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Booked Twice: Booked to Die and The Bookman's Wake (Cliff Janeway #1)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  6,017 Ratings  ·  555 Reviews
Together for the first time in a single volume -- the two critically acclaimed Bookman crime novels that helped inspire America's passion for modern first-edition book collecting and that belong on every bookshelf.
Includes "The Book Collector," advice and special tips from John Dunning on collecting rare books.

Denver cop Cliff Janeway probably knows as
Hardcover, 704 pages
Published February 21st 2004 by Scribner (first published 1992)
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Dec 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who enjoy fine mysteries and fine books
Recommended to Lawyer by: From the Library of Lynda, Bookwoman.
Booked to Die: The Stuff that People Kill For

Ah. I've finished a fine Boxing Day read of Booked To Die, the first Cliff Janeway novel by John Dunning. I should rate it Five Gold Rings and wish for eleven more days of Christmas filled with Janeways hung on the tree.

If you're the fan of a good mystery, have suffered the hot flashes and chills of book fever over a rare and beautiful book, you may find this novel fills a sweet spot on your library shelf. It has earned a spot on my favorites shelf.

Book Row, Denver
Whoever would have thought that buying and selling books could be so dangerous?

This book is about books. Good old fashioned books, and it is written in a good old fashioned style. The hero is a disgraced cop turned bookman, who likes being a bookman when he is a cop, and acts like a cop when he is a bookman. He breaks every rule in the book, but all the better for entertaining us, the avid readers. Of course there is a lovely lady to distract Cliff Janeway as he works at his two
Jul 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013

This is the story of a dead man, how he got that way, and what happened to some other people because of his death.
He was a gentle man, quiet, a human mystery.
He had no relatives, no next of kin to notify. He had no close friends, but no enemies either.
His cats would miss him.
No one could think of a reason why anyone would kill Bobby. Who would murder a harmless man like that?
I’ll tell you why. Then I’ll tell you who.

John Dunning qualifies as a Goodreads discovery, as I never heard of him befor
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 thoro ...more
I came across this book as part of an assignment for my "Rare Books and Special Collections Librarianship" class. The idea was that we should just read something that would give us an idea of the 'tone' of the field--we could read anything that had to do with special collections, rare books, or the antiquarian book trade. Nonfiction, memoir, and...bibliomystery were suggested genres that we could look into when making our selection.

Bibliomystery, you say? Awesome.

A fast-paced and entirely pleasu
Sep 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quotes from the opening pages:

"Bobby the Bookscout was killed at midnight ...

"You should know something about bookscouts and the world they go around in. This is an age when almost everyone scouts for books. Doctors and lawyers with six-figure incomes prowl the thrift stores and garage sales, hoping to pick up a treasure for pennies on the dollar. But the real bookscout, the pro, has changed very little in the last thirty years. He's a guy who can't make it in the real world. He operates out of
One day, I went to the Rocky Mountain Book and Paper Fair. One day, many years ago, I wandered around the booths of rare books. Snotty, they were all snotty. I am referring to the bookmen and bookwomen, but perhaps all those pristine first editions were a bit snotty, too.

Suddenly, the room came to life! John Dunning was in the house! It was as if the pope had come into the merchandise mart. People there were star struck, in awe of his presence.

And then a very bored looking man with nary a smile
João Carlos

Booked To Die: A Mystery Introducing Cliff Janeway - 1st Edition/1st Printing
John Dunning
Price: $800.00

O escritor norte-americano John Dunnig (n. 1942) escreve “Marcado Para Morrer” (Editorial Estampa) em 1992, no original “Booked to Die”, primeiro livro de uma série com Cliff Janeway, um detective da polícia de Denver e bibliófilo, um verdadeiro coleccionador de livros raros, primeiras edições, assinadas pelos autores, em óptimo estado de conservação, ”O meu apartamento parecia uma secção da Bi
Jun 04, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-the-shelf
I've always wondered whether authors ever get "competitive" to the point of being catty. This book might have answered that question but it's kind of funny in a way that I expected it from a female author and obviously John isn't a woman's name. Okay, I'm stereotyping but ... work with me here, k?

I picked this book up partly because it's a mystery crime, partly because it's cheap (think I got it for 30php on a second-hand book shop) and partly (but also mostly) because it's a book about books (a
Oct 16, 2012 marked it as abandoned  ·  review of another edition
Putting this on my "read" shelf is a misnomer because I only listened to 2 of the 12 hours of audio before giving up. I thought this series would be a perfect fit because it's a mystery series with a theme of book buying/selling/dealing and it takes place in Denver, a favorite city. The protagonist, Cliff Janeway, is a homicide cop with a penchant for collecting books. TMI! Too much of the book was spent explaining and standing on a soap-box about book collecting. There was even a line in here w ...more
Pamela Mclaren
Dec 19, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
Denver homicide detective Cliff Janeway lets his personal feelings drive him and it costs him his job. But his passion also helps him create a new career: that of a rare book dealer. And because he's like a bulldog, he can't stop thinking of the case he was working on when he spiraled out of the force. He continues to follow and get involved in the case that seemingly is leading him deeper into the quagmire.

I don't like Cliff Janeway as a character -- I think he is a bit cold, a bit sadistic and
Nov 24, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Librarians and used bookstore employees who like a good mystery.
Recommended to Jennifer by: Ted
Shelves: 2002, mystery
I read this book just as I started working in a bookstore that buys used books - and it was one of those books that syncs up with your life and you have to appreciate it. I loved that the thoughts of the author on used books and rare first editions (etc..) were the same things that were being taught to me out on the sales floor. Sadly there was no exciting murder mystery at my job so I had to rely on Cliff Janeway's excitement when the day was done.
So, apparently I read this in 2010 but don't recall it except that Rita's character seemed really familiar. This is a solid whodunit and a fun peek back at old Denver when you could buy a house in Congress Park for $50,000.
Kasa Cotugno
I read this when it first came out and loved it.
Jonathan Dunsky
Cliff Janeway is a Denver homicide police detective who is also a book collector. He's tough, strong, and has a firm sense of justice and the willingness to not play by the rules in order to see it done.

When a book scout called Bobby is found dead in an alley, Janeway notices that the murder is similar to a string of other homicides that have plagued Denver over the previous few years. Janeway knows who committed those murders. It was a lowlife thug called Jackie Newton whom Janeway has been try
"Booked to Die" by John Dunning.

I had read several of Dunning's books in the Cliff Janeway series before reading this first in the series.

This story introduces us to Cliff Janeway. A police detective with a determination to find the sort out all reasons that lead to the one and only answer. Janeway, Dr. J., worked with Hennessey another detective in the dept. They go back a long way and had each others back, but often Janeway pushed it a little too far for Hennessey. Hennessey tried t
Mar 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Books, crime, sleuthing, and more books. I couldn't imagine better ingredients for a great book. I never realized the value books could have beyond the enjoyment I get from reading them.

Looking forward to what's to come in this series.
Anne, Unfinished Woman
The subject of bookselling, bookcollecting, rare books and suspense make this the ultimate reading experience for me. The start of a wonderful series starring Cliff Janeway. I am only sorry that he no longer adds to these books.
Jun 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery-thriller
This collection of John Dunning's superb mystery series about a retired Denver Police Detective who goes into the rare book trade is a lot of fun. Start with both books and see if you're not hooked.
A fantastic mystery...only a small number in its first printing (if you find a first edition hang on to it...worth a pile of money). This book is for anyone who adores books with their mystery.
What voracious reader doesn't enjoy a book about books? This book is an interesting inside-look at 'Book Hounds' and the used-book business.
Danica Rice
Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition I was NOT expecting that ending.
Cheryl Sinclair
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great story, very informative on book worth. It made me check out my books, and to my chagrin I realized my first edition of 'The Princess Bride" had a blind stamp and is only a book club book! And I gave away Stephen King's "Misery" that might have been worth something. Oh well...
John Dunbar
Apr 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not bad! gotta read all the rest of them now!
Apr 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Booked to Die is a quadruple threat, getting all of the basic elements of a mystery novel- character, setting, plotting and writing - just right. I especially enjoyed the introduction to the bygone (although contemporary when the novel was written) world of pre-internet book selling and hunting. John Dunning's prose is the literary equivalent of a La-Z-Boy chair; you just sink into it and the rest of the world disappears. I need to continue on in this series (just like countless others).
Phyllis Bismanovsky
Loved it! Want to read more. Det. character well developed. Did not see the ending coming.
Alli Pescosoido
Mar 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I go into an independent bookstore, one of the genres I look for is books about bookstores. I thought I'd read most of them. This one I found at The Book Loft in Solvang, CA.
Twas a fun read, a much needed escape from the real life political mayhem that is going on in our country. Felt like reading an episode of Law and Order, entertaining whodunit, light, nothing earth shattering. It introduced me to the used book world of 1992, which has probably changed very much, mostly because of the i
Jul 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cliff Janeway is a rough and tough cop with his own set of morals that blend with his heart and sense of right and wrong. He's likeable, witty, edgy, and more than ready to take risks no matter what direction they may take him. And best of all...this book is about books! So no wonder I very much enjoyed Dunning's first book in his Cliff Janeway series. "Booked to Die" is one of those books that reads like a flows naturally through both plot and dialogue. This is one of those mysteries ...more
Apr 18, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery lovers
Shelves: own-it
When I started this, I wasn't sure if I'd read it before. It was vaguely familiar, but I thought that may have been due to having heard about it. The whole first half of the book, I was convinced I hadn't read it - the characters and situations just didn't seem familiar. But then we reached the part where the old man dies and leaves hundreds of books, the value and ownership of which is in dispute. Aha! BOOKS I remembered! But not the people! Hmmm, what does that say about me? ;-) Anyway, it was ...more
Aug 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Booked to Die is John Dunning’s 5th fiction novel and the first in the Cliff Janeway series. As unlikely as it seems that a crime fiction novel about second hand books could be very exciting, this is a page-turner. At the start of this book, Clifford Janeway is a homicide detective with the Denver Police Department. When Bobby Westfall, a local penniless bookscout and cat lover, is found murdered in an alley, Janeway is convinced it is the work Jackie Newton, a local petty criminal with money an ...more
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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 t
More about John Dunning

Other books in the series

Cliff Janeway (5 books)
  • The Bookman's Wake (Cliff Janeway, #2)
  • The Bookman's Promise (Cliff Janeway, #3)
  • The Sign of the Book (Cliff Janeway, #4)
  • The Bookwoman's Last Fling (Cliff Janeway, #5)

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“Carol would not be a bad one to [settle down] with. She's pretty and bright, and maybe this is what love is. She's good company: her interests broaden almost every day. She reads three books to my one, and I read a lot. We talk far into the night. She still doesn't understand the first edition game: Hemingway, she says, reads just as well in a two-bit paperback as he does in a $500 first printing. I can still hear myself lecturing her the first time she said that. Only a fool would read a first edition. Simply having such a book makes life in general and Hemingway in particular go better when you do break out the reading copies. I listened to myself and thought, This woman must think I'm a government-inspected horse's ass. Then I showed her my Faulkners, one with a signature, and I saw her shiver with an almost sexual pleasure as she touched the paper where he signed. Faulkner was her most recent god[.]” 7 likes
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