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The Sign Of The Book

(Cliff Janeway #4)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  2,296 ratings  ·  241 reviews
From New York Times bestselling author John Dunning comes a riveting new Cliff Janeway Bookman novel, combining captivating book lore with page-turning suspense.
Denver bookman and ex-cop Cliff Janeway is enjoying the good life, buying and selling the books he adores as he ekes out a living in his store on seedy East Colfax. And it doesn't hurt that superstar lawyer Erin
Kindle Edition, 544 pages
Published March 5th 2005 by Scribner
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3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,296 ratings  ·  241 reviews

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Algernon (Darth Anyan)
May 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018

Paradise is a tiny, out-of-the-way county, in the mountains just west of the Continental Divide. This is almost as remote as a traveler can safely go without backpack and mules. You don't just stumble into Paradise: you go there only with a purpose.

What lures Cliff Janeway to Paradise is a combination of the two ingredients that makes this series so special for me: a hardboiled criminal investigation and a very rare and special book collection. Janeway is a former tough as nails Denver cop who
Full disclosure: I bought John Dunning's The Sign of the Book as an audio book on CD specifically so I would have an author I'd read and enjoyed before available the next time I needed/wanted to make a road trip up north to see my parents. That happened in early March and I popped the first CD in and headed to Wabash. Everything was fine until I got to the third disc (on the way back home, actually) and George Guidall (our reader) gave us a more in-depth introduction to Deputy Walsh, who is a WA ...more
Kasa Cotugno
Cliff Janeway, John Dunning's ex-cop bookstore owner, works on yet another murder that utilizes his knowledge of what makes a book valuable, in this case, signed books. As with Dick Francis, Dunning has crafted mysteries around a subject not usually associated with crime, imparting much information about his chosen subject. It's been a while since I read the first three in the Janeway series, but it was a pleasure to rediscover him.
Valentina "TinchyB"
I really needed little break from all those romance novels I've been reading in the past few months.
So,when I took this one,I just knew it that I wouldn't be disappointed!
I really love all Cliff Janeway books so this one wasn't exception!
Big 5 stars!
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
Wendy Hearder-moan
A mystery novel by an author who is also a book dealer, a protagonist who is an ex-cop with expertise in rare books, a murder victim who is a bibliophile and whose library may or may not contain valuable autographed copies, some unsavory characters dealing in books with forged signatures...what more could a librarian/mystery lover want? Especially when the detective is, as described by a reviewer, more like Jack Reacher than Miss Marple!
Janet Aileen
Nov 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another enjoyable book by John Dunning. The plot is clever and interesting, the characters are well drawn.
The first but not my last, July 20, 2012
By Ellen Rappaport (Florida)
This review is from: The Sign of the Book (Cliff Janeway Novels) (Paperback)
This was my first Cliff Janeway Bookman story but I will be reading more in this series.

Cliff Janeway is a rare book dealer and runs a book store along with his partner, Erin D'Angelo. Erin's former love interest, Robert Marshall, has been murdered. Cliff finds his wife, Laura, has been taken into custody without the aid of a lawyer. Cliff starts to
Life is different these days for Cliff Janeway. He gave up his career as a police detective and has reinvented himself as a bookseller, a trader and seller of rare books. The book store is humming along as is his love life with his girlfriend, Erin D'Angelo, a lawyer. He's about as content as he can remember being.

Then Erin comes to the bookstore, obviously upset. When she decides to tell him what's wrong, he hears a story about betrayal and first love. Erin had been engaged to a man, Bobby Mar
Jan 21, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Josiah
Shelves: 21st-centurylit
In this Bookman Novel, detective-turned-bookseller/detective-hanger-on, two years have passed since the last time we have read about his adventures. He has a lovely lawyer lady-friend now, and is asked by her to become involved in a case surrounding her estranged childhood friend. There is, of course, a book mystery that Janeway must solve in order to solve the true nature of the case, and he uses his old detective skills, his newer bookseller trade experiences and good ol' fashioned law-breakin ...more
THE SIGN OF THE BOOK (Amateur Sleuth-Colorado-Cont) – G+
Dunning, John – 4th in series
Scribner, 2005- Hardcover
Cliff Janeway is a former policeman and now bookstore owner and collector. He is asked by his attorney girlfriend Erin to investigate the arrest of Erin's former best friend, Laura, who has confessed to killing her husband. What he finds is a woman, who may be trying to protect her disabled son, a bully deputy who has badly mishandled a murder scene, and a house full of signed 1st editio
Benjamin Thomas
This is the 4th Cliff Janeway book and, I believe, the best so far. Basically, these are hard-boiled crime novels featuring a sleuth who is a former cop but now runs his own antiquarian bookstore in downtown Denver. The author, John Dunning is himself, an antiquarian book dealer in Denver so he knows his book lore and that is initially what drew me to the series. What could be better than a mystery plot surrounding the book trade?

Of course that's only the premise. You still have to have good cha
Jul 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm delighted every time I pick up a copy of this great series, and again I was not disappointed with this one. Great characters, great plot, fun bibliophile information. Janeway is no pansy, he's a tough ex-cop turned book-seller who will go to great lengths to solve the mysteries he finds himself involved in.
Sep 12, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, audio-books
Audio read by George Guidall in a very 'soothing' voice that made this impossible to listen to in bed without drifting off into sleep. Dragged a little at first but then got better. Learned a bit about signed modern first editions & book fairs but overall this didn't leave me with a burning desire to read more Janeway novels.
Feb 25, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
George Guidall is a great narrator but this is not a great book. It's OK to have a far-fetched premise at the beginning but it's annoying when the main character just keeps sinking into crazier and crazier vigilante/fascist escapades based on nothing but his hunches.
Apr 08, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book mystery, poor murder mystery
Cliff's friend Erin asks him to go help an old girlfriend charged with murdering her husband. It seems like a strange request considering the woman stole Erin's boyfriend, i.e. the dead guy, and they haven't spoken since.
I am a bit of a sucker for stories involving unresolved emotional stories, and the story has a bit of that rolling around in it. There are even BOOKS, gasp, BOOKS involved in the story (shocker, rig
There's just something about Cliff Janeway that doesn't appeal to me. In the first two books of the series I enjoyed the insight into rare book scouting and collecting. By this, the fourth entry, new information is getting slim. Plus you have the age-old problem of amateur detectives: the rigamarole needed to continue to get the mc involved in murders. In this case, Cliff's woman friend is asked to represent an old friend who's been accused of murdering her husband. "Coincidentally" the victim w ...more
Aug 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
So glad to have found this book at my favourite thrift store....the only one in the Cliff Janeway series I hadn't read. Love this series because Janeway is an ex-cop but also a used book store dealer (I owned a used book store in the 1990's) with his lady friend, Erin who is a lawyer. This story involved 'signed by author' books (which I also collect), book fairs with both the buyer's and seller's views (been there, done that) , and the thrill a bookseller feels when he/she comes across a signed ...more
Dr T
Jan 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was a definite improvement over the previous Bookman title, which I read several years ago. In this one, Cliff Janeway is more the detective than the rare books specialist. He gets involved in the investigation into the murder of a man in remote mountain-Colorado, who may, or may not, have been killed by his wife. That wife is a childhood friend of his lady friend, a high-powered lawyer in Denver, who also gets involved in the case. The investigation is complicated by the vic ...more
Jan 04, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cliff Janeway is a retired cop with a personal moral code that got him in trouble on the force who currently runs a used bookstore. Erin, his romantic and business partner is a crackpot lawyer. A old friend is being tried for murdering her husband and has asked for Erin's help. When Janeway goes to the small town of Paradise, he runs into a stupid cop who likes to abuse his official power. In other words, the book is full of cliches. For my money, there weren't enough clues to justify the ending ...more
A fun read if you enjoy collecting books, and tough and introspective detectives. Cliff Janeway is a former cop and now bookman (he sells rare books). He is asked to look into a murder where the suspect has already signed a confession. The enticement is the victim also collected rare books.

I found it to be a fair read with some enjoyable suspense and action. The plot was a little twisty but not chewy enough for my taste.

A lesson learned, don't judge a book by its autograph!
Dec 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was completely engaged and read the book quickly, but I thought it was a little weaker than some of the other Janeway novels. The rare book aspect was more of a side story to the main plot rather than a really crucial piece. There was a good twist at the end, but the overall pacing of the book felt a little uneven. Overall though it was still a great gritty mystery!
Merissa Racine
Apr 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know John Dunning's books have been out for a long time. The topic he writes about so well, bookman and book selling, I don't know if it's relevant in today's world, but it's such an interesting world, and he writes about it so well. I've enjoyed his other books as well. It's too bad he's not writing anymore.
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ok, I love the literary/book man references in the Janeway series, but the negatives are starting to outweigh the positives and I think I’m over it. There were positives in this book: the male boy character was interesting and significant, but Janeways “bull in a china shop” approach to conflict and a long, implausible confession at the end had me rolling my eyes. Not recommended.
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I find the character of Cliff Janeway interesting. First a cop and now a bookseller. He certainly loves the book trade but he just can't give up his investigative personality. I didn't particularly like the first book of this series but I definitely found this 4th book to be the best one so far. I thoroughly enjoyed the story.
Oct 17, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What's better than reading a good mystery book? Reading a good mystery book which has even more books IN it! I picked up a couple of books from this series specifically because of the titles and they were well worth every cent.
Shiela Rozich
Dec 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although he is not the travel guide he has been in previous books,( he stays mostly in Colorado), Dunning once again gives a well developed story and informative descriptions and insights into the book, criminal and legal worlds.
Janeway is growing up slowly also, though he has a way to go.
Betty Dickie
Nov 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finally had to take this out of the car and carry it around yesterday until I finished it! Another surprise ending with a great deal of suspense. I have a new series and author to follow! And he's a book dealer!!
Nov 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-books
Cliff sure puts himself in risky situations. Glad it's a novel and we know that he will survive.
The secrets of the murder were pretty well-hidden.
I really like John Dunning's Cliff Janeway books.
Cheryl Sinclair
Mar 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another good book about books!
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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

Other books in the series

Cliff Janeway (5 books)
  • Booked To Die (Cliff Janeway, #1)
  • The Bookman's Wake (Cliff Janeway, #2)
  • The Bookman's Promise (Cliff Janeway, #3)
  • The Bookwoman's Last Fling (Cliff Janeway, #5)