Spenser, like his creator Robert B. Parker, lives in Boston. It's a Boston that real-life residents and visitors will recognize, drawn with humor, accuracy, and wry commentary. But Spenser's world is of course a slightly fictionalized version of the real thing. In addition to the characters on both sides of the law who occupy Spenser's time, Parker created fictional analogues of local towns and institutions where Spenser could safely investigate criminal activities without incurring any lawsuits for libel. (Locations where nothing illegal transpired, however, tended to be real places, e.g. the Ritz Bar, the Agawam Diner, police headquarters, etc.) With a little detective work, it's not hard to figure out where Parker drew the inspiration for many of these places and indeed some of the people.
Parker invested a lot of creative effort in his version of Boston. So much so, in fact, that he used it not only for his books about Spenser, but also for his series starring Sunny Randall and Jesse Stone. All three detectives live in the same fictional world, occasionally crossing paths with the same crooks, cops, and even each other.
Spenser's world: PeopleEdit
- Characters, an index of nearly everyone who appears in the books. (Links to entries on major characters can be found here as well.)
- Criminals, a list of the bad guys in every book up through Bad Business.
Spenser's world: PlacesEdit
- Spenser's Boston, as described by the late B&B contributor Dennis Tallett.
- Spenser's Apartment. Parker apparently had a specific location in mind, which Bob Ames tracked down and photographed.
- Spenser's Office. Three locations are described in the books. We found them all.
- The Harbor Health Club, the gym owned by Henry Cimoli and a fixture of the books.
- Taft University, which Spenser first visits in Playmates and then becomes a background fixture of later books, seems to be analogous to Brandeis University.
- Pemberton College - a version of Wellesley College, crime scene in Small Vices.
- Alton, South Carolina. A fictional town that appears in Paper Doll and Hugger Mugger.
- Proctor. The fictional town in Thin Air run mostly by Latino crime lord Freddie Santiago.
Spenser's world: miscellaneousEdit
- What People Are Reading, a list of actual real-life books read by Spenser and other characters
- The Guns of Spenser, an overview of weapons used by Spenser and Hawk.
- The Bullets of Spenser, AKA: just how often does Spenser get shot?
- The Homicides of Spenser, a list of how many people get killed and by whom. It's a really high body count.
- The Aging Gumshoe, a look at how RBP slowly ages our intrepid hero over the course of the series.
- Music. The TV show had a theme song of course. But also, the Bullets and Beer website has an official, custom-crafted theme song by an actual band.
- Robert B. Parker. The man behind the gumshoe. Includes a links to interviews and first-hand accounts of meeting Dr. Parker by B&B contributors.
- Miscellaneous Articles. Want more? Here's a list of even more observations, ruminations, and perhaps a parody or two from the intrepid B&B crew.