The Burglar in the Closet (Bernie Rhodenbarr Series #2)

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Overview

The thing about being a burglar is it's a secret best kept to yourself. You live safer, and the police have less chance of finding you out. Maybe you can tell a friend, but your dentist? Well, this is the awkward situation Bernie Rhodenbarr finds himself in, in The Burglar in the Closet. Like all great capers, it starts out complicated and goes downhill from there. At a routine teeth cleaning Bernie discovers a few things. One, he's got a nasty cavity. Two, his dentist is unhappily married. Three, his dentist ...
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Overview

The thing about being a burglar is it's a secret best kept to yourself. You live safer, and the police have less chance of finding you out. Maybe you can tell a friend, but your dentist? Well, this is the awkward situation Bernie Rhodenbarr finds himself in, in The Burglar in the Closet. Like all great capers, it starts out complicated and goes downhill from there. At a routine teeth cleaning Bernie discovers a few things. One, he's got a nasty cavity. Two, his dentist is unhappily married. Three, his dentist knows Bernie's a burglar. Seems good old Dr. Sheldrake is in need of a burglar to steal back some valuable diamonds from his soon-to-be ex, Mrs. Sheldrake. Next thing Bernie realizes is his tooth feels better, and, prowling around Crystal Sheldrake's apartment for the goods, his head hurts. That's because someone just put a key in the lock and is coming through the door. With only one place to hide, Bernie slips into the closet, agonizing over the overly friendly sounds coming from Crystal's boudoir. Time passes, Bernie emerges, and there's the lovely Crystal Sheldrake - only she's not so lovely anymore - lying dead on the floor, a dental instrument to blame. To top it all off, the diamonds are gone. So too is Bernie, chasing a killer's shadow and evading the inquiring eyes of his nemesis, Detective Ray Kirschmann.

The Bernie Rhodenbarr series has garnered lavish praise from major media and the public alike, and with good reason. Now the series has returned to introduce a whole new audience to the criminal capers of Bernie, everyone's favorite burglar! In this engaging novel, Bernie agrees to help a friend retrieve an object from his ex-wife's house. Something goes wrong during the job, however, leaving Bernie holding the bag for a murder he didn't commit. Ads in Entertainment Weekly. HC: Dutton. (Fiction--Mystery)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671617042
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/1/1981
  • Series: Bernie Rhodenbarr Series, #2
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback

Meet the Author

Lawrence Block is one of the most widely recognized names in the mystery genre. He has been named a Grand Master of the Mystery Writers of America and is a four-time winner of the prestigious Edgar and Shamus Awards, as well as a recipient of prizes in France, Germany, and Japan. He received the Diamond Dagger from the British Crime Writers' Association—only the third American to be given this award. He is a prolific author, having written more than fifty books and numerous short stories, and is a devoted New Yorker and an enthusiastic global traveler.

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Read an Excerpt

The Burglar in the Closet


By Lawrence Block

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright ©2006 Lawrence Block
All right reserved.

ISBN: 006087273X

Chapter One

"Gramercy Park," said Miss Henrietta Tyler, "is an oasis in the middle of a cruel sea, a respite from the slings and arrows of which the Bard has warned us." A sigh escaped her lips, the sort of sigh that follows upon the contemplation of an oasis in the middle of a sea. "Young man," she said, "I do not know what I would do without this blessed green plot. I simply do not know what I would do."

The blessed green plot is a private park tucked into Manhattan's East Twenties. There is a fence around the park, a black wrought-iron fence seven or eight feet high. A locked gate denies access to persons who have no legal right to enter. Only those persons who live in certain buildings surrounding the park and who pay an annual fee toward its maintenance are issued keys that will unlock the iron gate.

Miss Henrietta Tyler, who was seated on the green bench beside me, had such a key. She had told me her name, along with much of her personal history, in the fifteen minutes or so we'd been sitting together. Given time, I was fairly sure she'd tell me everything that had occurred in New York since her birth, which I calculated had taken place just a year or two after Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo. She was a dear old thing, was Miss Henrietta, and shewore a sweet little hat with a veil. My grandmother used to wear sweet little hats with veils. You don't see them much anymore.

"Absence of dogs," Miss Henrietta was saying. "I'm ever so glad they don't allow dogs in this park. It's the only spot left in the city where one may walk without constantly scanning the pavement beneath one's feet. A disgusting animal, the dog. It leaves its dirt anywhere at all. The cat is infinitely more fastidious, isn't it? Not that I would care to have one underfoot. I've never understood this compulsion people have to bring animals into their houses. Why, I wouldn't even care to have a fur coat. Let that sort of thing stay in the forest where it belongs."

I'm sure Miss Henrietta wouldn't have talked thus to a stranger. But strangers, like dogs, are not to be found in Gramercy Park. My presence in the park indicated that I was decent and respectable, that I had a rewarding occupation or an independent income, that I was one of Us and not one of Them. My clothes had certainly been chosen to reinforce that image. My suit was a tropical worsted, a windowpane check in light and dark gray. My shirt was light blue with a medium-length button-down collar. My tie carried stripes of silver and sky blue on a navy field. The attaché case at my feet was a slim model in cocoa Ultrasuede that had cost someone a pretty penny.

I looked, all in all, like a bachelor taking a breather in the park after a hard day in a stuffy office. Perhaps I'd stopped somewhere for a bracing brace of martinis. Now I was taking some air on this balmy September evening before I trotted on home to my well-appointed apartment, there to pop a TV dinner in the microwave oven and inhale a beer or two while the Mets dropped a squeaker on the tube.

Well, not quite, Miss Henrietta.

No hard day, no stuffy office. No martinis, because I do not permit myself so much as a sniff of the cork when I am about to go to work. And there's no microwave oven in my modest apartment, and no TV dinners either, and I stopped watching the Mets when they traded Seaver. My apartment's on the Upper West Side, several miles from Gramercy Park, and I didn't pay a cent for the Ultrasuede attaché case, having appropriated it some months ago while liberating an absent gentleman's coin collection. I'm sure it had cost him a pretty penny, and God knows it contained any number of pretty pennies when I waltzed out the door with it in hand.

Why, I didn't even have a key to the park. I'd let myself in with a cunning little piece of high-tempered German steel. The lock on the gate is a shockingly simple one to pick. It's surprising more people don't let themselves in when they want to spend an hour away from dogs and strangers.

"This business of running around the park," Miss Henrietta was saying. "There goes one of them now. Look at him, won't you?"

I looked. The chap in question was around my age, somewhere in his middle thirties, but he'd lost a good deal of his hair. Perhaps he'd run out from under it. He was running now, or jogging, or whatever.

"You see them day and night, winter and summer. There's no end to it. On cold days they wear those suits, sweating suits I believe they're called. Unbecoming gray things. On a warm night like tonight they wear cotton shorts. Is it healthy to carry on like that, do you suppose?"

"Why else would anyone do it?"

Miss Henrietta nodded. "But I can't believe it's good for one," she said. "It looks so unpleasant. You don't do anything of the sort, do you?"

"Every once in a while I think it might be good for me. But I just take two aspirin and lie down until the thought passes."

"I believe that's wise. It appears ridiculous, for one thing, and nothing that looks so ridiculous can possibly be good for you." Once more a sigh escaped her lips. "At least they're constrained to do it outside the park," she said, "and not inside the park. We've that to be thankful for."

"Like the dogs."

She looked at me, and her eyes glinted behind the veil. "Why, yes," she said. "Quite like the dogs."

Continues...


Excerpted from The Burglar in the Closet by Lawrence Block Copyright ©2006 by Lawrence Block. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 146 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(59)

4 Star

(46)

3 Star

(19)

2 Star

(9)

1 Star

(13)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 147 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2011

    Why?

    This is the first Montgomery book and it reads like a first attempt at a romance novel. I used to read a lot of her novels, but I don' t remember them being filled with rape and abuse. Even if I could have gotten past page 80 (by which time the heroine had been raped twice and backhanded by her hero husband), the writting was awful! It was stilted, awkward, and had huge jumps in the "plot" that forced re-reading to try to make any sense out of it. The fact that this is considered a "romance classic" by so many women scares me and makes me question their emotional well-being- if you think rape and abuse are romantic, well that says too much about how desperate you are to justify your life experiences. And why does it have to get even one star before I can post this review?

    18 out of 30 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2012

    Such a let down

    Strike 1: book only 238 pgs long.
    Strike 2: plot all over the place
    Strike 3: lead female comes across weak and a bit of a flaky twit.
    Also.... the "love" scenes are not steamy what so ever. I would not recommend this book to anyone.

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2012

    My 1st Romance

    This was my first "bodice ripper", back when i was a teenager. For such a book, it really is quite tame in comparison. I fell in love with the characters. I've read a few romances, but it is not my preferred genre. And to this day (25 years later), it is still one of my favorite books...one that i have read over and over and over.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2011

    My favorite book!!!

    I have loved this book since I read it as a teenager almost 30 years ago. I am glad that the main characters are not "perfect" as so many other authors write them. Jude's books are gritty and more real than most of the other romance novels I have read. This story is the first in the line about the lion belt and is well worth the money and the time.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 14, 2012

    Highly Recommend; great romance

    Hightly recommend this book. The characters come across as real and you get quickly hooked and hate to put this book down. Great romance and intrigue.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2011

    Love her!!!

    Been a fan of hers for as long as i can remember. Always happy with her books. This was a good one i couldnt put it down nothing new for me when i read her books.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2011

    Overpriced author

    Her older books should be cheaper. The newer books are so boring

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2011

    Loved this book!

    This book has a nice variety of events and does not dwell too much on the lesser events, which was good. Although some may be offended by Ranulf behavior toward Lyonene, keep reading and you should be very pleased! Very good romance!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    good book

    I enjoyed reading this book, very good plot, keeps you entertained

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2011

    Very disappointed

    I have read books written by this author before and love the genre.. however i was disappointed with character development and appalled by the rape scenes (yes there is more than one) and the other abuse between the main characters. I don't agree with glamorization of domestic violence and think I will be enjoying the many other wonderful writers of this genre. I recommend not wasting your money on this book!!!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2011

    Hero is a jerk.

    Ranaulf is a sick abusive man. He is not "gentle" by anyone's estimation. He is sadistically jealous, then pathetically remorseful....again and again. If he were a modern man he would be charged with assault and his wife would be in therapy for sticking with such a jerk. Rape is not love. Physical abuse is not love. This is not romance.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2012

    Interesting

    Good story but could have been better. All the mistrust back and forth got a little tiring.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2012

    Ok story, just didnt reach me

    I understand the plot line of the man-woman-i-cant-tell-you-my-true-feelings. But this just drug it out another 100 pages. Plus the writting style made me feel detached from the characters. I really wanted to like Lyonene, but in essence, all i got from her was that she was a whiney 17yr old.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2012

    Love it

    I read this book at least 20 times when I was in high school. I have been looking for it for years. I can't wait to read it again



    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 25, 2012

    Highly recommend

    >> This is my favorite Jude Deveraux book. The characters are interesting and kept me entertained threw out the book. I was engrossed in the book from start to finish. Couldn't put it down...

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2012

    Not great

    I did not care for the physical abuse

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 31, 2012

    Love Jude Deveraux

    I just love her books Very well done!!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2012

    Great

    It was a very good book that had romance and action in it. I loved it!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2012

    Enjoyed

    Enjoyed this one. Misunderstandings at times seemed silly, but enoyment of charcters was more.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 1, 2012

    Jude strikes the stars again with this one

    Very good with lots of action. Physical and emotional.Love it!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 147 Customer Reviews

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