The Burglar in the Library (Bernie Rhodenbarr #8)
Bookseller and New-Yorker-to-the-bone, Bernie Rhodenbarr rarely ventures out of Manhattan, but he's excited about the romantic getaway he has planned for himself and current lady love Lettice at the Cuttleford House, a remote upstate b&b. Unfortunately, Lettice has a prior engagement—she's getting married . . . and not to Bernie—so he decides to take best buddy Carolyn...more
So when I got wind that Block, a writer whose work I enjoy, wrote a book where his burglar protagonist, Bernie Rhodenbarr, attempts to steal a first-edition copy of The Big Sleep inscribed to Dashiell Hammett, only to get caught up in an Agatha Chris...more
The story began promisingly enough with Bernie Rhodenbarr and friend Carolyn heading out to a late winter retreat at an English country-style house, with the aim of purloining a choice volume of Raymond Chandler's "The Big Sleep" that was inscribed with a greeting to Dashiell Hammett. The book is there, but so are the corpses.
The Burglar in the Library goes wrong when Bernie plays detective but Block can't be bothered to play straight with his readers. Why are the pe...more
To get it out of the way: no, I really was not all that enthused with how the truth came about. Or what the cause of the crimes turned out to be. It was a bit of a downer, to put it mildly.
But I am trying not to dwell on that (taken as a whole, the execution of the denouement could...more
It's the winter, in the middle of nowhere, and the snow is coming in thick and fast. The last thing anyone needs is to realise they are trapped with no chance of escape with a killer on the loose.
Medium length book (most of Block's books come in at und...more
The Burglar in the Library is one part Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None (a.k.a. The Ten Little Indians"), one part Christie's The Body in the Library and one part Dashiell Hammett's The Thin Man, with Bernie and Carolyn Kaiser pairing up as a platonic Nick and Nora Charles. All of the Rhodenbarr books are pretty funny, but this one is also a loving take on the English house murders that Dame Agatha Christie made famo...more
He is planning to take his girlfriend on a vacation when she dumps him; she is planning to get married (and not to Bernie) the same weekend Bernie chose for their getaway....more
Raymond Chandler that he hopes to steal. However, the book disappears and a dead body is found in the library. Bernie decides he has to catch the culprit!
The reading group rated this book 6.
This book is from the Bernie Rhodenbaur series. The group did like this book but they prefer the Matt Scudder series so they didn’t think they would r...more
But I continue to love this series. This one is a play on English country house murders--a fact the characters freely and frequently mention. Bernie goes to a b &b in upstate New York intent on stealing a copy of the The Big Sleep, singed b...more
The Burglar in the Library is one of my favorites of the Burglar books. It's Lawrence Block's take on the old fashioned drawing room type mystery and he does it wonderfully. It's light and funny, a little sexy, a little awkward, a lot sexy-awkward. Pure joy to read, that's what I'd call it. Even more so than some of the others in the series.
Now that I've sold...more
I appreciated Block's exploration of how Chandler and Hammet's hardboiled mysteries differed from their predecesors like Agatha Christie. In Block's words those authors took murder out of the china cabinet and onto the streets. Block was very clever about juxtaposing the two styles in the plot of his book by setting the story on an English-styled estate in upstate New York, but populating the story with characters who turned out to be quite hardboiled...more
Was thrown off briefly by one chapter not in Bernie's POV (and since it is first person it is a little jarring) but there is a good reason for it and it doesn't take too long for you to figure out why LB had to do it that wa...more
First place, 2012 Five Star Dragonfly Award for the Blackpox Threat
Finalist in the 2011 National Indie Excellence Award for the Blackpox Threat
Honorary Mention, 2012 San Francisco Book competition for the Bricklayer
The author threw in some humor and in about half of the attempts was it actually funny. The other half was simply not funny and had me shaking my head.
A good read, but it doesn't need to be on the top of the list.
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