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The Sign Of The Book (Cliff Janeway #4)

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  2,090 Ratings  ·  214 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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Kasa Cotugno
Cliff Janeway, John Dunning's ex-cop bookstore owner, works on yet another murder that utilizes his knowledge of what makes a book valuable, in this case, signed books. As with Dick Francis, Dunning has crafted mysteries around a subject not usually associated with crime, imparting much information about his chosen subject. It's been a while since I read the first three in the Janeway series, but it was a pleasure to rediscover him.
Jul 13, 2014 Valentina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
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
Wendy Hearder-moan
A mystery novel by an author who is also a book dealer, a protagonist who is an ex-cop with expertise in rare books, a murder victim who is a bibliophile and whose library may or may not contain valuable autographed copies, some unsavory characters dealing in books with forged signatures...what more could a librarian/mystery lover want? Especially when the detective is, as described by a reviewer, more like Jack Reacher than Miss Marple!
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 21, 2008 El rated it really liked it  ·  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
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
Jul 10, 2013 Debra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 12, 2009 Phair rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, audio-books
Audio read by George Guidall in a very 'soothing' voice that made this impossible to listen to in bed without drifting off into sleep. Dragged a little at first but then got better. Learned a bit about signed modern first editions & book fairs but overall this didn't leave me with a burning desire to read more Janeway novels.
Feb 25, 2016 Andy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
George Guidall is a great narrator but this is not a great book. It's OK to have a far-fetched premise at the beginning but it's annoying when the main character just keeps sinking into crazier and crazier vigilante/fascist escapades based on nothing but his hunches.
Betty Dickie
Nov 21, 2016 Betty Dickie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finally had to take this out of the car and carry it around yesterday until I finished it! Another surprise ending with a great deal of suspense. I have a new series and author to follow! And he's a book dealer!!
May 23, 2017 Dav rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable writting, but horrid anti christian BS
Raine Lampert
May 09, 2017 Raine Lampert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the book. It was great to be introduced to a new writer. I like crime, mystery books. Thanks Mr. Dunning I look forward to reading more of your books!
Raquel Fitzgerald
I read this story twice. The second time I wrote:
Second reading of this book - exactly why I started this list. This is the one that got me hooked on J.D. Great but very long story. 12/6/07
Jul 02, 2017 Gaby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
If you're a bibiliophile...then this is the mystery book series for you. Fabulous mystery about books.
Jun 20, 2017 Linda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book and its emphasis on information about book collecting and book fairs. The mystery was good also, although predictable.
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
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
Apr 05, 2009 Alain rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Richard Good
Nov 02, 2011 Richard Good rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 18, 2010 Bill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Bill by: Part of a series I read
Shelves: mystery-us, detective
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 really liked it  ·  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.
Apr 05, 2013 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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

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
Jan 10, 2012 Roberta rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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
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
Nov 26, 2011 Marianne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Richard Thompson
I had read several of Dunning's Janeway mysteries aloud to Maggee years ago, but I was pretty sure this was "new".

In this book, Janeway is sent as the representative of his partner, Erin (partner in both a business sense and a romantic sense) who also is a high-powered lawyer to a remote mountain town to check out a murder case that might involve a hoard of collectible books.

Janeway comes across as an odd mix of obsessively focused and wildly impulsive, and not very skilled as an investigator.
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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)

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