The Burglar on the Prowl (Bernie Rhodenbarr Series #10)

The Burglar on the Prowl (Bernie Rhodenbarr Series #10)

4.1 12
by Lawrence Block
     
 

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"Antiquarian bookseller by day, burglar by night, Bernie Rhodenbarr has an innate knack, a gift, for getting into places designed to keep him out." "Sophisticated yet down-to-earth, philosophical yet practical, Bernie is a gentleman who knows and loves his territory, the gloriously diverse and electric streets of Manhattan; a connoisseur who surrounds himself with the… See more details below

Overview

"Antiquarian bookseller by day, burglar by night, Bernie Rhodenbarr has an innate knack, a gift, for getting into places designed to keep him out." "Sophisticated yet down-to-earth, philosophical yet practical, Bernie is a gentleman who knows and loves his territory, the gloriously diverse and electric streets of Manhattan; a connoisseur who surrounds himself with the finer things in life, including his tailless Manx tabby, Raffles, and good friends like his neighbor Carolyn. In fact, it's a friend who gets him in his latest jam. Bernie is minding his own business when he's asked for a favor - a neat, uncomplicated bit of vengeful larceny that will reap a tidy profit - an offer the intrepid thief can't refuse." But with a few days to go before the crime, Bernie gets restless. So what does a burglar do to change his mood? Go on the prowl, of course. Though not the best way to do business, as he well knows. This bit of prowling lands Bernie in a pile of trouble that includes four murders and the burglary of his own home. Caught in the center of a deadly mystery, he must use his wits and wiles to connect the dots and add up the coincidences. Because if Bernie doesn't catch a killer, he'll lose not only his freedom but his life.

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times
It takes an agile brain and a devilish wit to pull off this farcical self-satire; but Block not only has what it takes, he also has Bernie, whose elastic ethics and pride in his work (''It is, I blush to admit, a gift,'' he says of his skills) are the key to his raffish charm. — Marilyn Stasio
Publishers Weekly
You'd think that Block, with more than 50 books to his credit, would run out of ideas, but as this 10th in his Burglar series shows (after 1999's The Burglar in the Rye), he's as fresh, witty and inventive as ever. The author builds his plot on stupefying coincidences, but not to worry-everything eventually meshes. A friend asks Bernie Rhodenbarr, confirmed New Yorker, used-book dealer and gentleman burglar, to rob a mob-connected plastic surgeon who stole the friend's mistress. He agrees, and cases the doctor's house in Riverdale, the Bronx. But Bernie is restive and, uncharacteristically (because he plans carefully), he breaks into a Manhattan apartment on a whim and almost gets caught, hiding under the bed while a woman is date-raped. Next day a customer is shot near his bookstore, a mysterious migr couple is murdered, a former Latvian war criminal is reported in New York and Bernie's apartment is ransacked. These crimes seem unrelated in such a large city, but Bernie finds a common thread. In the end, Bernie assembles 22 people (including lawmen) in the surgeon's living room and, Charlie Chan style, explains each participant's role and, where appropriate, crime. Lesser hands would not bring off this breathtaking performance, but in Block's it's seamless and hilarious. Quirky characters like Bernie's pals Carolyn Kaiser, the dog groomer, and cop Ray Kirschmann; an insider's love of New York; and a slew of wonderful puns add to the fun. (Mar. 16) Forecast: MWA Grand Master Block recently received the British Crime Writers' Association Cartier Diamond Dagger Award, only the third American to be so honored. A 100,000 printing and a 40-city author tour should ensure a run up most bestseller lists. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Block's tenth Bernie Rhodenbarr mystery finds the bookseller/burglar in what might be his most complicated intrigue. After a friend asks Bernie to burglarize the house of a prominent plastic surgeon, in revenge for the doctor's stealing the friend's mistress, Bernie becomes entangled in a labyrinthine plot involving a serial date rapist, Latvian patriots, a linguistics professor, assorted gangsters, and a seemingly ordinary copy of Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent. Bernie, the Poirot of home invasion, gathers everyone even remotely connected to the various crimes at the surgeon's home for a terrific showdown. While not as polished an interpreter of his material as Robert Forster and Joe Mantegna, Block calls attention to the sometimes subtle ironies of his self-mocking story. Highly entertaining; recommended for popular collections. Michael Adams, CUNY Graduate Ctr. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060583743
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
03/16/2004
Series:
Bernie Rhodenbarr Series, #10
Edition description:
Abridged, 4 cassettes, 6 hrs.
Product dimensions:
4.32(w) x 7.08(h) x 1.22(d)

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