Jesse Stone: A Detective Fans Love
Jesse Stone Overview
Jesse Stone is the protagonist in a series of detective novels penned by Robert B. Parker. Stone is an emotionally troubled man who throughout the course of the series has to deal with divorce, job loss and a drinking problem. According to Robert B. Parker, Stone is a “damaged” man who is slowly “coming to terms with himself”.
Author Robert B. Parker
Robert B. Parker was born September 17, 1932 in Springfield, Massachusetts. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Colby College in Maine, and then, he served as an infantry soldier during the Korean War. In 1956, he married his childhood sweetheart, and the following year, he completed a master’s degree in English Literature from Boston University. He worked as a technical writer for many years before returning to school and completing a PhD in English literature in 1971 from Boston University. His dissertation looked at private-eyes from some of the country’s most important detective writers like Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett. Parker’s first novel was written in 1971. He worked as a professor for a few years, and in 1979, he became a full time fiction writer.
His most popular series was the Spenser series of novels. These novels follow the detective Spenser, and they are known for their inclusion of characters of different races and ethnicities. Another popular Robert B. Parker character is the female detective Sunny Randall. Allegedly, Randall was created by Parker for the actress Helen Hunt who wanted to play a female detective, but a movie never materialized out of that series. Jesse Stone was another one of the author’s characters, and arguably he was one of Parker’s most interesting characters.
Jesse Stone Novel Series
The Jesse Stone novels were some of the last detective novels penned by this prolific author, and they were the first series of novels in which Robert B. Parker used the third person in his narration. The series consisted of nine novels, the first of which was released in 1997 and the last of which was released in 2010.
At the beginning of the series, Stone is in his early to mid thirties. He is a retired minor league baseball player with a shoulder injury. Raised in Arizona and California, Stone has recently been dumped by his incredibly attractive wife, the actress Jennifer. After his divorce, Stone developed a drinking problem that ultimately led to him being asked to leave his position as a homicide detective for the LAPD.
Looking for new work, Stone lands a position as the chief of police in a small Massachusetts town. In spite of its small size, the town is full of mob members, white supremacists, and cheating wives. At one point, the town is even home to a triple homicide. The series follows Stone as he deals with these problems.
The Stone novels along with their year of publication are as follows:
Night Passage (1997)
Trouble in Paradise (1998)
Death in Paradise (2001)
Stone Cold (2003)
Sea Change (2006)
High Profile (2007)
Stranger in Paradise (2008)
Night and Day (2009)
Split Image (2010)
Jesse Stone Movies
The Jesse Stone movies were adapted from a series of novels by CBS. The movies starred Tom Selleck as Stone. Although Selleck is considerably older than Stone at the beginning of the series, the movies still stayed relatively true to the novels for the first three or four movies. Robert B. Parker claimed that the movies were closer to his Stone series of novels than any other movies adaptations had ever been to any of his other books.
The movies on CBS also starred actress Viola Davis as Officer Molly Crane and actor Kohl Sudduth as Officer Luther Simpson. Vito Rezza plays Officer Anthony D’Angelo. Later in the series, Molly Crane left the force, and the character was replaced by actress Kathy Baker who played Officer Rose Gammon. All of the movies were directed by Robert Hamon, and the original music for the movies was provided by Jeff Beal.
Currently, the list of Stone movies that have been released include the following movies which are followed by their year of release on television:
Stone Cold (2005)
Night Passage (2006)
Death in Paradise (2006)
Sea Change (2007)
Thin Ice (2009)
No Remorse (2010)
Innocents Lost (2011)
Benefit of the Doubt (2012)
Future of the Jesse Stone Novels and Movies
Unfortunately, Robert B. Parker died on January 18, 2010. He was claimed quickly by a heart attack that struck as he was sitting at his writing desk. However, Stone fans are not ready to let that character die.
In 2011, two years after Robert B. Parker’s death, another Stone novel was published. Written by Michael Brandman and titled Killing the Blues, this new novel follows Stone through yet another adventure. In Killing the Blues, Stone deals with stolen cars, arson and murder in an unforgettable Paradise crime wave. While Stone tries to keep the town safe, Paradise, Massachusetts tries to get ready for the summer tourism season, and Stone has a steamy affair with the town’s event planner, Alexis Richardson. No one is sure what will happen to this popular series of novels, but the success of Killing the Blues indicate that fans are still eager to hear more about this detective’s adventures.
Although the first few films in the series followed the story line of the original novels fairly closely, the series of movies began to depart from the novels during the fifth movie in particular. Tom Selleck and Michael Brandman began writing the bulk of the Jesse Stone movie scripts starting with the fifth movie. In the most recent story lines, Stone has been forced into retirement by the Paradise city council. However, Stone is simply not ready to give up his role as a detective. Many of the original departures in the script happened while Robert B. Parker was still alive, and most fans assume that there will be even more changes as the on screen Jesse Stone continues to change and evolve as a character.