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The Bookwoman's Last Fling (Cliff Janeway #5)

3.68  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,670 Ratings  ·  177 Reviews
As a young man, New York Times bestselling author John Dunning earned his living for several years working behind the scenes on the racetrack circuit. Now he brings his memories of the horse world and his expertise in collectible books to this mesmerizing new Bookman novel rich with the lore of both books and horses. . . .

Denver bookman Cliff Janeway would have liked Can
Kindle Edition, 528 pages
Published May 9th 2006 by Scribner (first published 2006)
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Oct 07, 2008 Sandie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fans of previous "Bookman" novels by John Dunning will be equally captivated by The Bookwoman's Last Fling: A Cliff Janeway Novel (Cliff Janeway Novels). This offering is just as witty, literate and informative a tome as his previous ventures. This time out the reader not only gets a lesson in the appraisal and valuation of rare juvenile books (from Winnie the Pooh to Nancy Drew) but we are also treated to an inside look at the racing game (seems Dunning worked behind the scenes at a few racetra ...more
John Dunning's Cliff Janeway series ranks among my top favorites in mystery/detective series. When I think of Dunning an inevitable comparison takes place in my little grey cells: if you like Dick Francis you will love John Dunning. Why the comparison? What I often find delightful in fiction is not just the story itself; what delights is the acquisition of knowledge on a particular subject. Dick Francis in addition to handing his readers a well crafted mystery delights his readers with his thoro ...more
Benjamin Thomas
I had been putting off reading this one for quite a while because I knew it was the last (so far) novel by John Dunning and of the Bookman series. To be honest I had also put it off a little due to many reviews that said it just wasn't quite up to the standards of the previous novels in the series.

My experience, however, was a little different. I thought it got off to a great start, with lots of scenes where we readers get to wallow in the book collecting world that is so paramount in Cliff Jane
I did not enjoy this book as much as the other two Cliff Janeway novels I have read. I would have given this book only 2 stars except that I like the Cliff Janeway charater so much.

This book has much less to do with the book trade than the others, and seems to have Cliff going off in a different direction in the end. You can almost sense the author going off in a different direction also, and one that is much less appealing to me. Darker, more hard-boiled, more Sam Spade, less Perry Mason. This
Nov 27, 2007 Nancy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery fans
Shelves: mysteries
Like the other Goodreads reviewers who commented on this book, I really enjoyed John Dunnings previous books---what could be more compelling for a mystery fan and avid reader than a good suspense story centered around books?

This novel is entertaining, but wasn't as interesting to me as Dunning's other books because he veered away from the bookseller's world and entered the racing circuit.

I highly recommend The Bookman's Promise and the Sign of the Book----then, if you can't get enough of the pro
A Sad Surprise, August 1, 2012
By Ellen Rappaport (Florida)
This review is from: The Bookwoman's Last Fling (Cliff Janeway Novels) (Paperback)
I've read several of the cliff Janeway novels and thoroughly enjoyed them. They not only held my interest all the way through...I became involved in the plot and with cliff Janeway on his journey's. The unraveling of his mysteries regarding rare book collections had depth and the information given by this talented author added to the suspense.

Aug 30, 2010 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: completed
Dunning does a great job re-creating the environment found around a racetrack. In this case, a major portion of the bookman's snooping takes place at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco area and Santa Anita in Los Angeles. Dunning does a WONDERFUL job of describing racetrack life, horses, people who work around horses, owners, etc. Dunning gets the horse stuff especially right. In fact, he does it so well that I could almost smell the straw, the manure, the equine sweat, etc. I could see and in so ...more
The main appeal surrounding John Dunning's books is the insight into the darker aspects of bookstores and book collecting. Dunning's protagonist, Cliff Janeway, is a retired cop-turned-bookseller; he is often searched out for his detective work in solving cases involving book theft, forgery, etc.

In the most recent Janeway book Dunning takes a slightly different turn. Instead of dealing primarily with the book world he ventures into California to throw in this new plot twist - horse racing. There
Sep 07, 2014 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the fifth and last Cliff Janeway mystery, a series I've enjoyed immensely. Cliff Janeway is an ex-Denver cop who has become a book dealer in Denver who also hunts down antique books and is often hired to estimate costs of antique books. He also still becomes involved in mysteries, often with a book-theme. In this story, he travels to Idaho to help estimate the value of an estate's books and also to solve a mystery; some of the books have been disappearing and being replaced by cheaper ed ...more
Todd Stockslager
Review title: OK mystery on the world of book collecting--and horse racing
Book collecting, both the collecting of rare and valuable first editions and the collection of great quantities of books, comes to play in this mystery in the Cliff Janeway series of novels by Dunning.

This is my first exposure to this series, after reading and reviewing his World War II radio historical mystery Two o'clock Eastern Wartime. And while not a classic, it passed the time ably on the 14-hour flight to Beijing.
Andrea Paula Arruda
Não foi tudo aquilo o que imaginava para um bom texto de investigação policial. Em certo momento da leitura pensei que sairia phd em treinamento de cavalos e afins e nada dos livros, do mistério, ou do assassinato de Candice.

Geralmente, com esse tipo de leitura, entendemos que o dia-a-dia da personagem, até mesmo seus pequenos atos que passem despercebidos serão, ao termino da trama, justificados e todos muito bem elaborados para se obter o sucesso e o raciocínio cabível para solucionar o e
Jan 13, 2014 Nancy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the fifth book in a series about Cliff Janeway who is the bookman. Cliff is an ex-cop who now owns a a rare/antique bookstore in Denver. He also is called upon to appraise books and to do estate work. He is also a big horse race fan. While pursuing rare books and horses, Cliff often finds himself in the middle of a mystery. I've now read all five of The Bookman series--liked all of them a lot--but I must admit that I was a little disappointed in Cliff this time. The book got off to a ba ...more
Aug 07, 2014 Peggy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My husband is a book collector, so knowing a little bit about the subject, this book series interests me. This is part of a series about Cliff Janeway, a former Denver cop turned bookman. He owns a book shop and can't seem to get away from his former life sleuthing not just books, but the crimes that come along with his investigations. He is hired to appraise the extensive book collection of a horse racing owner / trainer who has died. What he finds is a decades old suspicious death of the man's ...more
Oct 07, 2009 Tom rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cliff Janeway, retired cop turned antiquarian bookman turned private investigator, is called to appraise the book collection of a recently deceased man whose primary career was that of breeding and racing horses. He discovers that the collection is quite valuable, and that some of the more valuable books have been purloined and replaced with less valuable copies. He also discovers that the collection really belonged to the man's wife, who died of apparently natural causes (an allergic reaction t ...more
Jul 12, 2012 Sandie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fans of previous "Bookman" novels by John Dunning will be equally captivated by The Bookwoman's Last Fling: A Cliff Janeway Novel (Cliff Janeway Novels). This offering is just as witty, literate and informative a tome as his previous ventures. This time out the reader not only gets a lesson in the appraisal and valuation of rare juvenile books (from Winnie the Pooh to Nancy Drew) but we are also treated to an inside look at the racing game (seems Dunning worked behind the scenes at a few racetra ...more
Judy Goodnight
Sep 03, 2011 Judy Goodnight rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery lovers
This is the last of the Cliff Janeway - Bookman series. In this story, Janeway goes to Idaho to assess a collection of priceless children's books which turns out to have crucial volumes missing and cheaper volumes left in their place. The original owner of the collection, a girl raised by a wealthy, smothering father who married an older man in the wake of her father's death. Herself dead for 20 some years now, she becomes the focal point of Janeway's investigation. How did she die? Was it suici ...more
Melinda Seyler
Mar 09, 2013 Melinda Seyler rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Melinda by:

This is the second Janeway mystery I've read. Cliff Janeway is a former cop who's become a rare book dealer in Denver. He is called in on book jobs which turn into mysteries.
In this one he is called in to do an appraisal on a library of books for an estate. He soon realizes that many valuable editions have been replaced with not very valuable later editions. As he questions the man who called him, all becomes more and more mysterious. Turns out the library was the property of the long dead wife
Nov 07, 2013 Cat. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fiction
I love Cliff Janeway, but I don't understand him. He likes books a lot, as objects, than I can wrap my mind around. Dunning, too, is a collector, and I've like his writing since his very first Janeway novel which mentioned Centennial Racetrack. We drove past Centennial ever Sunday on our way to church, and it was a sad day when it was plowed under and turned into condos.

But anyway... Janeway has been asked, or rather hired, to assess a collection of first editions for an estate in Idaho. The man
Dec 04, 2011 Marianne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Bookwoman’s Last Fling is the 5th (and, so far, last) in John Dunning’s Cliff Janeway series. Cliff travels to Idaho, ostensibly to appraise Candice Geiger’s book collection, after the death of her thoroughbred trainer husband, H.R. Geiger, and to ascertain which books might be missing from the collection, and track them down. But he soon finds that the situation is a lot more complicated: he begins to look into Candice’s death, some 20 years previous, and finds himself working at a racetrac ...more
THE BOOKWOMAN’S LAST FLING (Amateur Sleuth-Idaho/California-Cont) - VG
Dunning, John – 6th in series
Scribner, 2006- Hardcover
*** Former copy, Cliff Janeway, is now a bookman who has been called to a ranch in Idaho. Twenty years’ ago, Candice Geiger died leaving behind a collection of valuable first edition children’s books. But some are missing and not necessarily the most valuable books. With the woman’s estate in probate, one son wants to hire Janeway to find out what books are missing and thei
This was a good audio book. I took my time reading it, as it was in my car audio player, but towards the end, I found myself looking forward to the car trips just to get on with the story. It's a mystery, involving horse racing and bibliophiles, well done with various characters and suspects. Multiple plot lines, but all interconnected to the initial plot. I haven't read any others of John Dunning's books, but I enjoyed the main character, a retired cop and book lover - Janeway, and I will check ...more
Jun 09, 2014 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first foray into Dunning's book world with Janeway. I thought Dunning did a nice job describing the horse world and the book world, combining a little of each into each chapter. The racetrack felt real, and I could easily picture him blending in with his odd jobs @ the racetrack and getting to know the horse racing world. Surprisingly, the whodunnit had me stumped till about halfway through the book, so that's always a plus. It's not too much fun to know who did it too early, and you really n ...more
John Dunning – 3rd in series (Investigative mystery)
Cliff Janeway former homicide cop turned antiquarian bookseller, is thrilled with his purchase of a first edition by nineteenth-century explorer Richard Burton, but the book brings more grief than it does pleasure. After an elderly woman arrives in Janeway's store claiming that the Burton belongs to her, Janway finds himself in the middle of a feud between book collectors that stretches back generations and culminates with
Feb 28, 2014 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just finished listening to this book for the second time and hardly remember the first, just enough to know that I had heard it before. I couldn't remember "whodunit". I picked the book because I was a sucker for a title with "bookwoman" in it. A nicely paced mystery.
Apr 11, 2013 Megan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I want to start this review by stating that I really love this series featuring Cliff Janeaway, cop turned bookseller. However, this was by far my least favorite in the series so far. The mystery just seemed to stretch on for too long and I thought there was just too much coincidence to be believable, especially for a crime that happened so long ago. Still, Cliff was great as always. I sincerely believe he is my ideal man (good thing he is fictional or it woulld break my husband's heart!) And I ...more
Bookmarks Magazine

John Dunning knows the horse and book worlds well. Before writing his first book, he worked for horse trainers in Denver, Idaho, and California, and he ran the Old Algonquin Bookstore in Denver. The Bookwoman's Last Fling offers a smart, authentic look into both worlds. Janeway, agreeably misanthropic as always, complements a cast of complex, fascinating characters, local color, and solid dialogue. Critics noted, however, an awkward plot mired by unoriginal details, which diminishes the force o

Apr 20, 2011 Roberta rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: horse racing fans
Recommended to Roberta by: Gail Staples
Every time I read John Dunning I'm impressed by his writing. I couldn't put down the first two books in this series (A Cliff Janeway novel) but I expected to be bored with this one because I'm not into horse racing, but per usual it was fascinating. I learned a lot about race track life. I was sorry to see the on-going relationship between Cliff and Erin hit the skids by the end of the book, but that's life. Her problem was she put her own life on hold to be with him, and that never works. But i ...more
Dec 16, 2012 ~mad rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: booksiveread
Dragged a bit but could have been the season and all the tragedy happening around us.
Have had my nose in into albums for TOO long!

I DO recommend!

One quote:

"Still I had no real handle on extreme cases like Charlie. Maybe nobody does. Some people believe there is a mysterious current at work between a bibliomaniac and his stash of books, as if having them give him an almost mystical connection to all the knowledge they contain. This empowers him: he absorbs it through his pores and into his heart
Glenn Harris
Sep 23, 2014 Glenn Harris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another excellent entry in the series featuring Cliff Janeway, ex-homicide detective turned rare book dealer. Janeway this time finds himself immersed not only in the book business but the horse racing business as he attempts to find a killer.
Nov 03, 2012 Will rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
My least favorite of the John Dunning Cliff Janeway "book man" novels. And that's because it's only masquerading as a book oriented mystery. It's actually a horse racing mystery, with just a tiny bit of rare book story line at the beginning and end. I suppose Dunning is perfectly justified writing such a novel, since his author blurb says that "In the 1960's he worked as a ginney on the California racing circuit, at Bay Meadoews, the state fair in Sacramento, and at Golden Gate Field and Santa A ...more
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John Dunning was born in 1942 in Brooklyn, NY. He was raised in Charleston, SC, is married, and has two adult children.

John always wanted to write, but was a poor student. He left high school in the tenth grade, partly because of an inability to concentrate and absorb lectures. Several years ago he was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD), a malady that could not have been imagined in t
More about John Dunning...

Other Books in the Series

Cliff Janeway (5 books)
  • Booked To Die (Cliff Janeway, #1)
  • The Bookman's Wake (Cliff Janeway, #2)
  • The Bookman's Promise (Cliff Janeway, #3)
  • The Sign of the Book (Cliff Janeway, #4)

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“What's that old cowboy saying? Never was a horse that couldn't be rode, never was a man who couldn't be throwed.” 9 likes
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