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The Burglar Who Counted the Spoons

(Bernie Rhodenbarr #11)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  1,787 ratings  ·  278 reviews
Ever since The Burglar on the Prowl climbed the bestseller lists in 2004, fans have been clamoring for a new book featuring the lighthearted and lightfingered Bernie Rhodenbarr. Now everybody's favorite burglar returns in an eleventh adventure that finds him and his lesbian sidekick Carolyn Kaiser breaking into houses, apartments, and even a museum, in a madcap adventure r ...more
Kindle Edition, 250 pages
Published December 25th 2013 by Lawrence Block
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 ·  1,787 ratings  ·  278 reviews

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Jeffrey Keeten
Jan 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
“The growth of intimacy is like that. First one gives off his best picture, the bright and finished product mended with bluff and falsehood and humor. Then more details are required and one paints a second portrait, and a third--before long the best lines cancel out--and the secret is exposed at last; the panes of the pictures have intermingled and given us away, and though we paint and paint we can no longer sell a picture. We must be satisfied with hoping that such famous accounts of ourselves ...more
OK, now I get it.

Despite being a huge fan of Lawrence Block, his series featuring professional thief and book store owner Bernie Rhodenbarr never tripped my trigger like most of his other stuff does. A few years back after reading Burglars Can’t Be Choosers, I thought I had finally pinned down why. Unlike Block’s other regular characters, Bernie’s books aren’t really about his chosen profession. Matt Scudder is a detective who does a lot of detecting. John Keller is a hired killer who kills a w
James Thane
After an absence of nearly ten years, Bernie Rhodenbarr, burglar and bookstore owner, returns in The Burglar Who Counted the Spoons. For those who haven't yet made his acquaintance, Bernie is the creation of Lawrence Block, who is also known for his hit man series featuring John Keller, and his brilliant P.I. series that features Matthew Scudder.

The Rhodenbarr books are much more light-hearted that the Scudder books, and Bernie is blessedly free of the demons that have haunted his stable mate th
Dan Schwent
Oct 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013, block
When the mysterious Mr. Smith hires Bernie Rhodenbarr to steal an early draft of Benjamin Button from a museum, Bernie pulls off the heist and winds up agreeing to steal a silver spoon depicting Button Gwinnett, one of the lesser known signees of the Declaration of Independence. But what does any of that have to do with Helen Osterheimer, a wealthy woman found dead in her apartment?

When your favorite living crime writer needs something done, be it driving a getaway car, hacksawing the limbs off
John Culuris
Jun 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bernie Rhodenbarr returns for his 11th adventure, the first in nine years, and if there’s any complaint it is same one that has been cropping up regularly with Block in the last decade or so: meandering. I’ve been guilty of such complaints and I also recognize a certain hypocrisy in making them. In Block’s Matt Scudder series Matt can wander anywhere in conversations with TJ or Ray Gruliow and we’re gladly along for the ride. And yet Keller, the protagonist of his most recent series, frustrates ...more
Dec 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Bernie Rhodenbarr is approached by a customer with a proposition: steal a coveted first printing of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. When Bernie hands over the desired document, he’s then asked to steal a silver spoon adorned with the likeness of Benjamin Gwinnett, a background player in the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

As if this isn't enough to keep Bernie busy, he’s approached by an old friend on the other side of the law for a consultation regarding a recent break and enter
I enjoy Lawrence Block's writing.

This is the 11th mystery featuring the New York City thief and bookseller, and the first since 2004’s "The Burglar on the Prowl". and it's good to have Bernie back.

Bernie is hired to steal the original holographic manuscript of F. Scott Fitzgerald's story "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button", with its original title "A Life Lived Backward", from the museum where it's being kept in storage. Bernie's client isn't a Fitzgerald collector. While this is going on, B
Jan 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of lighhearted detective/crime fiction
This book sauntered along at its own leisurely pace, despite a plot that had Bernie performing multiple jobs in succession while puzzling out the truth of a curious death. But things did eventually accelerate and come together, and the ending was punctuated by an excellent, if not original, summation gathering.

There was a bit of burgling at the beginning, with Carolyn assisting no less, but that was followed by a lull in the middle of the book filled with a number of meandering conversations bet
Ivonne Rovira
Mar 28, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: patient souls
The first third of The Burglar Who Counted the Spoons comes packed with so many tangents to the main two story arcs in this newest Bernie Rhodenbarr mystery that I couldn't tell if he was an ADHD writer or I the ADHD reader. I kept getting distracted and annoyed. Lawrence Block maunders off to mull over the unpredictability of life, the ephemeral state of restaurants in New York City, the difficulties of mom-and-pop bookshops in the age of Amazon, the relative merits of F. Scott Fitzgerald and f ...more
Jan 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Burglar Who Counted the Spoons by Lawrence Block is a Bernie Rhodenbarr mystery published in December 2013.
This was my kindle library book for the month of January. I couldn't believe it when I saw this one was available in the kindle lending library. This is the 11th novel in this offbeat mystery series featuring Bernie Rhonenbarr and his partner in crime Carolyn.
BOSWELL: I added that this person maintained that there was no distinction between virtue and vice.
JOHNSON: Why, Sir, if the fe
Linwood Barclay
Jun 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Although Block's Scudder series is my favourite, maybe because those novels are so much darker, this was a delight to read. I can think of very few writers whose work reads as easily as Block's. A delight. ...more
Mike French
Dec 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It was great to see a new The Burglar Who book after a nine year hiatus. Bernie Rhodenbarr is back!! I really enjoyed the story . From to finish. A must read for all Lawrence Block fans.
Gloria Feit
Nov 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This wonderful new book brings the return of Bernard Grimes (“Bernie,” or just “Bern”) Rhodenbarr, proprietor (with the help of his cat, Raffles) of Barnegat Books, on East 11th Street off Broadway, in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. Bernie also has a “sideline” as a burglar. Or maybe running the bookstore is the sideline. He has also been called a “gentleman burglar . . . a vanishin’ breed.” He himself admits “I’ve been doing this long enough so that it’s a profession.” But there is no doubt he ...more
Daniel Sevitt
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: part-of-a-series
Lightweight fun. Not sure there's anywhere else for Bernie Rhodenbarr to go and even this one feels like it was strictly for fans, but, as a fan, I lapped it up. There's even some nice meta-commentary as perma-sidekick Carolyn notes that there was less burgling and more sleuthing in this one and suggests that Bernie could pursue this instead of being a criminal. He dismisses the idea neatly with a reference to Dan Marlowe's The Name of the Game is Death. Like I said, strictly for fans. ...more
Andrew Smith
Dec 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great to have the light fingered Rhodenbarr back after many years of absence. The witty exchanges between he and his usual cast of sidekicks (Ray 'the best cop money can buy' Kirschmann being my personal favourite) are brilliant and, as usual, Block provides a history lesson prompted by thoughts of an item soon to be in his possession. The story follows the normal pattern replete with and old fashioned whodunit finish. It's all great fun.
Whilst he continues to churn out high quality material li
Fred Forbes
Feb 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Interesting that another review criticizes this book for wandering off with comments about other books and other authors when I find that an appealing part of the series. The gentleman burglar owns a bookstore so his literary bent comes naturally and is part of the charm. I also tend to learn a few things. Frankly, I didn't miss the gratuitous violence and profanity of other current crime novels and enjoyed settling in with a comfortable fast read as a number of my current reads have begun to pl ...more
Nigel Bird
Nov 19, 2013 rated it liked it
Lawrence Block books are always worth reading. He’s a talented guy. One way to evidence that is to point out how he can vary his style depending on his project. He’s got Scudder, all lean and mean PI, he’s got Keller the Hitman, there’s Bernie Rhodenbarr the break-in specialist, he’s got his one off’s and his erotic work and all of those I’ve read have brought me a good deal of pleasure.
The books have slightly different paces to fit the style.
Bernie Rhodenbarr is a slightly gentler character tha
Apr 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
“Every passion is interesting to him who suffers from it. And one sometimes feels impelled to inflict it on others.” That could be the motto of this book. I suspect, that in addition to stamps, of which we learn a great deal in the Keller series, Block is enamored of political buttons and hoards of historical trivia. Did you know that Vermont had been a republic that had issued its own coinage? From 1777 to 1791, it was, when it split off from New York, when the colonies revolted and Vermont dec ...more
Jan 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
As always, reading Lawrence Block is a pleasure for me. I love his sly, wry humor, and I am always sure to have a fun reading experience. As a voracious reader, I really enjoy that our protagonist, Bernie Rhodenbarr is a bookstore owner. The little snippets of knowledge and references to various authors and antiquarian books abound and make this series fun for bookworms to read. Bernie is also a thief with his own code of ethics. He abhors violence and usually the people he steals from can affor ...more
Jan 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
It is impossible for me to be objective when it comes to Bernie Rhodenbarr. I have loved this series for 25 years and was excited to see one more entry. The mystery is fine; if you want an introduction to these characters, I recommend starting the series from the beginning. The way you are supposed to read a series. Beginning to end. Don't @ me. ;) ...more
David Highton
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bernie uses all his skills to acquire some items for a rich sponsor and then uses them to solve a murder. Intermingled with the usual great banter with his friend Carolyn and Ray the NYPD cop. And some opportunities to enhance his sex life.
Jaq Greenspon
Dec 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
There are times during The Burglar Who Counted the Spoons where our protagonist Bernie Rhodenbarr laments that he doesn’t want anything to change. He wants everything to continue on just the way it is. We who love the Burglar books want the same thing. There’s just one problem: things change whether we want them to or not.

And yet… Lawrence Block manages to address both issues at the same time and does it brilliantly. This is the book Block wrote after he decided to retire, so at this point, any
Jun 25, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I expected too much from this book. I was hunting for a crime caper, Lawrence Block was recommended, and of the two Lawrence Block books in the bookstore, this was the one with the best title. "The Burglar Who Counted The Spoons." As far as I was concerned, the title sold it. Perhaps I should have wondered why there were only two books stocked when this is the eleventh in a series.

The title is still the most amusing part of the book for me. Bernie Rhodenbarr just wasn't very interesting. He shou
Sep 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
I've just become a fan of Lawrence Block's irreverent and witty burglar, Bernie Rhodenbarr. A far cry from the Mathew Scudder character by this author, this made for lighthearted and wry, humorous reading. It reminded me of the Dortmunder series by Donald Westlake-- if you enjoy that kind of witty writing, this will please you as well. Block is a gifted writer and I truly enjoyed the structure of this story, with Bernie starting out doing what he does best -- being a skilled burglar. But as we s ...more
Aug 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Book #41 - The Burglar Who Counted The Spoons by Lawrence Block. In addition to some excellent serious crime novels, Block wrote this Bernie Rhodenbarr Mystery comic series that are amusing, with a great cast of characters. Like some of Donald Westlake's books and Lisa Lutz's Spellman books, Block's books in this mystery
series are a lot of fun as it's clever and will have you, the reader, smiling quite a bit.
I could not recall if I'd read this one or not but decided it'd be fun to read either
D. Wickles
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a fun blast from the past. Bernie the burglar delighted me years ago and I'm really glad he's back in new adventures. ...more
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another fantastic story from Lawrence Block.
Aug 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
I always love Bernie and Carolyn and their stories- another comfort read for me.
Apr 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: listened-to
Even though this is #11 in the series, I had never listened to any of Bernie Rhodenbarr mysteries before. However, I knew that Lawrence Block is a great writer. This was fun to listen to, not too complicated that I couldn't follow it while driving in the car. Bernie and his friend, Carolyn are well developed characters that are entertaining even without a plot. ...more
Aug 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So much fun to read. So many humorous asides. I love this series and the friends I've pretended to have reading it.
Perfect pandemic reading for the humor, the cat, the still out-and-about-in-NYC, around the corner from the Strand, with take-out that's notable.
Lawrence Block's author photo on the back cover is worth a face out on the bookshelf, too!
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Lawrence Block has been writing crime, mystery, and suspense fiction for more than half a century. He has published in excess (oh, wretched excess!) of 100 books, and no end of short stories.

Born in Buffalo, N.Y., LB attended Antioch College, but left before completing his studies; school authorities advised him that they felt he’d be happier elsewhere, and he thought this was remarkably perceptiv

Other books in the series

Bernie Rhodenbarr (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Burglars Can't Be Choosers (Bernie Rhodenbarr, #1)
  • The Burglar in the Closet (Bernie Rhodenbarr, #2)
  • The Burglar Who Liked to Quote Kipling (Bernie Rhodenbarr, #3)
  • The Burglar Who Studied Spinoza (Bernie Rhodenbarr, #4)
  • The Burglar Who Painted Like Mondrian (Bernie Rhodenbarr, #5)
  • The Burglar Who Traded Ted Williams (Bernie Rhodenbarr, #6)
  • The Burglar Who Thought He Was Bogart (Bernie Rhodenbarr, #7)
  • The Burglar in the Library (Bernie Rhodenbarr, #8)
  • The Burglar in the Rye (Bernie Rhodenbarr, #9)
  • The Burglar on the Prowl (Bernie Rhodenbarr, #10)

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