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The Burglar Who Traded Ted Williams (Bernie Rhodenbarr #6)

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  1,870 ratings  ·  85 reviews
Bernie Rhodenbarr is actually trying to earn an honest living. It's been an entire year since he's entered anyone's abode illegally to help himself to their valuables. But now an unscrupulous landlord's threat to increase Bernie's rent by 1,000% is driving the bookseller and reformed burglar back to a life of crime -- though, in all fairness, it's a very short trip. And wh ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published October 25th 2005 by HarperTorch (first published 1994)
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Community Reviews

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Apr 28, 2012 Mike rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone
After reading a later book in the series ("The Burglar Who Thought He Was Bogart"), I decided to read an earlier one. In this case, the low-hanging fruit proved to be one that also set up certain key facts in the life and "career" of the protagonist.

Like the previous sample, I found it to be a fun read. The plot is complex enough but not overly difficult with good side-ventures and the writing is witty and good. Again, I would classify the book as "lighter fiction" one that reads easily and sedu
Yes, the formula is the same: New York bookstore owner and more-than-occasional burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr plies his usually nighttime trade, finds a dead body. Bernie gets accused of break-in and murder. Bernie (with some help from pet groomer-friend Carolyn and, this time, his bookstore cat Raffles), is forced to solve the murder to keep himself out of jail.

In this one, he's also trying to keep his bookstore intact; his landlord, it seems, is threatening to raise the rent so high that Bernie wi
Crzy D
I might as well confess now. I have a weakness for 'series'... esp characters who are butting into other people's businesses reluctantly! So by the same logic I love Lincoln Rhymes, Ms Braun's Koko etc etc. But This was my first of Rhodenbarr's and I think might be adding to my list of series. I picked on a whim, looking for something light and quick, a snack of a book, and it dint disappoint me one bit. No nasty after taste. And I love the wry tone and the snide side observations and of course, ...more
Greg of A2
As usual, I enjoy these books for the humor, characters, and burglarizing aspects as much as for the overall story. The core story itself may not have been the strongest in the series but it was still highly entertaining. There was lots of fun with plays on the titles of Sue Grafton's most popular series and speculation (mostly by Bernie's gal pal) as to whether or not Grafton's heroine Kinsey is "hopefully" a lesbian (Block partially dedicated the book to Grafton).

This book bridges Bernie's li
Lawrence Block never disappoints. This guy writes in a variety of genres under various names. His main lines of work are the hard-boiled Matt Scudder detective novels (literary, serious, violent) and the flip side--the Bernie Rhodenbarr "burglar" series (light-hearted, funny, ingenious.) Both series are equally good--beautifully worked out plots that surprise and (in the case of "burglar") delight, memorable characters, literary resonance.

This one has to do with a naked body found in a locked ba
I read these books years ago and rally enjoyed them, then kind of forgot about them until recently. Now I'm revisiting them. And let me assure you, when a Bernie Rhodenbarr book is good, it's very, very good. And this one definitely is good. There are fun scenes of him in his used book store; acquiring a cat - as an employee, not a pet; and hanging out with his dog groomer friend, Carolyn. Life is good for Bernie. In fact, this book opens with him firmly planted on the straight and narrow, as he ...more
Matt Allen
It's been a while since I've read a Bernie book, but Block is back in typical Rhodenbarr form with this one. It's fun, it's fast, and outside of an ending that didn't do much memorable, it's probably just what fans of the series are looking for.

I really loved the first half of this one. It was whip-fast, the dialogue doing wonderful tricks, the pace a Block specialty, and the characters shining with the touch of a master. It really was delightful, and there was more than a few laughs and writing
Susan Hulstine
In the genre of cozy mysteries, Block is the master. My favorite line: Bernie is talking about the phenomena of depression in women poets and he calls it "Edna St. Vincent Malaise." I laughed out loud. Some of the witty banter became a little too much at times, but overall a fun read and Block accomplishes what the book sets out to do: tickle the funny bone while delivering a light mystery; it's chewing gum for the mind.
Lawrence Block is the master of snappy dialogue and street-smart lingo. His books are like a delicious desert: fun, tasty but not especially nourishing over time. I enjoy them as escapist literature that gives me a break from day to day life.

We really only get to know one character, Bernie the Burglar. The other actors in his stories are more or less props to make Bernie look good.

Although the Bernie series is light reading, I must say I admire all the research that Bock puts into his novels to
This was my first Lawrence Block book ever. I choose this particular book because I collect baseball cards so I thought I'd find it interesting. This book was written in 1994 and it have become very dated in 20 the past 20 years. Not only has the baseball card hobby changed dramatically, but so has technology.

The main reason I gave it only 2 stars is that it felt like the author was making up the story as he put it down on paper, without any thoughts to how details would be resolved. That type o
Lynn Kearney
One of the best - with the welcome addition of Carolyn Kaiser, Bernie's best friend, the lesbian pet groomer!
Annak ellenére, hogy valaki ceruzával beleírta a könyvtári példányomba, hogy Belene kezdj! Tök szar! (egy másik valaki meg kijavította tollal az első szót, hogy “Külön írandó!“) ez egy tökéletes Bernie kötet. Kezdjük ott, hogy már ajánlásban is szerepel Sue Grafton és végigvonul az egész regényen szinte az összes regényére való hivatkozás az adott időpontig (1994-es az eredeti történet) az ABC sorozatból. Sőt Carolyn és Bernie eszmecseréje Kinsey szexuális beállítottságáról külön említésre méltó ...more
Chadwick Saxelid
Bernie Rhodenbarr, part-time bookseller and one time full-time burglar, has pretty much retired from the thievery business. He is now semi-content to simply run his second hand bookstore in Greenwich Village and teach his inventory guard Raffles, a cat bestowed upon Bernie to rid his store of a potential mice infestation, how to better hunt the prey hiding behind the shelves. Sure he's been getting the urge to get back to his one true calling, but life is good without taking the risk. Right?

Jeff Dickison
A fun book written with tongue firmly in cheek. Block writes of the baseball card collecting scene as it was in 1995; driven by money with no real love of the cards or the game of baseball. Of course such a scenario could not last and the hobby imploded. There are still a great many collectors but most are not driven by greed. The story was well written and the finale is well done. Recommended.
Fran Irwin
No review, but I will say that when I moved from Calif. to Hawaii, I was limited as to how many books I could bring with me; only those I loved, that spoke to me, that I would read again. "The Burglar Who Traded Ted Williams" survived the long sea journey, and is now living happily with me in Honolulu. It is a gem! I laughed until I cried over the description of a "cat lady." Bravo, Lawrence Block!
Another fantastic entry into the ongoing adventures of Berni Rhodenbarr! This thief is lovable and smart as a whip. It takes him a bit to get up to speed but once he does he assembles the pieces of the puzzle fast and tidy.
Aug 13, 2009 Mazel marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: policier
L'infâme cambrioleur/bouquiniste Bernie Rhodenbarr a juré de ne plus pénétrer chez autrui.

Lorsqu'il apprend que les Gilmartin se rendront au théâtre un soir de la semaine suivante...

il lutte, essaie de penser à autre chose.

La tentation revient lorsque la belle Gwendolyn Cooper l'informe que les Nugent sont partis en Europe et que donc...

C'en est trop, Bernie capitule, Mais dans l'appartement, c'est un cadavre qu'il découvre. Son vieil ennemi, l'inspecteur Ray, l'attend chez lui et l'arrête.
Rene Natan
As usual, the author offers a nice recipe for mystery. He starts with a corrupted cop, an antagonistic businessman, a patron of the arts, a beautiful (but tricky) woman, the owner of a shop for grooming pets, a young crook, and a Manx cat with the name of the famous amateur cracksman (Raffles). Then he adds a murder and a few burglaries (or attempts thereof), thus creating an atmosphere full of anticipation. But who has done what and why? Bernie Rhodenbarr, professional gentleman burglar and ama ...more
Daniel Sevitt
This was Block returning to the character after more than ten years away and this was the first one that was properly funny rather than simply cute.
bought it to have something to read in the airport, never heard of the writer before. enjoyed it a lot, fast, breezy, funny read.
Steven Vaughan-Nichols
This is just a delightful literary mystery romp. I really enjoyed it and I plan on reading more of our current day NYC gentleman burglar's adventures.
These mystery novels by Lawrence Block featuring Bernie Rhodenbarr, a burglar cum bookseller, are always funny. You can very much see the influence of Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe novels, with the wry narrator and final gathering of the suspects to solve the crime. Each one is very like the other, Bernie being wrongly accused of a crime, but not being able to prove that he didn't do it, because at that time he was burgling, and that's not a very good alibi - if you admit to that, you'll go to jail any ...more
A decent Bernie Rhodenbarr mystery, not the best, but enjoyable Lawrence Block fare.
I highly recommend this one. Eric introduced me to the Bernie Rhodenbarr series back during my first Spring Training trip, so it seemed only appropriate to grab this one for my second such adventure. read this on the way back, after another book wasn't really grabbing me -- i knew this would be satisfying. and it was. witty, sarcastic mystery from the point of view of a sympathetic burglar. or reformed burglar. or almost reformed burglar. it's so hard to say. :) pretty similar to the Dortmunder ...more
I always like this series. Fun, lighthearted and set in NY city
Jan Beaudin-johnson
This one had a twist I was not expecting.
Dan Berman
that makes three of these books in a row with the exact same ending
Bernie - a year straight and running his bookstore - is confronted by his landlord who wants to raise his rent to an unpayable level.[return][return]MEanwhile, he is tempted back into burglary, and gets caught up in robberies he didnt commit, dead bodies in locked-from-the-inside bedrooms, blugaries he DOES commit (but manages to pin on someone else), and all whilst having witty banter with his lesbian best friend and the cop who knows what he does, just can pin anything on him[return][return]Sh ...more
painful read
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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 about Lawrence Block...

Other Books in the Series

Bernie Rhodenbarr (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Burglars Can't Be Choosers (Bernie Rhodenbarr, #1)
  • The Burglar in the Closet (Bernie Rhodenbarr, #2)
  • The Burglar Who Liked to Quote Kipling (Bernie Rhodenbarr, #3)
  • The Burglar Who Studied Spinoza (Bernie Rhodenbarr, #4)
  • The Burglar Who Painted Like Mondrian (Bernie Rhodenbarr, #5)
  • The Burglar Who Thought He Was Bogart (Bernie Rhodenbarr, #7)
  • The Burglar in the Library (Bernie Rhodenbarr, #8)
  • The Burglar in the Rye (Bernie Rhodenbarr, #9)
  • The Burglar on the Prowl (Bernie Rhodenbarr, #10)
  • The Burglar Who Counted the Spoons (Bernie Rhodenbarr, #11)
The Sins of the Fathers (Matthew Scudder, #1) Eight Million Ways to Die (Matthew Scudder, #5) When the Sacred Ginmill Closes (Matthew Scudder, #6) Hit Man (Keller, #1) Burglars Can't Be Choosers (Bernie Rhodenbarr, #1)

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“I haven't got anything against cats. I haven't got anything against elk either, but that doesn't mean I'm going to keep one in the store so I'll have a place to hang my hat.” 10 likes
“I thought I'd go home and reread Sue Grafton. It's been a while since I last read the one about the topless dancer who gets poison injected into one of her implants."
"'D' Is For Cup."
"Right. Bern, you know what I wish? I wish she didn't have to stop at twenty-six. When the alphabet's used up, what happens to Kinsey?"
"Are you kidding? She goes straight into doublé letters. 'AA' Is For drunks, 'BB' Is For Gun, 'CC' Is For Rider. There was a whole list in Publishers Weekly a few months back. 'PP' Is For Golden Showers, 'ZZ' Is For Topp- I can't remember them all, but it looks as though she can go on forever."
"Bern, that's wonderful news."
"You'll be reading about Kinsey fifty years from now," I told her. "'AAA' Is for Motorists, 'MMM' Is for Scotch Tape. You'll never have to stop.”
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