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The Bookman's Wake

(Cliff Janeway #2)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  3,796 ratings  ·  294 reviews
From the award-winning author of Booked to Die comes another splendid mystery starring antiquarian book dealer Cliff Janeway. A P.I. friend of Cliff's shows up at his shop with a proposition: play bounty hunter and bring back a young woman accused of heisting a 1969 edition of Poe's The Raven.
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published April 10th 1995 by Scribner Book Company (first published January 1st 1995)
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Average rating 3.93  · 
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 ·  3,796 ratings  ·  294 reviews

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Bobby Underwood
Nov 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you're one of those people like me who love real books, savoring their smell when cracked open for that very first time, here is something special for you. John Dunning's follow-up to Booked to Die is a novel of intrigue and murder amidst the book world, or more to the point, those who love books and spend hours searching the shelves of used book stores for a rare first edition.

Cliff Janeway is the Denver bookman and part-time detective who goes looking for a girl who may have in her
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Jan 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014

Cliff Janeway walks the thin red line between two worlds : on one side, the Law enforcement officer club with its macho ethos and its band of brothers loyalties and on the other, the slightly geeky ecosystem of book collectors - first editions, limited art prints, antiques, signed rarities, etc. In the first world, he functions as a clasical gumshoe, smart and snarky, street tough with a flaming temper and a wicked right hook. In the second, he is a passionate rare book hunter and shop
K.J. Charles
I read the first in this series with qualified enjoyment, tried this mostly because I liked the rare book setting. However, by 28% we've had the ?third conversation in which people narrate why the MC is brave, heroic, rugged, smart, hard as nails, morally principled yet never plays it by the book because laws are for dweebs, not like all the other boys, and most importantly, doesn't care what people think of him AT ALL, and I don't think I can take any more.
Leonard Mokos
Jul 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
John Dunning was for many years a used book dealer in Denver, Colorado. His protagonist is a police detective who was once a finder and seller of rare books. The appeal - the unique hook used here - is that you will be taken not only on a mystery story, but an exploration of the book trade. Not the internet thing we have now, where you want it, you click it, you got it. Nooo... Once upon a time, somehow almost yesterday, you had to go Outside and Search for stuff. Yeah, like the animals. If you ...more
Sep 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My brother recommended I try the bookman series featuring Cliff Janeway. I was lucky to find a fresh clean paperback at my library of this second book of the series.
The world of book dealers, book scouts, publisher practices denoting first editions and those who attempt to profit from the trade are examined in minute detail. Janeway is part of this world, a book dealer in Denver. He is also a former policeman, serving his time in Denver. When a shady character comes knocking, luring Janeway
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 ...more
Tosha Sisler
Apr 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Trudy
Shelves: mystery, fiction
The Cliff Janeway series has quickly become my favorite detective series. This is the second book in the series, although I haven't been reading them in order. (I've found that reading these books in order isn't necessary for the plot lines, nor does it detract from the enjoyment of the books).
This series is more of an intellecutal detective series. I love exploring the world of rare books and seeing/feeling the passion of the characters for book collecting.
Although Janeway seems eager to
May 10, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery fans
Recommended to Ben by: Paula
Ultimately, a mystery novel is a mystery novel and what differentiates one from another comes down to three things:

1) Plot - Mystery is such a prolific genre that one can pound out a mystery story following all the traditional aspects of the story. A good premise, a few good characters, and a good twist can make it entertaining and interesting. With good plotting, mystery can stand out from the crowd by showing how clever the author is. With the rise of police procedurals on TV, this is harder
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 STARS, August 17, 2014

This review is from: The Bookman's Wake (Cliff Janeway Novels Book 2) )

"The Bookman's Wake" by John dunning.

In all fairness to this masterpiece...10 stars.

This was no doubt the greatest and most well written mystery & suspense book I've read in ages.
Cliff Janeway is approached by Slater a long time and not very well liked acquaintance of sorts. It seems that Slater is in demand and needs Janeway to escort a fugitive to jail. In this case the
Nov 17, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
My mother recommended this to me for the insight it gave into the publishing world. This is a mystery involving a young woman from a small publishing family who searches out rare books, some which aren't supposed to exist. When she goes after one of these unrecorded editions of Poe's "The Raven" she gets entangled in a murder, and a retired police detective (who now owns his own book store) is asked by an old buddy to pick her up in Seatle, and bring her in. Soon, he gets tangled in the web and ...more
Dunning, John - 2nd in Cliff Janeway series

Cliff Janeway, a book dealer, agrees to collect a woman who has skipped bail in Seattle. But when he arrives, he realizes he's been employed to find a rare edition of "The Raven". He also learns that those who are known to have owned copies of the book have met untimely deaths.

This was even better than the first book. Great balance of intellect versus action.
Dinky ♥
Nov 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
I wish there were 6 stars for me to give this book! It draws you in right away and keeps you going - Never a slow spot; just action all the way!!
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a throughly enjoyable read. It was also the first John Dunning book I've read. I'll be reading more. I realized that I started on book 2 of the series, and I don't think it made much of a difference. I'll probably read the first one in the series next to see if that's true. But I highly recommend this.
Mar 04, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, series
Here's the second in the Cliff Janeway antiquarian book dealer/detective series; while it was certainly "okay" for escape reading, it didn't quite measure up to John Dunning's first in the bookman series. I was disappointed to have figured out a key piece of the plot chapters ahead of the big reveal, though not every twist and turn. Still, that dampened my enthusiasm for this particular John Dunning murder mystery -- a mystery that has a whole lot of book printing/book collecting details as ...more
Alyce Rocco
I like Cliff Janeway, the cop turned bookman,which is why I am trying to read the entire series, but Dunning's novels do not hold my interest.

A mystery novel begins with a crime being committed. Readers guess at the identity of the criminal. At novel's end the criminal is unmasked and usually caught to pay price for misdeeds. The hero/heroine usually gets into some dire circumstances, and fights which is usually the most boring part of a mystery novel for me.

A book about buying and selling
Aug 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“The Bookman’s Wake” is the second in John Dunning’s crime/mystery series featuring Cliff Janeway. And it’s every bit as good as the first one. The plot is complex, the characters are well developed. I fall a little more in love with Cliff in each book...imagine how I’ll feel when I reach the last in series (unless Dunning decides to bless us with a 6th book...please oh please).

I think what I like most about Dunning’s books is that the mystery takes place in the world of books. This one has
Feb 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of hardboiled detective stories, lovers of books and literature
Recommended to Sara by: heard of it through a bookgroup
I'm completely hooked on Dunning and especially on this series featuring Cliff Janeway, cop turned bookman. I've worked in new bookstores and have friends who've worked in used and rare books, as well as one friend who is a binder of fine books. Nevertheless I learned a lot about the trade from this book and found the fictional aspect very satisfying too.
Dunning creates marvelous characters, very believable - mostly appealing but occasionally, repulsive. These are hardboiled detective stories
Apr 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pointless for me to rehash the characters and plot here, as I mostly agree with the positives of other Reviewers. As a bibliophile, was pleasantly surprised to be given such deep insights into the bookman's world. Hardly the usual whodunit, Dunning delivered enough plot twists to keep me involved. Would have rated it at least four well-earned stars, but personal passions... love of informational/entertaining books plus my familiarity with the large/small NW towns/remote areas ... compelled me to ...more
May 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cliff Janeway, a book dealer, agrees to collect a woman who has skipped bail in Seattle. But when he arrives, he realizes he's been employed to find a rare edition of "The Raven." He also learns that those who are known to have owned copies of the book have met untimely deaths. Janeway's fictional bookstore is set in Denver so those who are familiar with its haunts will find the author's stories quite fun to read.
Jan 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is the 2nd Dunning book I have read. This was quite a good one. It is based on Grayson press -- a small outfit that did great almost collectable works. Now some of those collectors are being killed. The situation is complex and there are many players. Very enjoyable.
Nancy Ellis
Jan 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots of interesting info in here about book collecting, selling, etc., worked into a good story line. Cliff Janeway works again to solve a series of murders of owners of a rare book. A good read!
Sep 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Second in the series.. I can't wait to read the rest..Such a satisfying group.. I love reading in such great detail about bookbinding and fonts and printing..
This is a story with a moral: owners of brick and mortar book stores, especially brick and mortar used book stores, are heroes.

I concur.

Actually, Cliff Janeway, main character and narrator of this series and owner of a used book store, never lets readers forget he is heroic. In fact, Janeway portrays himself as being Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent. Well, maybe not reverent and definitely not obedient. But he lets
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I hadn’t heard of this award-winning author before, but I came across the book and liked the premise. An ex-cop turned rare and used bookseller is hired by a P.I. to pick up a young woman who’s jumped bail. The draw for Cliff Janeway isn’t the money, but that the woman might have a rare copy of The Raven she stole from a private residence.

The Bookman’s Wake is a clever mystery with plenty of twists and intrigue. I can see why the reviewers call this book educational as well as interesting. The
Lars Fischer
May 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: whodunnit
As good as the first in the series. Classic, Chandler-style detective story, but about books - collectors, printers, sellers, hunters. The story arc is good and has the basic tension, interest, and suspense that make you not want to put it down. The characters and scenes are just right, the detective is the right mix of fallible, masculine, smart, insightful, & cynical, and the tone and delivery is spot on. In short, all you want the genre to be. It quite a bit of a throwback, but it's done ...more
This series isn't too bad. Being from Denver and remembering it way back when, it is interesting. As for the girl Eleanor, she was such a pain she seemed hardly worth all the trouble Janeway took to keeping her safe.

The obsession with the Grayson books - totally over the top but I suppose it could happen. It made for an interesting story.

As for Cliff Janeway, I kinda like him and I kinda don't. Not a guy I'd fall for, I know that.
Susan Reyna
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! I thought I loved the first book but this one is so far beyond. At first it reminded me of one of Ray Bradbury's works. The atmosphere is heavy with mystery. An artfully written maze of a detective story. My heart!
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mystery
This mystery plot intrigued me more than the first book.

Excited to have found the last three books in this series at the book sale! Will continue.
Elaine Cook
Jun 28, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017
Checked out the print copy (Booked Twice, Janeway #1 & 2) switched to e-audio near halfway to accelerate reading. Wish there were more in this series, good mysteries with tantalizing glimpses of the world of book collecting.
Diane Challenor
Loved the book. I enjoyed both books one and two of the Janeway series. I’m saving up book three for next month, or the month after. It will be one to savour.
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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

Other books in the series

Cliff Janeway (5 books)
  • Booked To Die (Cliff Janeway, #1)
  • The Bookman's Promise (Cliff Janeway, #3)
  • The Sign of the Book (Cliff Janeway, #4)
  • The Bookwoman's Last Fling (Cliff Janeway, #5)
“The camera would miss it all. A magnificent picture is never worth a thousand perfect words. Ansel Adams can be a great artist, but he can never be Shakespeare. His tools are too literal.” 38 likes
“The world was getting dangerously crowded with crazy people.” 16 likes
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