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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A philosophical yet practical gentleman, Bernie Rhodenbarr possesses many admirable qualities: charm, intelligence, sparkling wit, and unwavering loyalty. Of course, he also has this special talent and a taste for life's finer things. So he's more than willing to perform some vengeful larceny for a friend -- ripping off a smarmy, particularly deserving plastic

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Overview

A philosophical yet practical gentleman, Bernie Rhodenbarr possesses many admirable qualities: charm, intelligence, sparkling wit, and unwavering loyalty. Of course, he also has this special talent and a taste for life's finer things. So he's more than willing to perform some vengeful larceny for a friend -- ripping off a smarmy, particularly deserving plastic surgeon -- for fun and a very tidy profit.

But during a practice run at another address, Bernie's forced to hide under a bed when the lady of the house returns unexpectedly with the worst kind of blind date in tow. In no time, Bernie's up to his burgling neck in big trouble. Again. And this time it includes his arrest, no less than four murders, and more outrageous coincidences than any self-preserving felon should ever be required to tie together.

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:
9780061806698
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/13/2009
Series:
Bernie Rhodenbarr Series , #10
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
94,455
File size:
1 MB

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