I've blogged before about my feelings towards Robert B. Parker, certainly the earliest -- and possibly biggest -- influence on my writing, and to say the news of his death came as a shock would be a severe understatement. It's no secret that I've felt his books over the last few years have left a lot to be desired, especially where the plots (or lack thereof) were concerned, but I still eagerly awaited each new Spenser or Jesse Stone novel. And way back in high school it was the Spenser novels that showed me how fun reading -- and writing -- could be. I've literally never been the same since I read Ceremony, my first exposure to Parker's books.
The cause of death has yet to be determined, but it sounds like Parker went out doing what he was most known for: writing. He was literally found dead at his desk.