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The Sign Of The Book (Cliff Janeway #4)

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  1,673 ratings  ·  172 reviews
From New York Times bestselling author John Dunning comes a riveting new Cliff Janeway Bookman novel, combining captivating book lore with page-turning suspense.
Denver bookman and ex-cop Cliff Janeway is enjoying the good life, buying and selling the books he adores as he ekes out a living in his store on seedy East Colfax. And it doesn't hurt that superstar lawyer Erin
Kindle Edition, 544 pages
Published March 5th 2005 by Scribner (first published 2005)
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The first but not my last, July 20, 2012
By Ellen Rappaport (Florida)
This review is from: The Sign of the Book (Cliff Janeway Novels) (Paperback)
This was my first Cliff Janeway Bookman story but I will be reading more in this series.

Cliff Janeway is a rare book dealer and runs a book store along with his partner, Erin D'Angelo. Erin's former love interest, Robert Marshall, has been murdered. Cliff finds his wife, Laura, has been taken into custody without the aid of a lawyer. Cliff starts to
Jan 22, 2008 El rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Josiah
Shelves: 21st-centurylit
In this Bookman Novel, detective-turned-bookseller/detective-hanger-on, two years have passed since the last time we have read about his adventures. He has a lovely lawyer lady-friend now, and is asked by her to become involved in a case surrounding her estranged childhood friend. There is, of course, a book mystery that Janeway must solve in order to solve the true nature of the case, and he uses his old detective skills, his newer bookseller trade experiences and good ol' fashioned law-breakin ...more
I really needed little break from all those romance novels I've been reading in the past few months.
So,when I took this one,I just knew it that I wouldn't be disappointed!
I really love all Cliff Janeway books so this one wasn't exception!
Big 5 stars!
Life is different these days for Cliff Janeway. He gave up his career as a police detective and has reinvented himself as a bookseller, a trader and seller of rare books. The book store is humming along as is his love life with his girlfriend, Erin D'Angelo, a lawyer. He's about as content as he can remember being.

Then Erin comes to the bookstore, obviously upset. When she decides to tell him what's wrong, he hears a story about betrayal and first love. Erin had been engaged to a man, Bobby Mar
I'm delighted every time I pick up a copy of this great series, and again I was not disappointed with this one. Great characters, great plot, fun bibliophile information. Janeway is no pansy, he's a tough ex-cop turned book-seller who will go to great lengths to solve the mysteries he finds himself involved in.
Richard Good
This book was mentioned in Donald Maass' "The Fire in Fiction", a book on writing fiction, and it was used to illustrate techniques in creating unusual milieus (in this case, mysteries connected with rare book collections). I picked up this novel as part of a project I have started, using the examples in Donald Maass' book as a reading list.

This was the first John Dunning novel I've read, and it took a while to get used to his narrative style. After a couple of chapters, however, the reading sm
GS Nathan
I read another one of Dunning's books a long time ago and really liked it. Dunning writes about books, and the esoteric trade in old and valuable books, a world he opened me to. And the stories he writes about crime and passion is what you would find any good writer write...but set in a world where books take center stage.

But not this book. Janeway, an ex cop gets drawn into a murder in a remote Colorado town, and slowly peels the truth out. He travels down false trails, pushes buttons, exploits
I read The Sign of the Book right after reading ROCKETS IN URSA MAJOR and exactly like ROCKETS IN URSA MAJOR it feels as if the book was written more than twenty years earlier.

There's nothing wrong with releasing now a book that was written back then.

But in the first chapters the author, as character and narrator, thinks back on how things have changed with the ubiquitous presence of the Web. That places us in the late 90s or early 21st century, right?
The trouble here is that all through the no
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
THE SIGN OF THE BOOK (Amateur Sleuth-Colorado-Cont) – G+
Dunning, John – 4th in series
Scribner, 2005- Hardcover
Cliff Janeway is a former policeman and now bookstore owner and collector. He is asked by his attorney girlfriend Erin to investigate the arrest of Erin's former best friend, Laura, who has confessed to killing her husband. What he finds is a woman, who may be trying to protect her disabled son, a bully deputy who has badly mishandled a murder scene, and a house full of signed 1st editio
Cliff Janeway is a former Denver cop turned book collector / book store owner / occasional P.I. In this book his attorney girlfriend asks him to help her look into a childhood friend's book collection. The problem is this old friend has been arrested on suspicion of murdering her husband. The books are rare signed books that require Janeway's expertise. Using his knowledge of books and his cop instincts Cliff is soon hip deep in solving the case. A surprise ending is satisfying. I listened to th ...more
Sep 27, 2012 Bill rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Bill by: Part of a series I read
Shelves: detective, mystery-us
A very enjoyable mystery. I've read a few of the series and on the whole enjoyed them all. Cliff Janeway is an ex-Denver police detective who quits the force and becomes a book dealer. His mysteries always involve the book trade and for someone who loves wandering around book stores and collecting somewhat, it adds a nice touch to the mysteries. Cliff is a loner and you do often find him wandering off on his own when you want to shout at him to bring along some help. But the mystery is well-writ ...more
Judy Goodnight
Aug 14, 2011 Judy Goodnight rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery lovers
Book #4 of the Cliff Janeway, Bookman series.

In this book, Janeway's lawyer/store partner/girlfriend, Erin D'Angelo, asks him to go to western Colorado & find out what's going on with an old friend of hers accused of shooting her husband, Bobby, Erin's old boyfriend. As with Dunning's other books, what follows from that scenario is a complicated weaving of guilt & innocence, deception and truth-telling, rationality & fantasy, good & evil.

Of course, there's a book-related theme.
A very readable and entertaining mystery. I am only rating it lower than the previous Janeway mysteries because it didn't wow me quite as much as the earlier ones did. The storyline about the Preacher started out really strong, then went kind of nowhere and got a bit of scotch tape over the end of it to tack it down. There is still a lot of insider information about the book trade but the book was written in 2005 and the Internet was almost thrown in as an aside. By that time, the book trade had ...more
I knew this was a mystery about a man who owned a bookstore for rare books in Denver. I expected him to be a Miss Marple type, and the mystery to surround the people at his bookstore.

Not at all. Cliff Janeway (and I can't help thinking Star Trek whenever I see that name) is much more like Jack Reacher than Miss Marple: a tough ex-cop who doesn't like following rules. He is lured into this case by his girlfriend Erin, whose childhood friend - the same one who stole her boyfriend - is found with a
Bookmarks Magazine

In 2004's The Bookman's Promise, Janeway searched for a valuable book-and a killer. Here, Janeway explores the murder of a man with a valuable library. Dunning, also an antiquarian bookseller (, is a bibliophile whose Bookman novels rise above the standard crime fare. This fourth installment updates readers on Janeway's personal life and fills in gaps from the previous volume. The elaborate plot, convincing red herrings, and pitch-perfect dialogue eclipse the book's few stoc

Glenn Harris
I'm really enjoying this series featuring former Denver homicide cop and current rare book dealer Cliff Janeway. In this one, his lawyer girlfriend asks him to investigate when an old friend is accused of murdering her husband. Of course there turns out to be a large collection of apparently valuable books involved and we learn a great deal about the book business.
Benjamin Thomas
This is the 4th Cliff Janeway book and, I believe, the best so far. Basically, these are hard-boiled crime novels featuring a sleuth who is a former cop but now runs his own antiquarian bookstore in downtown Denver. The author, John Dunning is himself, an antiquarian book dealer in Denver so he knows his book lore and that is initially what drew me to the series. What could be better than a mystery plot surrounding the book trade?

Of course that's only the premise. You still have to have good cha
K. East
The was a typical sort of rogue police detective novel but with the added bonus of the book business as a side story line. Janeway is a former cop whose temper got the best of him -- a recurrent theme in the book. Now he owns a bookstore -- and solves crimes on the side.Janeway engages in a lot more "head chatter" than you usually find in this kind of novel, which made him both more interesting and a little maddening when the self-dialog served only to drag out the plot line in the name of creat ...more
The Sign of the Book is the 4th book in the Cliff Janeway series by John Dunning. Cliff agrees to help Erin determine if her estranged childhood friend, Laura Marshall, really killed her husband, or confessed to protect her troubled son. The tempter for Cliff is the opportunity to do a little police-type work, but the bonus comes in examining the dead man’s book collection. Another excellent Dunning novel filled with booky tidbits about signed copies and what makes a rare book valuable, about bo ...more
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
A solid, entertaining mystery - this is the first in the Cliff Janeaway series I have read. I like Cliff - an ex cop who has become a bookdealer and who now almost accidently combines the two skill sets. He is his own man, guided by his own ethics with a great sense of humour. Erin seems a good partner and I liked Parley as a minor character. All the characters are grounded well.
I do think the plot was pretty transparent in regards to whom shot whom and why but I couldn't quite figure out where
Dec 20, 2014 Lee rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any book lover
Recommended to Lee by: Gerry Smith
Wish I had engaged in reading these in a more regular series. Nonetheless it now will remain one of the best mysteries. I've ever read. Can't wait to proceed with more and I think I want to own the series.
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This series just keeps getting better as one reads along, and I couldn't put this volume down for the last quarter of the book as I wondered who did it and why, how it all fit together. John Dunning never disappoints. It's a pleasure to follow how a hero like Cliff Janeway works: he subscribes to a tough code of honor respected on the street, he's macho with a sense of self-deprecating humor, he's nice to kids and the elderly, he draws on great cop and investigation skills, and he always is asso ...more
After a quick start (It was good to "see" Janeway again!) and then a slightly slow initial setup (I had a hard time engaging myself in the story at first when the new characters were introduced) the story grabbed me up. A twisted tale, but not quite as complex a backstory as previous books, The Sign of the Book also offered tidbits of the book trade that seemed to be more tidbits than real flesh. If it sounds as if I am complaining, I don't mean to, I still gave high marks to the story, I just e ...more
I wonder what it says about me that I just love reading Cliff Janeway beat someone up? I mean, whoever he beats up is always a horrible person, a really terrible bully--mean and ugly with a low IQ and poor judgement-- and has made the mistake of allowing Janeway to witness his bullying behavior and then been baited into swinging at him so Janeway can claim some measure of self defense. At least for the first punch. But I love the comeuppance of it, the calm competence as Janeway alpha-males hims ...more
This is my first John Dunning book to read and I liked it well enough to look for others written by him. This is a quick read mystery about a former cop now book shop owner and his lawyer girlfriend. The mystery surrounds the girlfriend's ex-boyfriend and ex-best friend--yep her best friend stole her boyfriend back in the day. Now the ex-boyfriend has been married to the former BF and she has confessed to murdering him. But did she? Can the lawyer help her former friend and does she want to cons ...more
Another great book featuring my favorite bookseller/detective Cliff Janeway. This time he is asked by his lady to go to a tiny town caleed Paradise to look into the arrest of one of her old friends. Of course there is a literary connection in that the woman is accused of killing her husband who has a library filled with signed first editions. I love this series of books. They are what good myateries should be, not in that they are hugely shocking in terms of plot development but in that they are ...more
I have liked every one of this series. This was an excellent read with good pacing and plotting. I highly recommend this book
Harry Lane
Pretty typical tec story, well plotted and paced. I find the Colorado setting evocative and the book lore fascinating.
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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 Bookwoman's Last Fling (Cliff Janeway, #5)
Booked To Die (Cliff Janeway, #1) The Bookman's Wake (Cliff Janeway, #2) The Bookman's Promise (Cliff Janeway, #3) The Bookwoman's Last Fling (Cliff Janeway, #5) Two O'Clock, Eastern Wartime

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