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The Burglar on the Prowl (Bernie Rhodenbarr #10)

3.87  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,605 Ratings  ·  112 Reviews
Acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Lawrence Block returns with the extraordinary Bernie Rhodenbarr. Antiquarian bookseller by day, burglar by night, Bernie has an innate knack, a gift, for getting into places designed to keep him out.

Bernie is a gentleman who knows and loves his territory, the gloriously diverse streets of Manhattan; a connoisseur who surrounds hi
Audio, Abridged, 0 pages
Published March 16th 2004 by HarperAudio (first published January 1st 2001)
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Aug 07, 2014 Carol. rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people comfortable with date rape
Shelves: mystery, male-lead, 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
Mike French
Sep 14, 2015 Mike French rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bernie Rhodenbarr strikes again! Very enjoyable and entertaining book from Lawrence Block.
Aug 20, 2013 Maddy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2004-reads
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
Aug 05, 2014 Monnie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 27, 2015 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-suspense
I spent some time finding the right audio edition to recommend: the unabridged version recorded by BBC's Audiobooks America in 2004. The reader, Nick Sullivan, has the vocal flexibility and impeccable timing to make the most of the subtle word usage and hilarious dialogue typical of the Bernie Rhodenbarr series.

Lawrence Block is a prolific author, and those familiar with only his very popular Matthew Scudder books should be happy to know that, in the Bernie Rhodenbarr series, he's as skillful wi
May 21, 2016 Glen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, cozies
Bernie Rhodenbarr is at loose ends. He recently broke up with his girlfriend, and things just aren't going right with his life, so he goes on the prowl.

Randomly breaking into an apartment, he witnesses a date rape. Then, of course, there's a murder in the neighborhood, and good ole Ray wants to finger Bernie.

So once again, Bernie goes into the breach, burgling and detecting, finding an age old revenge plot, a crime doctor, and assorted other threads before he gets to the solution.

Good stuff, lik
Aug 04, 2016 Ed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery and crime novel fans
It's been quite a while since I've read a Bernie Rhodenbarr story. Somehow, I missed this one 12 years ago. Whatever, it's a good one.

In this volume, Bernie, the lifelong career burglar, takes on an assignment to clean out the safe of Crawford Mapes, a dodgy Plastic Surgeon, who had stolen the girl friend of Bernie's pal, Maury Gilmartin. Bernie, though, gets antsy before carrying out the intended job and goes on the "prowl", hence the title of the book. Prowling, as Bernie realizes, is dumb as
Apr 23, 2013 Diane rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The “Burglar” series books are always charming and this one is no exception. Bernie is on the prowl for a score but is soon (as usual) enmeshed in a murder that brings new meaning to the word “complicated.” The plot is intricate and the “long arm of coincidence” sets off his internal alarms and you might think it overreaches, but these books are read for the style and dialogues. In classic style, Bernie gets everyone together for the final denouement.

Lots of fun.
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
David Monroe
The first and probably only book I'll read in this series. It lost me at the rape scene.
Brian Layman
May 03, 2009 Brian Layman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2009
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...
Jan 29, 2014 Drew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 09, 2014 Randy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 24, 2015 Laura rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-loan
The Burglar on the Prowl is the 10th book in a series about Bernie Rhodenbarr, a burglar who solves crimes. I had never read any of this series before, but evidently they can be read as standalone. I normally enjoy comedic who-done-its, and did a little, but there were a few places that were absoulte turn offs. Particularly one creepy scene that ruined the whole thing. There were humorous parts in the story and an overall ridiculousness that I guess is the shtick, but the effect was just lost on ...more
Aug 19, 2014 Silvio111 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 14, 2014 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Hank Hoeft
Mystery writer Lawrence Block writes several series characters, but the only two I follow are Matthew Scudder and Bernie Rhodenbarr. The Matthew Scudder books are grim and dark indeed, with titles like In the Midst of Death,and A Dance at the Slaughterhouse, but the Bernie Rhodenbarr stories are witty and light-hearted, and feature a professional burglar as the protagonist. The Burglar on the Prowl is typical of the series, and I enjoyed reading it and trying to figure out the deliberately overl ...more
May 30, 2014 Scilla rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 17, 2014 Michael O'Leary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 23, 2015 Lobo rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Az az igazság, hogy nagyon készültem erre az utolsó találkozásra, mert bár a krimi szál egyre bonyolultabb lett az utolsó köteteknél, a körítés azonban mindenért kárpótolt. S most is valami hasonlót vártam, de csalódnom kellett. A bűnügyek összefonódása annyira szövevényes lett és annyira hihetetlen, hogy már meg se próbáltam odafigyelni arra, valójában mi is történik. Block amúgy is szeret egy csomót titkolózni, főleg a vége felé, mielőtt főhőse előáll a megoldással, mindig homályosan fogalmaz ...more
Aug 21, 2014 David rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: completed
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
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
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
Aug 01, 2012 Marc Leroux rated it really liked it
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
Ann Mckane
Feb 06, 2016 Ann Mckane rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is a truly terrible book. In fact, I was stunned by just how BADLY it is written. It could not have been written by the same person who wrote all the lighthearted earlier Bernie novels!
Beginning with date rape he continues to plow through trite dialogue and predictable plotting to bring it to an ending that is ridiculous.
I listened to this book FREE from my library and even free I felt like I was cheated!
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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 Traded Ted Williams (Bernie Rhodenbarr, #6)
  • 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 Who Counted the Spoons (Bernie Rhodenbarr, #11)

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