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The Burglar on the Prowl

(Bernie Rhodenbarr #10)

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3.84  ·  Rating details ·  2,354 ratings  ·  184 reviews
A philosophical yet practical gentleman, Bernie Rhodenbarr possesses many admirable qualities: charm, intelligence, sparkling wit, and unwavering loyalty. Of course, he also has this special talent and a taste for life's finer things. So he's more than willing to perform some vengeful larceny for a friend -- ripping off a smarmy, particularly deserving plastic surgeon -- f ...more
Paperback, 350 pages
Published January 25th 2005 by HarperTorch (first published January 1st 2001)
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Average rating 3.84  · 
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 ·  2,354 ratings  ·  184 reviews


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Barbara
Mar 10, 2020 rated it liked it


In this 10th book in the comical 'Bernie Rhodenbarr' mystery series, the professional thief/amateur sleuth investigates a nefarious scheme. The book can be read as a standalone.

*****

New Yorker Bernie Rhodenbarr has two sources of income - he's a used bookstore owner and a burglar.



Bernie's larcenous proclivities are well known to his friends, who'll sometimes even tag along on a break-in. The cops also know that Bernie's a thief, but - much to their chagrin - they can't quite catch him with the
...more
carol.
Aug 07, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: yuck, mystery
If you are willing to gloss over ethical and character problems in a significant character relationship, it might theoretically be an entertaining read.

Seriously, Block. What's the author of the finely tuned Matt Scudder mysteries thinking? Please tell me this was subbed out to a ghost writer, because your introduction of the Barbara Creely character is awful.

Burglar stared off promising, with a unique voice compared to Block's other works, and with a man who clearly enjoyed his illegal activiti
...more
James Thane
This is the tenth entry in Lawrence Block's series featuring gentleman burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr, and after you've read the first nine, you realize that the formula is very well established and that the tenth book is not going to contain any real surprises. Which is fine, for the most part.

As almost always happens in this series, Bernie will be in the process of burglarizing someone's home or apartment when something unexpected happens, leaving Bernie in serious trouble. Almost always someone wi
...more
Maddy
Jun 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2004-reads
The prolific Lawrence Block is at it again with THE BURGLAR ON THE PROWL, the tenth book in the Bernie Rhodenbarr series. Thankfully, Block never loses his skill at creating an excellent tale featuring the antiquarian book seller cum burglar.

The book opens with a friend of Bernie's, Marty Gilmartin, asking for his help. His mistress has given him up for another, and Marty wants to avenge the act by having Bernie rob the affluent plastic surgeon, Crandall Roundtree Mapes. Since burgling is in Be
...more
Mike French
Dec 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bernie Rhodenbarr strikes again! Very enjoyable and entertaining book from Lawrence Block.
David Highton
Sep 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Another convoluted plot for our bookshop owner and slightly reluctant burglar, as a number of different threads come together, involving date-rape, plastic surgery, Latvian exiles and much more. With a happy ending. For me, not the best of the Bernie books.
Leslie
Dec 06, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, mysteries
I found the entry in the Bernie Rhodenbarr series disappointing. The mystery was convoluted (which isn't necessarily a bad thing) but Bernie's involvement seemed too tangential. Plus, Bernie himself was not his usual charming and fun self...

My Kindle edition had some short pieces by Block about the series and a short story "The Burglar Who Dropped in on Elvis", which was entertaining.
...more
Una Tiers
Jan 05, 2014 rated it it was ok
The dialogue was light and clear. However when I reached the part where the character hid under the bed and let someone get hurt, I stopped reading. Shame on you Lawrence.
Nate Hendrix
May 27, 2022 rated it liked it
I like the characters in this series that the convoluted story in this novel doesn't ruin the book. Not my favorite volume in the series, but I will read the next one. Bernie is breaking into homes and catching murders yet again, but the circumstances are a little hard to believe. ...more
Monnie
Aug 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
You'd think by now I'd be a bit tired of reading the books featuring Manhattan bookstore owner and occasional thief Bernie Rhodenbarr - this is the 10th in the series - especially since the formula doesn't change much. Bernie sets out on a mission to steal, Bernie gets "cornered" while inside, someone gets bumped off and Bernie becomes the suspect, Bernie figures the whole thing out and gathers all the potential culprits together for a "come to Jesus" meeting and everyone lives happily ever afte ...more
Elizabeth (Alaska)
Bernie Rhodenbarr is just too much fun. I suppose, all things being equal, I'm not supposed to like the burglar/criminal. But Bernie? He's such a good-hearted fellow. His burglary business is sort of like a compulsion that he knows he should stop, that it really isn't the way things are supposed to be. He simply can't help himself. He learned at a young age that he has an aptitude for picking locks and, what the heck, why not go with what you're good at?
"A wall safe? I never yet found a really
...more
Daniel Sevitt
Another slice of Rhodenbarr sponge... drizzled with whisky, probably Laphroaig. Formulaic to a fault with even Block signposting his lazy adherence to the cliche:

... what a less original narrator might characterize as that fateful day...


And, yet, not without its charms. Perhaps more than most, this featherlight book is built on silly coincidences, but Block makes them a feature and brazens his way to another satisfying conclusion.
Ron
Feb 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, crime
Bernie is asked to help out a friend get revenge. That simple act lead to Bernie, diving through milk chutes, hiding under a bed, getting shot at and robbed before he manages to acquire a girlfriend, add to his Get Out of Dodge fund, and maybe bring a Russian war criminal to justice while assisting Ray in burnishing his reputation. A fun read!
John Reis
Jun 22, 2022 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
I seem to remember the Bernie Rhodenbarr books being 250-300 pages each or so. This is 350 pages. Is that absolutely necessary, Lawrence?

Anyway, on with the summary and review. Bernie Rhodenbarr is asked by his friend Marty, the baseball card collector from a previous novel, to rob a fellow named Mapes, because Mapes has stolen his girlfriend.

So as not to put Mapes onto Marty once he has been robbed, Bernie decides to commit a robbery in the same neighborhood a few days earlier.

He is in the proc
...more
Ichiban186
Mar 14, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
This is my first read from this author. No way would I read anymore past the rape and the absurd discussion with by the robber and his friends about his robbery gone awry. Appalling!
I WILL NEVER READ ANOTHER ONE OF HIS BOOKS,.
The protagonist burglar, who has robbed the victim’s apartment, stays under the bed while the roofied woman gets raped??? WTF ? After the rapist leaves, then he “straightens up her apartment” cause he “feels bad” that she was raped, and the rapist stole money out of her wal
...more
Daniel
Jan 20, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Disclosure: I quit reading at the 65% mark.

Now in order to review it I'm going to need to borrow this doll:

Bad Touch

But first I want to say a little about how I came to be in the situation where this book was able to give me the "bad touch". When I was a kid I found Lawrence Block's Burglar series at the library and loved it. I enjoyed them immensely and wished there were more of them. So recently when I learned LB was issuing some old stuff including some Burglar short stories as ebooks I snagged a few
...more
Claire Grasse
May 14, 2009 rated it liked it
Bernie Rhodenbarr is a burglar who only targets the wealthy, and who generally only steals valuable objets d'art, or very rare collectibles, mostly from undeserving jerks, which I guess is supposed to make it OK. Most of the "Burglar" books contain some kind of Sexcapade or other, and as Bernie's best friend is a lesbian, her romantic ventures must usually creep into the plot line somewhere. I could personally do without all of that, but I do have to tip my hat to the author for at least skimmin ...more
Ed
It's been quite a while since I've read a Bernie Rhodenbarr story. Somehow, I missed this one 12 years ago. Whatever, it's a good one.

In this volume, Bernie, the lifelong career burglar, takes on an assignment to clean out the safe of Crawford Mapes, a dodgy Plastic Surgeon, who had stolen the girl friend of Bernie's pal, Maury Gilmartin. Bernie, though, gets antsy before carrying out the intended job and goes on the "prowl", hence the title of the book. Prowling, as Bernie realizes, is dumb as
...more
Julie Ditton
May 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-cozy, block
This disappointing book was not as entertaining as most of the series. The subplots of Latvian persecution and ruphenol date rape are a dark undercurrent to the usual crazy capers. When the witty banter is missing.
Diane
Dec 22, 2012 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mary
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My second time through this book. I collect Lawrence Block who always entertains with personable characters and plot twists that are unexpected but fun. So I decided to line up my "Burglar Who" series and read from oldest (copyright date) to newest. This is the newest in my collection, copyrighted in 2004.

This is probably the twistiest book in the series. It shows a Bernie that, although he really would like to reform giving in to his burgling urges, just cannot. After going through the entire s
...more
Dave
May 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lawrence-block
In a hilariously funny tale of the most striking coincidences, Bernie finds himself trapped under a homeowner's bed when she returns home from a date with her date, finds himself accused of a burglary and multiple murder he didn't do, and rushes out of his bookstore to see a customer gunned down. Much of the book is dialogue and witty thoughts. It is intentionally funnier and lighter than the Matthew Scudder series, but it is not difficult to see the connections between the two series. Both take ...more
Jamaiquina (Tamara)
Apr 25, 2022 rated it did not like it
I’m generally a star it and leave it rater, but I feel compelled say something about this. I would give it zero stars if that were an option. I read all the previous titles in the series and enjoyed them immensely. But this book disgusted me. I can’t understand what purpose it served in the story to have Rhodenbarr hiding under the bed and listening while the woman whose home he violated is raped. And then Block has this coward and his pal pat him on the back for cleaning up the mess the rapist ...more
Donna
Mar 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-suspense
I spent some time finding the right audio edition to recommend: the unabridged version recorded by BBC's Audiobooks America in 2004. The reader, Nick Sullivan, has the vocal flexibility and impeccable timing to make the most of the subtle word usage and hilarious dialogue typical of the Bernie Rhodenbarr series.

Lawrence Block is a prolific author, and those familiar with only his very popular Matthew Scudder books should be happy to know that, in the Bernie Rhodenbarr series, he's as skillful wi
...more
Susie Hulstine
Jan 11, 2014 rated it did not like it
Block is a great writer and this book has many of the good qualities of the rest if this series, however it was much darker. Bernie hides under a bed while a woman is date raped, which as a woman I found very disturbing. Also, this book had much more profanity than the other burglar books I've read. Later in the book, the woman who was raped lets loose a long string of nauseating expletives that could make a sailor blush. The plot was also more confusing. I finished it, but really didn't like it ...more
Elizabeth
Mar 22, 2008 rated it it was ok
This was a fun book, and I would definitely read others from the Burglar series, next time I'm looking for a light mystery (that also provides tips on breaking and entering -- always a plus). I might have bumped this up to three stars if there hadn't been one incident in the story that icked me out a little. I'm still thinking about why it bothered me -- is it because the author treated the incident too lightly, or because it bothered me that a character I wanted to like lacked chivalry and ball ...more
Glen
May 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, cozies
Bernie Rhodenbarr is at loose ends. He recently broke up with his girlfriend, and things just aren't going right with his life, so he goes on the prowl.

Randomly breaking into an apartment, he witnesses a date rape. Then, of course, there's a murder in the neighborhood, and good ole Ray wants to finger Bernie.

So once again, Bernie goes into the breach, burgling and detecting, finding an age old revenge plot, a crime doctor, and assorted other threads before he gets to the solution.

Good stuff, lik
...more
Brian Layman
Apr 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2009
Lawrence Block is VERY good at making you like people on the other side of the law. My favorite of all of his characters is Bernie Rhodenbarr. This, his tenth book of the series, is his best Bernie book to date. Aside from admiring Bernie's impeccable style and somewhat peccalbe class, I almost always learn something culturally from these books. This book, while a tribute to coincidences, is no exception...

I can't wait for book 11...
...more
Eric_W
The “Burglar” series books are always charming and this one is no exception. Bernie is on the prowl for a score but is soon (as usual) enmeshed in a murder that brings new meaning to the word “complicated.” The plot is intricate and the “long arm of coincidence” sets off his internal alarms and you might think it overreaches, but these books are read for the style and dialogues. In classic style, Bernie gets everyone together for the final denouement.

Lots of fun.
James Holden
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is my first Bernie Rhodenbarr novel. One would think that starting a series at book #10 might be confusing...it wasn't. Upon starting reading I had a sense that I was reading Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. Witty and a taste of old English. Little did I know that it was contemporary and based in New York City. Bernie is a thief. A rather honest and sentimental burglar. How can we enjoy the persona of a thief? Well we can. I highly recommend The Burglar and Block. ...more
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2,598 followers
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
...more

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 Who Counted the Spoons (Bernie Rhodenbarr, #11)

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