Word Nerd's having a little trouble confirming this (like in a newspaper), but from several reputable places in the blogosphere/twitter-verse, the news seems to be that mystery writer Robert B. Parker has died while writing at desk.
Word Nerd's only read a few of Parker's books, but her dad loves them. Moreover, she knows that Parker has been a staple in the genre for years. Spenser is an iconic character.
She'll update when she finds a link to official news story about this.
UPDATED: 12:41 p.m.
A story on NPR's blog confirms Parker's death, including a link to his publisher.