Eric's Reviews > The Burglar in the Library

The Burglar in the Library by Lawrence Block
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's review
Jan 05, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: lawrence-block, crime, detective-mystery
Recommended for: Anyone looking for a fun, lighthearted mystery

I have recently been burying myself in detective/mystery classics. In the last month, I've read Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep, Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon, and Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None and Murder on the Orient Express.

So when I got wind that Block, a writer whose work I enjoy, wrote a book where his burglar protagonist, Bernie Rhodenbarr, attempts to steal a first-edition copy of The Big Sleep inscribed to Dashiell Hammett, only to get caught up in an Agatha Christie type murder-mystery in an English country house during a blizzard, I couldn't pass it up.

Even Rhodenbarr's cat is a literary allusion -- named after E.W. Hornung's gentleman thief A.J. Raffles. But I digress.

This story is, despite the murders, a light read that delights in hanging lampshades on many detective/mystery tropes. While the pace dragged a tiny bit in the middle, and the story jarred me with a switch from first to third-person at one point, it was, overall, a very fun, enjoyable read I would definitely recommend to mystery fans familiar with the above classics.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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James Thane I don't think this series is nearly on a par with the Scudder books, but I do enjoy it.

Eric I agree completely that Scudder is superior. After reading the first book in this series, I was not compelled to read all the others. I actually only read this one because of the detective noir / cozy mystery subject matter.

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