The Burglar on the Prowl (Rhodenbarr, #10)
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The Burglar on the Prowl (Bernie Rhodenbarr #10)

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  1,177 ratings  ·  87 reviews
A philosophical yet practical gentleman, Bernie Rhodenbarr possesses many admirable qualities: charm, intelligence, sparkling wit, and unwavering loyalty. Of course, he also has this special talent and a taste for life's finer things. So he's more than willing to perform some vengeful larceny for a friend -- ripping off a smarmy, particularly deserving plastic surgeon -- f...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published January 25th 2005 by HarperTorch (first published January 1st 2004)
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Carol. [All cynic, all the time]
Aug 07, 2014 Carol. [All cynic, all the time] rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people comfortable with date rape
Shelves: male-lead, mystery, yuck
If you are willing to gloss over ethical and character problems in a significant character relationship, it might theoretically be an entertaining read.

Seriously, Block. What's the author of the finely tuned Matt Scudder mysteries thinking? Please tell me this was subbed out to a ghost writer, because your introduction of the Barbara Creely character is awful.

Burglar stared off promising, with a unique voice compared to Block's other works, and with a man who clearly enjoyed his illegal activiti...more
The prolific Lawrence Block is at it again with THE BURGLAR ON THE PROWL, the tenth book in the Bernie Rhodenbarr series. Thankfully, Block never loses his skill at creating an excellent tale featuring the antiquarian book seller cum burglar.

The book opens with a friend of Bernie's, Marty Gilmartin, asking for his help. His mistress has given him up for another, and Marty wants to avenge the act by having Bernie rob the affluent plastic surgeon, Crandall Roundtree Mapes. Since burgling is in Be...more
You'd think by now I'd be a bit tired of reading the books featuring Manhattan bookstore owner and occasional thief Bernie Rhodenbarr - this is the 10th in the series - especially since the formula doesn't change much. Bernie sets out on a mission to steal, Bernie gets "cornered" while inside, someone gets bumped off and Bernie becomes the suspect, Bernie figures the whole thing out and gathers all the potential culprits together for a "come to Jesus" meeting and everyone lives happily ever afte...more
Una Tiers
The dialogue was light and clear. However when I reached the part where the character hid under the bed and let someone get hurt, I stopped reading. Shame on you Lawrence.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Christel Oomen
Fun book! I think this might be my very first comic whodunit, and I recommend it. The only thing I found a little bit exhausting is that at the end it rehashes the "clue" of the story, which has already become apparent throughout the book, twice. Since this is the kind of book you read in a day or so the repetition is quite unnecessary. That said, it's a real page turner without anything gory! Oh and I have to completely agree with some of the other reviewers that the topic of rape is treated in...more
Susan Hulstine
Block is a great writer and this book has many of the good qualities of the rest if this series, however it was much darker. Bernie hides under a bed while a woman is date raped, which as a woman I found very disturbing. Also, this book had much more profanity than the other burglar books I've read. Later in the book, the woman who was raped lets loose a long string of nauseating expletives that could make a sailor blush. The plot was also more confusing. I finished it, but really didn't like it...more
This was a fun book, and I would definitely read others from the Burglar series, next time I'm looking for a light mystery (that also provides tips on breaking and entering -- always a plus). I might have bumped this up to three stars if there hadn't been one incident in the story that icked me out a little. I'm still thinking about why it bothered me -- is it because the author treated the incident too lightly, or because it bothered me that a character I wanted to like lacked chivalry and ball...more
Brian Layman
Lawrence Block is VERY good at making you like people on the other side of the law. My favorite of all of his characters is Bernie Rhodenbarr. This, his tenth book of the series, is his best Bernie book to date. Aside from admiring Bernie's impeccable style and somewhat peccalbe class, I almost always learn something culturally from these books. This book, while a tribute to coincidences, is no exception...

I can't wait for book 11...
Not bad, certainly a quick and engaging read, but this one was frustrating for me. Honestly, while I get that the whole idea of the Bernie Rhodenbarr series is to make you sympathize with a character who is an unrepentant criminal, doing non-violent but certainly shady and sometimes casually cruel things to other people without regret, this book takes things a bit too far. (This next bit is sort of a spoiler, but not really, and it happens very early in the novel:) I think making Bernie the witn...more
(Note - as a mark of humility in the face of awesomeness, I generally don't give stars to Lawrence Block)

This isn't the best in this lighthearted series, but still a huge amount of fun. Coming from someone who writes such dark, hard-boiled crime novels, the "Burglar" books are refreshing. I love reading books where the author is clearly just cracking himself up, playing with plot, character and most of all language for pure amusement. These books are almost Wodehouse-ian in their twisted joie de...more
I'm normally an e-book reader, but my wife and I listened to the audiobook for "The Burglar on the Prowl" while on a road trip. This is my first Bernie Rhodenbarr series book, and it is mostly funny but also has its dark moments. The reader (His name is Nick Sullivan) is terrific and adds so much to the audiobook experience. The plot is well contrived, and we were very glad that we were able to finish it before we finished the road trip. I definitely plan to read more books in this series, but i...more
I abandoned this book after its unfortunate rape scene right off the bat in which our hero cowers under the bed and does not even try to prevent the cad from raping the woman. Later, the best friend of our hero (a female) praises him for returning the raped woman's jewelry (that he originally tried to steal.)

All in all, there is a craven lack of character in our hero. (Perhaps this was what Hannah Arendt was referring to as "the banality of evil," but I hesitate to even place the Burglar in that...more
As with all the Burglar books, everything is not as it seems. So many coincidences woven in as Bernie tries to clear himself of a brutal home invasion. Still, Block manages to pull everything together so the criminals get theirs and the hero gets his, while Ray gets the credit.

This is a series I can go back to again and again like old friends. They hold my interest read after read and are my go-to books when I need something to read and don't have time to peruse shelves looking. I have them load...more
Another in the Burglar series where Bernie Rhodenbarr solves a couple more crimes for local policeman, Ray, by burgling. He is asked by his friend Marty to steal cash from Dr. Mapes, a plastic surgeon who has stolen Marty's girl friend and involved in unreported surgical procedures changing the appearance of folks who don't want to be recognized. While prowling around, he is present under the bed for a rape, finds a new girl friend, and watches someone gunned down. His friend Caroline helps some...more
Michael O'Leary
This is the tenth book in Lawrence Block's Bernie Rhodenbarr series, and about my fifth read in the series. This book was excellent, Block couples a neat twisting plot, with great dialogue, and some intelligent literary citations, as well as some neat burglary 'tricks-of-the-trade'. I consider the entire series well worth reading, especially since Bernie Rhodenbarr owns a used bookstore, and does a little burglary and detective work as a sideline...all of these skills combined make a pretty exci...more
I usually like the Burglar novels, but this one just didn't have the same thrill. Oh, there's something about going along with Bernie as he seeks to find a way into a particular house, but this one just wasn't as interesting.

Along the way, the author throws out some decent gags... (or perhaps digs at other authors)-- For example he mockingly describes a John Sandford novel about a Vegan killer as being titled "Lettuce Prey" and that was pretty funny. There are also references to well-known book...more
Robert J. Sullivan
Lawrence Block's "The Burglar on the Prowl", finds our favorite burglar, Bernie Rhodenbarr, casing a building he's planning to break into and arrested because there's a triple murder and the murderers stole a safe. The murderers didn't get what they wanted and think Bernie had something to do with it.

Bernie, contrary to his hard-won experience that he never breaks into a place for the thrill any more, goes on the prowl and breaks into an apartment and, when the owner comes back, hides under the...more
Claire Grasse
Bernie Rhodenbarr is a burglar who only targets the wealthy, and who generally only steals valuable objets d'art, or very rare collectibles, mostly from undeserving jerks, which I guess is supposed to make it OK. Most of the "Burglar" books contain some kind of Sexcapade or other, and as Bernie's best friend is a lesbian, her romantic ventures must usually creep into the plot line somewhere. I could personally do without all of that, but I do have to tip my hat to the author for at least skimmin...more
This was a very entertaining story, but it left me feeling dirty. The story is written from the point of view of a gentleman burglar named Bernard Rodenbarr, who has a respectable job as a bookseller during the day, but in order to make ends meet, he steals at night. He seems to have his own value system, and seems to do only certain theft jobs, such as for people who want him to steal expensive things from them so they can claim the insurance, but he's still a burglar. His best friend and oft-t...more
Marc Leroux
This is a book that deals with some sensitive topics. Rape. War Crimes. In addition to murder. I'd like to say that Lawrence Block deals with them in a sensitive way. But he doesn't. And I think that the reader has to understand that he is not trivializing these. Bernie Rhodenbarr is a burglar, albeit one with a hear of gold He acknowledges that what he does is reprehensible, but it is what he does, and he enjoys it. In this story he is set to commit a large scale robbery on Friday night, and on...more
Darusha Wehm
Reading Lawrence Block is like coming home for me, and the Burglar books are like coming home to a warm cup of coffee and a snuggly blanket. A stolen coffee and blanket in someone else's home, but that's neither here nor there.

They all have the loveable rascal Bernie getting in some scrape tangentially related to his vocation as a burglar, but convoluted plots aside, it's Block's witty dialogue and setting description that make the books a joy to read. Burglar on the Prowl follows the formula we...more
David Caldwell
If you watch movies from the 40's, especially ones with Cary Grant, you will notice that the dialogue is fast and often employs plays on words.This is what I think of when I hear the term patter.Patter is the norm in the Burglar series. Bernie is a master of it and will throw in references from pop culture and classic literature.the dialogues between Bernie and his best friend,Carolyn, are always amusing.
Bernie is again thrust into a murder mystery against his will.With the help of Carolyn,his...more
Good old Bernie the Burglar - I dont know if I over-identify because I too run a bookstore, or because I daydream of being a burglar, or pulling the heist in Ocean's 11, or 12, etc...
Must just be a guy thing, we all like to think about pulling it off...

This was a nice installment, I dont know if I am finaly synced up with the writing, or if this one was more transparent than some, but I had it pretty well figured by the end, when Bernie did the big reveal.
Usually I am doing well to be close, let...more
Apr 06, 2014 Eliana added it
Bernie Rhodenbarr and his gang are the most likeable and laugh out loud funny since the "Gang that Couldn't Shoot Straight" All the books in this series are good fun to read.
K. East
Somehow I missed this title when I read most of the books in this series several years ago, so it was fun to once again enjoyed the humor of Bernie and his pal, Carolyn. You always know he's going to come out smelling like a rose so you don't worry when circumstances look a little grim. This one read like an old Agatha Christie mystery with information withheld from the reader to provide the climactic ending when "all is revealed" to a gathered crowd. I'm not as fond of that type of mystery anym...more
Mrs. Rhodenbarr's son, Bernie, is a New York City burglar whose sideline is owning and operating a used bookstore. After accepting a commission from his friend Marty Gilmartin, Bernie plans a burgle with his best friend Carolyn Kaiser, proud owner of the Poodle Factory, as his lookout.

Bernie's unusual sensitivities and enjoyment of his craft lead to confusion and involvement in a much more sinister theft. He brings it to a successful conclusion involving a wide cast of characters.

I enjoy the f...more
Adam Hegg
Like pulling a favorite blanket from closet is reading a Bernie Rhodenbarr book. I love Bernie and the whole gang I feel like I know them and am privileged to get to peek in on their lives for a couple hours.

This book has all of the thieving, scheming and humor I've come to expect from a Bernie book and the plot is appropriately twisty. It is very easy for me to fall into a Block hole, I will certainly be popping back into the many worlds he creates but I must also plow some new ground. I will...more
Block is a well established writer;in additon to several crime seies, he has written for TV and done writing books. In this series the protagonist is a burglar, Bernie Rhodenbarr. It is not easy to empathize with a criminal, but Block does a good job. Bernie is VERY witty and erudite. His victims are often no accounts who deserve to be ripped off, so you can feel OK about it. I enjoyed the read, as I said, because it was fast and funny. The story was no much (so it was like a Seinfeld episode) a...more
Steven Vaughan-Nichols
I always like these books, but this time there's some darker than usual stuff at the beginning, which took some of the fun out of it--and what are these books if not fun?
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Received the Shamus Award, "The Eye" (Lifetime achievment award) in 2002.

From his web site:

I'm told every good author website needs a bio, so here's mine:

"Lawrence Block's novels range from the urban noir of Matthew Scudder (A Drop of the Hard Stuff) to the urbane effervescence of Bernie Rhodenbarr (The Burglar on the Prowl), while other characters include the globe-trotting insomniac Evan Tanne...more
More about Lawrence Block...
The Sins of the Fathers (Matthew Scudder, #1) Eight Million Ways to Die (Matthew Scudder, #5) Hit Man (Keller, #1) When the Sacred Ginmill Closes (Matthew Scudder, #6) Burglars Can't Be Choosers (Rhodenbarr, #1)

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