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The Bookman's Wake (Cliff Janeway #2)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  3,435 Ratings  ·  251 Reviews
The sequel to the popular Booked to Die. Cliff Janeway, Denver cop-turned-book-dealer, finds himself chasing down a charming young fugitive named Eleanor Rigby, who has stolen a rare copy of Poe's "The Raven" for reasons of her own. Trouble follows, and Eleanor disappears into a city filled with people who want the book, and don't care what they have to do to get it. Stuff ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published 1996 by Time Warner (first published 1992)
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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 possessi
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 own
Leonard Mokos
Jul 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Tosha Sisler
Apr 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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 for
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
Aug 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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 fugi
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!!
Alyce Rocco
Nov 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
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 book
Nov 17, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
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 almo
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 w
Apr 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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..
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.
Mar 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
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 wel ...more
Nov 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Bookman’s Wake is the second in John Dunning’s Cliff Janeway series. Cliff is approached by a former colleague from the Denver PD to bring back a skip from Seattle. The only reason he agrees is that he’ll be paid $5000 and there’s a book angle: the skip, Eleanor Rigby, has stolen a rare edition of Poe’s The Raven, published by the famous and now deceased Darryl Grayson. Of course, nothing is as it seems: Eleanor is being stalked by a dark figure and Cliff soon realises he is really meant to ...more
Aug 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The second in the Cliff Janeway series. I really enjoy this character and this time most of the story took place in Seattle, far from his home in Denver. I had actually forgotten about his cop background and inclinations until the first confrontation in the story and he was not only capable, but turned aggressor as he judged the situation. The level of detail about small, exclusive Grayson Press was almost too much, but it was probably necessary to convey the absolute obsession of the people inv ...more
Katherine Coble
2.75 stars
This book suffers from Moby Dick syndrome. The thriller plot is buried under exhaustive and eventually repetitive arcane details about books and book collecting. I love reading, I love stories but I'm very uncomfortable with the idolatry of the physical book. The world of bookscouts and collectors is of passable interest but there are so many pages dedicated to it that after bit you kind of start to glaze over. Occasionally the story will pop up again but you will be so inundated with
Apr 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a very good read. Cliff Janeway is an ex-cop turned bookseller. He collects first edition books and if you are interested in books and collecting, this is a mystery for you. Cliff is hired to bring a girl who skipped bail in New Mexico. She is accused of stealing a rare printing of Poe's The Raven. He travels from his home in Denver to Seattle to find the girl. What he stumbles upon is a decades old twisting and turning tale about an eccentric book printer and his brother who died 20 yea ...more
An ex-state cop in Denver Cliff Janeway owned a small room in the used-and-rare bookstore cataloguing books, and collecting priceless book edition. When an ex-police showed up, and bait him to go after a criminal, whom wanted for burglary, aggression, and more than likely a heist of a priceless edition of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven".

The accused turn-out to be a young woman Eleanor Rigby. Janeway was captivated by this woman, especially the dangerous history of the limited volume. She was follo
Stephanie Jane
May 10, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction-crime
Not the standard plot for a detective novel but the sprawling storyline made it difficult to remember who everyone was and why or whether they mattered. From the synopsis on the back, I was expecting more of a literary novel. However, it's only the subject that leans towards literature, the writing itself is standard for the mystery genre, complete with some pretty gung ho dialogue at times. While Dunning spends a long time building up his plotlines at the expense of rounded characters and, alth ...more
Nov 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
The sequel to the popular Booked to Die. Cliff Janeway, Denver cop-turned-book-dealer, finds himself chasing down a charming young fugitive named Eleanor Rigby, who has stolen a rare copy of Poe's "The Raven" for reasons of her own. Trouble follows, and Eleanor disappears into a city filled with people who want the book, and don't care what they have to do to get it. Stuffed with fascinating book lore, this mystery is a bibliophile's dream.
Aug 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
I don't read many mysteries but this one was very enjoyable. At times fun, other times dramatic, and always intriguing. It kept me guessing and wanting to keep reading. Janeway is a good lead character, I'm interested in reading Dunning's other novel featuring him now. Especially a great book for anyone interested in book collecting.
Mar 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Many references to many books. Our bookseller, who was a former cop, takes us on a trek of mystery, adventure, and intrigue. LOVELY!
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it

If you love books or you love mysteries you will thoroughly enjoy this book.

Nuanced look at the rare book collecting world. Twisty but believable plot.

The protagonist comes off a bit "noir-oldschool-private detective" at times, but it didn't detract from the story.

Tied with the St. Cyr series as my favorite mysteries.
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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)
  • 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.” 17 likes
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