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The Burglar in the Rye

(Bernie Rhodenbarr #9)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  2,201 ratings  ·  145 reviews
A new crime novel featuring Bernie Rhodenbarr, bookshop owner and burglar, who cannot help but come to the aid of a favourite author when his agent offers their very private correspondence for public sale. From the author of THE BURGLAR IN THE LIBRARY.
Paperback, 280 pages
Published March 16th 2001 by Oldcastle Books (first published January 1st 1998)
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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 ·  2,201 ratings  ·  145 reviews

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Aug 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018, audio-only
The Bernie Rhodenbarr books are always fun and not too deep. How could I resist a surprisingly honest burglar who has a love of books (and owns a bookshop), lives in New York City, has a lesbian best friend, and solves murders?

This one revolves around the coveted letters of a reclusive author whose iconic book affected Bernie's life, along with generations of others.

This 20 year old book has a funny mix of old days and contemporary esthetics. Grown women are called "girls" or "dames", and one
David Highton
May 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great Bernie book, a complex mix of characters all circling round a portfolio of letters from a famous reclusive author to his long ago agent, who has put them up for auction. Really enjoyed this one, Block is such a good writer.
Lukasz Pruski
Jul 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
"I don't know how the dictionary defines 'anticlimactic.' I suppose I could look it up, but so could you, if you care. I don't, because I know what it is. It's standing in a bathtub, desperate for a pee, after two people in the next room have finished making love."

90% of Lawrence Block's The Burglar in the Rye (1999) is absolutely delightful! I have been oohing and aahing about the cute prose and giggling loud. Already the third paragraph of the novel, still on the first page, made me burst out
Jun 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Bernie Rhodenbarr Mysteries, as readers of my reviews should know by now, is my my go-to series when I'm not in the mood to be disappointed. Sometimes it's right after I've read something truly awful -which, thank goodness, doesn't happen often. Other times, it's exactly the opposite; I've just finished a super book (such as the most recent one I read, Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King) and I don't want to experience a tremendous letdown.

And as usual, author Lawrence Block filled the bill perfect
Mike French
Dec 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very enjoyable and entertaining book in the Bernie Rhodenbarr series.
Jeff Dickison
Nov 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Should also be known as "Bernie meets J.D.". Another good entry into the Rhodenbarr series as Bernie tries to recover some rare letters from an author (guess who) and finds a body. As usual, quite witty with Bernie coming up roses. Recommended. ...more
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite kinds of books has likable characters, a plot that pulls me in and keeps me reading, solid writing, and enough quirkiness or humor to keep me smiling. It's not easy to find a steady supply of these stories, though, so I'm glad that Block wrote about a dozen Bernie Rhodenbarr books. Over the years I've read and reread many of them but somehow I missed this one until now.

Bernie owns a used book store in New York City, and he's a well read, friendly guy. He's kind to strangers, t
Mar 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
In this entry in the Bernie Rhodenbarr series, Bernie breaks into a venerable hotel to retrieve some letters to a privacy obsessed writer obviously based on J.D. Salinger. this leads to the usual misunderstandings and murder.

Pretty good for the most part, although I've read that Salinger was really an unpleasant jerk, rather than the slightly curmudgeonly character shown here. Obviously set in the pre-facebook era.
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another fun murder mystery with Bernie Rhodenbarr stuck in the middle. This one is as twisty as the rest, and still manages to have a red herring or two. Carolyn is his best friend and foil as usual, and Det. Ray Kirschman's mangling of names will truly make you spew your caffeine! The rest of the characters really are that as well. This is a reread for me as I wanted to read them in order for once.
Richard Ferrone did a great interpretation once again.
Chuck Kramer
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A typically well-crafted Block mystery. 2 things stand out. First, Bernie is a great character—a burglar who’s charming, ethical, clever, and kind. A very likeable man. Second, the book is full of literary references and jokes and is gently intellectual in a back-hand manner that adds seasoning to the story to make it more than just another crime novel.
Jun 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
Another delightful read from Block. Rodenbarr finds himself helping an acquaintance and being arrested for a murder he didn't commit. Block's droll digressions, witty wordplay and a wonderful ear for dialogue make this twisted plot even more enjoyable. ...more
Aug 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Another cracker featuring Bernie Rhodenbarr - the usual excellent descriptions and characterisation (including that of the Hotel Paddington, which is a key location).

Smart and funny
Michelle Vincent
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Before I started reading this book, it sounded like there might be some similarities between this berni character and McNally from Lawrence Saunders books.
There are some similarities between the two, but yet they are very different and both very enjoyable to read.
I’m so glad I discovered a new author and character that I enjoyed reading as much as my Lawrence Saunders books.
Since I can no longer get any new books from Lawrence Saunders about my beloved character McNally and can read more of t
Sep 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, kindle
Lawrence Block once again provides a good mystery involving the book world. This time Bernie gets involved with trying to retrieve letters written by an iconic reclusive author to the author's first literary agent, which letters the agent is in the process of submitting to Sotheby's for auction against the author's wishes. The identity of the murderer took me completely by surprise! ...more
Nope, not my favorite character imagined by a favorite author. Done with Bernie after this one though I did think the first entry was better.
Beth Levitt
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Oh Bernie how I’ve missed you! Can’t believe that I didn’t know Block had written more Burglar books but I’m hit in the trail now. This is a wonderful, fun series which always manages to surprise me at the end. High recommended.
Jane Rose
Oct 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
I am a fan of all Lawrence Block’s characters. The ending of this was a little far fetched but the story was entertaining.
Raquel Furtado
Jul 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Raquel by: Antonio Carvalho
Bernie Rhodenbar is a nice and charming new yorker guy, with a common routine. He owns a boookstore, where he works in the company of his Manx cat, Raffles. He has a best friend, with whom he shares lunch everyday and some drinks almost everynight. The only thing that makes Bernie a little bit uncommon is his hobby. He is a burglar. A polite one, a must say. You never risk being burglarized by Bernie and found your house a mess. He is very careful with other people's stuff. He just picks what he ...more
Mar 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery, crime, nyc
#9 in the Bernie Rhodenbarr series. Another in the very enjoyable series about the Greenwich Village bookseller/burglar.

Burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr series - Bookseller/burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr invades the hotel suite of an aged literary agent in search of a cache of letters, by a respected and reclusive writer, that are wanted by people both legitimate and not. Bernie finds a corpse on the other side of the locked door he so neatly opens and is immediately suspected of murder by his nemesis, stic
Jan 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
How can you resist a burglar who is an antiquarian book dealer on the side, or an author who can turn a phrase like "He was a bear, of course, but not the sort whose predilection for sylvan defecation is as proverbial as the Holy Father's Catholicism." Bernie attempts to steal some valuable letters from an old woman's hotel room. He believes her to be sleeping, but she's actually been murdered -- and there he is. The ending is classic, as he pulls together all the people who wanted the letters a ...more
Linda Amos
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A fun romp through the used bookstore world and burglary on the side. The usual characters with a few additions. Bernie is tasked with retrieving letters written by an author whose book changed many lives. He is offered money for these letters from many sources but he doesn't have them. Who is his mysterious customer who helps in the store? Can he avoid a murder charge and stay out of prison?
This series can be read out of order. There are few references to an earlier story.
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read most books in this series many years ago and recall enjoying them much more than the later darker Scudder series that followed. It was a pleasure to again read this book. Witty conversation, a story full of twists and turns, and an almost satisfactory ending. The only flaw, in my view, was the identification of the murderer. How could Bernie figure that out?
Nov 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Larry Block can spin a tale. This one has our favorite burglar who gets in the middle of some missing author’s letters and the various folks who want to get their hands on them for nefarious and marginally respectable reasons.
Lee Hoekje
Jan 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been reading about Bernie For a long time, not sure how long, and every time I think I have read them all happily another shows up.

A burglar who sells second hand books and solves murders. And who always helps others and ends up richer.

What more could you possibly want in a man?
Nov 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Lawrence Block is a masterful mystery writer. The plot twists made it impossible for me to put the book down.
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I got this as a Goodreads deal. It is the first I’ve read this character. What a delight! Bernie is a bookseller and a crook. He has a cat. I have to read this series.
Feb 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good story. I will probably read more of the adventures of Bernie, Bookseller and theif.
Craig Childs
"I've never been able to look at something of great value without trying to figure out a way to rescue it from its rightful owner."

Bernie breaks into a room at the grand old Paddington Hotel hoping to steal the very valuable and very personal correspondence of a famous reclusive novelist. But the papers are gone, the author's agent is dead in her bed, and Bernie can hear several policemen making their way down the hall towards the scene of the crime. So, Bernie lets himself out by the fire escap
Aug 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
I’ve read enough of these to know the well-worn formula by now. Cynical and urbane cat burglar, Bernie, lets himself into an intended mark’s room only to find them dead with him facing murder charges. Every man, woman, and their dog pesters Bernie for the thing he intended to swipe and an elaborate shell game ensues. Along the way, Bernie beds one of the female suspects, trades one-liners with his best friend, Caroline, and quips with corrupt policeman, Ray. Lastly, Bernie gathers all the player ...more
I have been a fan of the Burglar books for a long time, but for some reason had sort of lost track of them a while back. Now I've recently read two in a row, and remember why I like them so much. (I don't think I read these before, but anything I read before Goodreads could be lost in the annals of time and advancing age.) In this one Bernie is trying to help out a reclusive author and as usual, keeps stumbling over bodies in the course of his burglaries. I love the way it ended, although to be ...more
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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 on the Prowl (Bernie Rhodenbarr, #10)
  • The Burglar Who Counted the Spoons (Bernie Rhodenbarr, #11)

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