Neil Swidey’s article is a real keeper and just about the best Marathon commentary I’ve read (“Restart,” May 12). My admiration and thanks.
David Breakstone / Watertown
The runners, the Boston Marathon, and the city need closure to Boston 2013. Here’s how to do it in epic fashion: a “One Boston Strong Marathon Finisher’s Run.” A 7k run that lets those who were stopped officially finish the event. Let first responders and other heroes partake as well. This 7k to the finish would be a defining statement demonstrating that the fighting spirit of the Marathon will overpower evil; nothing can stop the runners, Boston, and the Boston Marathon. Terror stole the finish from runners and the race from the city. Let’s take it back and prove once and for all that “Boston Strong” is not just a phrase. It’s who we are.
Raymond Britt / Wilmette, Illinois
Editor’s note On May 16, the Boston Athletic Association announced that all 5,633 official starters who didn’t finish the 2013 Marathon would be invited back to the 2014 race.
ACE IN THE HOLE
I bet you’ll get a lot of mail on Zac Bissonnette’s “Robert B. Parker is Dead. Long Live Robert B. Parker!” (May 12). I will say that I found Ace Atkins’s first Spenser novel to be far superior to the previous two by Parker himself. As the article points out, others didn’t like Sixkill either. I thought it was dreadful and lamented that it was incredibly sad that this had to be the work that Parker went out on. But when I saw Atkins’s LullabyI was excited. It was only then that I realized someone was taking up the mantle and it meant that Parker’s sudden death (which hit me rather hard for a fan) didn’t have to mean Spenser had died as well. I don’t want Spenser to die unless it happens on the pages, saving some poor young woman from a life of hell or helping Hawk out of a jam or, best, taking a bullet meant for Susan.
Sean Huxter / Norwood
I have read all of Parker’s novels, but so far only one by Atkins, which I opened with great pessimism. However, in it I detected only the minutest differences from my beloved Parker’s writings. His publisher and family made the right decision.
Jack D. Ubersax / Wilbraham
When Robert B. Parker died, I received sympathy notes from friends. They were for his characters, of course; I did not know the man at all. Parker’s books had been a rare gift of joy and comfort for decades. His genius was making these mythic tales seem easy, and the writing by the “hired guns” is clearly not his voice. But should we still visit with Spenser, Jesse, and their gangs in these new, well-crafted novels? We’d be fools not to.
Marla Zarrow / Cambridge
Thank you for your vivid and kind portrayal of these people in Harvard Square (“Panhandlers of Harvard Square,” May 12). I was struck by the delicacy of Marc Clamage’s capture and by the stories they told him about themselves.
Ellen Gallagher / Milton
It might be a good idea to run a weekly column in the Globe spotlighting one panhandler or homeless person. It could open a lot of readers’ eyes to the fact that these people are human and struggling and could be a family member or even themselves. Thanks again for a great eye-opening article.
Mary Ann Naumann / Norwood
PRAISE FOR PUZZLERS
Congratulations to Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon for a clever and entertaining crossword puzzle, “Pun Gently” (May 12). It was a joy to work on that puzzle, and some of the wordplay was laugh-out-loud hilarious.
Rob Snyder / Amherst
COMMENTS? Write to firstname.lastname@example.org or The Boston Globe Magazine/Letters, PO Box 55819, Boston, MA 02205-5819. Letters are subject to editing.