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The Burglar Who Studied Spinoza (Bernie Rhodenbarr #4)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  2,232 Ratings  ·  124 Reviews
In this long out-of-print installment in Lawrence Block's bestselling Burglar series, Bernie Rhodenbarr -- gentleman, bookseller, and stylish thief -- discovers some deadly competition in his risky profession.When Bernie and his best friend Carolyn plan to loot a wealthy West Side Brownstone, they find that a burglary has already been committed, but decide to take some lef ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published December 1st 1998 by Signet (first published 1980)
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João Carlos

Lawrence Block (n. 1938)

O policial “O Ladrão que Estudava Espinosa” foi originalmente publicado em 1980, quarto livro de uma série protagonizada por Bernard Rhodenbarr, numa lindíssima edição portuguesa da Livros Cotovia intitulada Colecção Gato Preto.
O norte-americano Lawrence Block (n. 1938) é um dos melhores escritores do género “policial”, possuindo “uma notável capacidade de criar tramas que são verdadeiros quebra-cabeças e de deixar o leitor feliz e satisfeito por não os conseguir resolver
Márcia Balsas
Sep 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Os policiais são, quanto a mim, livros de eleição para descomprimir. Como intervalos de leituras mais exigentes (não que estes não o sejam), ou simplesmente porque sim. Adaptam-se sempre a qualquer circunstância. Não leio tantos como gostava, mas é um género que me interessa pois, mesmo a relaxar, mantém a cabeça em ebulição.
O que ainda não me tinha acontecido era ler um policial tão bem escrito como este. Literariamente falando. Tenho este tipo de livros como lineares ao nível da escrita, que p
Apr 11, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery
This is the first book i have read in this series and it was a very good place to start. Bernie Rhodenbarr is such a witty,fun character to read about. His POV makes so much sense that i got past easily the fact he is burglar who likes to rob people. I expected this story to be more of heist story but it was fun combo of murder mustery and heist story. Its was so funny to read a burglar who enjoys his craft,takes pride in his skill and at the same time trying to act like an amateur ddetective an ...more
Nov 26, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-detective
So I just picked up all the Burglar Books the 2nd hand bookshop in Fredericton had, which was the first and two other random members of the series. Circumstances have changed a bit between the first book and this; the supporting cast is completely different apart from Ray the corrupt cop, Bernie runs a 2nd hand bookshop of his own (a money-losing business) and seems to be less sexist. On the other hand he still burgles and still ends up having to solve a murder...

Bernie's adventures are still am
Mike French
Sep 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Review to follow
Nov 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: whodunnit, funny
Bernie Rhodenbarr, Gentleman Thief, now with extra added lesbian dwarf henchperson.

If you're an old hand with the Burglar series from Lawrence Block you know the drill; Bernie commits a crime, somehow gets framed for murder and then needs to get himself out of a jam by doing the cops work for them whilst cracking wise. It's his lesbian dwarf henchperson that gets him fingered this time and it's a close friend who is the unfortunate corpse, it's fair to say Bernie has had better weeks, but that d
Richard White
Dec 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2016
They just keep getting better.
Noah Goats
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another entertaining entry in the Burglar series. It's hard to believe that the very dark and violent (and very good) Matthew Scudder novels are written by the same Lawrence Block. This series is so light and fun. Bernie is a great character, a wisecracking burglar and book enthusiast who it is a pleasure to spend time with.
Jun 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Fun little murder mystery with the witty cat burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr as the sleuth. This one featured murder over a rare coin.
Jun 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm on Bernie Binge. I discovered this series from one of the cheap Nook sites, and have been hooked for a couple of months as I hunt down the others. This one was one of my favorites; I loved the characters and the situation
Andy Plonka
Mar 31, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: src
An amusing, clever crime vintage Block.
Jun 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Following the general formula the semi-retired burglar steps across the threshold of someone else's abode only to be sought after for murder. Not that the "semi-retired" part applies to any of the books. Every vignette of Bernie's life that we are privy to has him performing multiple B&Es. One out of avarice and the rest to save his skin or personal liberty by solving the aforementioned lethal crime.

Sounds boringly formulaic does it not? What saves these books is the dies plots that decorate
Andrew Garvey
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Sharply written, intricately plotted, lightly literary crime fiction that manages to make it's central character Bernie Rhodenbarr (burglar-turned-bookseller-turned-occasional-burglar) a compelling, amusing and mostly likable protagonist, I enjoyed this much more than I expected.

Bernie's plan to sneak into the home of a wealthy man and his too-talkative wife while he's out of town, steal some stuff and flog it to his fence/friend Abel Crowe goes badly wrong when people start dying and the police
Stewart Tame
Jun 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Bernie Rhodenbarr owns a used bookstore, but that's just his day job. He's also an accomplished burglar. He and his partner, Carolyn, get wind of what seems like an easy job: a posh apartment with a wall safe and the owners guaranteed to be out of town for the night. Upon entering the building, they discover that the place has already been ransacked. But the wall safe hasn't been opened. Bernie makes short work of the safe, and they make off with the contents, among them a fantastically rare and ...more
Jan 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is something like the fourth in the series featuring bookstore owner and lock-picking burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr (I'm not sure how many there are in total, but I know it's at least 10). I do know every one I've read so far has been quite entertaining.

Honestly, the plots are pretty much same old, same old: Bernie pulls off a successful heist; someone connected to that heist gets murdered; Bernie gets blamed and has to track down the real killer if he wants to avoid jail time. For that reason,
David Caldwell
Dec 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humorous, mystery, series
Bernie is a bookseller and a burglar.His best friend,Carolyn, is a dog groomer and his part-time henchman.When Carolyn learns of a rich couple who will be gone overnight, they decide to pay the house a visit.But when they get there, they discover thieves have already been there.Luckily the thieves had not been able to get into the safe.So Bernie and Carolyn manage to still get away with some jewelry and a 1913 V nickel.Their next stop is to visit their friend Abel, who is also a fence.This is wh ...more
Rob Kitchin
Jul 14, 2012 rated it liked it
Block writes in a confident, easy style. The premise is interesting in that Rhodenbarr doesn’t consider himself a ‘real’ criminal, but something of an honest rogue who has standards and ethics, and he invites the reader to identify with him and imagine playing a similar role. The story is well structured and paced, but it feels formulaic and writing by numbers. As such, I found it a little tired, with the story lacking bite; it all feels a little comfortable and cozy with no edge or tension. Whi ...more
Bernie Rhodenbarr does it again. He and Carolyn become the second thief and he gets blamed for the burglary as well as a murder. They take the loot to a fence he knows well,and then that man gets murdered. While Bernie works to find out who did the murders, we get a nice lesson in numismatics. The solution is presented with a flourish, as usual.
Richard Ferrone is the narrator and is fantastic.
Dec 03, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I really like this series! The books are pretty light, fun to read and the main character, Bernie, is very clever. I like the idea of Bernie the burglar being a "good guy" and solving crime, although he's usually only solving it to save his own neck. Sometimes it's a little predictable, but maybe that's because I read a lot of mystery. The endings always crack me up though because Bernie puts on this big show where he gathers all the suspects together and unveils the murderer like he's Hercule P ...more
Feb 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
A fairly good mystery with an unusual premise.

Bernie and Carolyn break into a brownstone, only to find it already burgled. There's some choice items left over, so they make do with the rest, including a very rare coin that Bernie tries to fence with his old reliable guy.

Of course, there's a murder, and Bernie is a suspect because Carolyn stupidly left a glove at the scene. The fence is murdered, too, putting him in even more jeopardy.

Bernie solves everything, even though it's a pretty complica
Jul 08, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a delightful read. I am always interested in seeing the world from another's perspective. In this book I experienced the life of a "sophisticated" burglar. He does not vandalize, hurt anyone or take everyday silver and fur. He selects coins stamps and other rarities only and ensure that the place is in pristine condition when he leaves. A burglar with a conscience that studies philosophy. Strange but refreshingly different!
Feb 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Another terrific entry in Block’s burglar series, with a few surprises from the familiar formula that’s been used in the earlier books in the series. Bernie is most like a private investigator while still using his brain and burglar skills to solve a series of murders. Some favorite moments include the romantic twist at the end, I didn’t see that coming, the first killer, I knew that from the start, and finally the second killer that one was a surprise.
As usual, Bernie knocks off a few choice one-liners here - his comment about a shoplifter being appropriately punished if she actually reads the book she boosted is priceless. The main mystery's a bit too easy to unwind, but the B-plot holds a couple of surprises.
Nov 11, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, mystery
Always a good time. Bernie and Keller (one of Block's other creations) are the perfect travel reads or light books among heavier ones.
Feb 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
I enjoy the Bernie Rhondenbarr series. It's a great mix of humor, suspense and mystery. Bernie always has a rabbit or two to pull out of his hat and this one is no exception.
Joy  Cagil
Feb 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery

This mystery story centers around the gentleman thief Bernie Rhodenbarr who is skilled in opening locks and safes; however, he has a legitimate business as a front, a bookstore that deals in rare and secondhand books. His mate in crime and apprentice is Carolyn Kaiser who runs a dog-grooming shop. At the beginning of the story. these two steal a valuable coin, which opens a can of worms for Bernie. The plot is built upon a formula which works very well, and although I don’t like formulas, I enjo
May 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lawrence-block

Bernie Rhodenbarr runs an antiquarian bookstore in new york city. Caroline runs a doggie bathing business a few doors down. They frequently meet for lunch and dinner and see each other several times
a week. They also burglarize fine homes together and Bernie, among his other talents, is a first class burglar and safecracker. This time, they burgle a place that Caroline heard was going to be vacant
overnight. Once they break in, they realize someone got there first and already ransacked the place
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
O nosso protagonista é Bernie Rhodenbarr, dono de uma livraria de livros em segunda mão mas também ladrão. Juntamente com a sua cúmplice Carolyn vão assaltar uma casa luxuosa mas, à chegada, percebem que são já os segundos assaltantes mas o talento de Bernie permite-lhe abrir o cofre e levar os poucos artigos, entre os quais, uma rara moeda de 5 centavos.
Depois do roubo ocorrem dois assassinatos, e a polícia desconfia de Bernie. Assim, o nosso ladrão vê-se na necessidade de investigar os casos p
Gavin Clark
Feb 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Lawrence Block has written a lot of books, and on this evidence he's good at it. This is like an episode of your favourite offbeat mystery series. The hero and narrator, on the wrong side of the law, solves the crime while trying not to get arrested himself. All written in an engaging, world weary, wisecracking style. What's not to like.
Chad Malone
May 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was very interesting about a burglar i would consider him the anti hero of this story who gets involved in murder as well as theft of course; there many twists and turns in this amazing story about this burglar/bookseller/amateur sleuth. The first book in this series i have read and would most likely read more of them in the future. Truly a great book to read.
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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
More about Lawrence Block

Other Books in the Series

Bernie Rhodenbarr (1 - 10 of 11 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 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)
  • The Burglar Who Counted the Spoons (Bernie Rhodenbarr, #11)

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