsing from exhaustion. Dennis Tallet, Simone Hochreiter, and Iain Campbell sent in enough information to fill a small paperback. I spent most of the week checking them out ("trust but verify") and all weekend updating pages and I still haven't got through all if it. I wish that happened more often.
  • 4 July, 2001. Simone Hochreiter E-mailed several pages of research on All Our Yesterdays, a non-Spenser book, several months ago. When I finished updating all of the above I picked up my novels and notebook and took the time to put a page together. I may have gotten around to it eventually, but you have her to thank more than me for it being here now.
  • 23 July, 2001. Thanks to Joshua Ribolla for some Hugger Mugger info and Dennis Tallet for Ceremony, Early Autumn, another source for audio version of the books, and a couple of lists. Plus Iain Campbell for more pages than I can count, and copy editing duties on All Our Yesterdays.
  • 24 July, 2001. Bruce Knight found a link to the Tank McNamara comic strips featuring Spenser. I've been wanting this for a long time.
  • 28 August, 2001. Updates to several pages based on a series of letters from Iain Campbell, who has been doing a read-through of the series. Also visit Background Info and see what Dennis Tallett has contributed to this site. Both of the above are still works in progress.
  • 31 August, 2001. Updates to 17 pages tonight, thanks to a couple of research files from Dennis Tallett. They're dated the 29th but that's just because it took so very long to process them all.
  • 26 September, 2001. Finished working on Family Honor and posted it.
  • 29 September, 2001. Some nice pictures of the firearms Spenser and Hawk have used, courtesy of Dennis Tallett.
  • 7 October, 2001. Updated several pages thanks to a couple of letters from Simone. Also finished working on Perish Twice and posted it.
  • 20 November, 2001. A computer crash left me unable to connect for two weeks but when I got back on line Jeremy Schofield had a nice picture of Spuds McKenzie to update the Oft Quoted page.
  • 21 November, 2001. Another great list from Dennis Tallett, this one with the cast of characters in all the books.
  • 6 December, 2001. Michael Frasier found the source of the dedication in Small Vices.
  • 14 December, 2001. Bill Tobin found the source of the phrase "Some bodyguard" in ch. 25 of A Savage Place and the origin of the name Lee Farrell in the cast of Paper Doll.
  • 14 December, 2001. Updated the Flummery and Diversions page with more Lord of the Rings spoofs.
  • 18 December, 2001. Thom Brannan found a typo in some versions of Early Autumn. I'd like to track down when it was corrected.
  • 28 December, 2001. Sam Farris pointed out a few things in Crimson Joy, Walking Shadow, and the Homicides pages that need fixing. BTW he named his youngest son Spenser Daniel. How's that for a fan? I also found a reference explaining Pemberton College in Small Vices.
  • 05 January, 2002. Joel Cassaway pointed out that Brenda Loring was mentioned in Hush Money, and Kerry Shanley noted two details I had overlooked in Promised Land.
  • 08 January 2002. Thomas Moser corrected Spenser about the Incredible Hulk. I also put together a page of covers that I thought came out pretty well.
  • 21 January 2002. Iain Campbell helped round out the page on Family Honor.
  • 07 February 2002. Thom Brannon (of the band Grendelus, INC) finally answered the question of who Spenser saw getting the medals for discus at the 1976 Olympics in The Judas Goat.
  • 23 February 2002. Iain Campbell and I tracked down the references to Shakespeare in Promised Land and Looking for Rachel Wallace.
  • 18 March, 2002. Iain is still doing his re-read of the series and countless pages are being updated.
  • 28 May 2003. I got bogged down in details for a while and then suffered through two hard drive crashes that wiped out my E-mail files. Thanks to all who have sent in their contributions, I have acknowledged you on the pages and I hope to get this one going again. Let me start by introducing Bill Tobin, who is doing a close reading and sent in updates to the Looking for Rachel Wallace and God Save the Child pages.
  • 30 May 2003. Peter Higgins is another new contributor. A further update to Looking for Rachel Wallace and a keen insight into Parker leaning on his PhD sources in The Godwulf Manuscript.
  • 16 June 2003. Hisao Tomihari tracked down some significant details in Promised Land and Mortal Stakes.
  • 28 June 2003. Thom Brannon sent a newly recorded copy of the Bullets and Beer theme song so I created a Music page to organize things a bit further.
  • 09 July 2003. Iain Campbell sent in several astute observations on Widow's Walk.
  • 06 August 2003. Jo Trostle noticed a glaring continuity error in Hugger Mugger.
  • 08 August 2003. Hisao Tomihari pointed out more details in The Judas Goat, Looking for Rachel Wallace, Early Autumn, and Pale Kings and Princes. His finding "If at first you don't succeed" in Judas kicked it into the Oft Quoted category and led me to change a few other pages as well.
  • 17 August 2003. Another letter from Hisao, leading to ten book pages altered and two new entries in Oft Quoted.

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