"Like a Thief in the Night" [NOOK Book]

Overview

“Like a Thief in the Night” is a Bernie Rhodenbarr short story that’s probably entirely unknown to most of Bernie’s fans. Not only does it lack the word burglar in the title, but Bernie’s not the story’s viewpoint character. It’s told entirely through the spirited and enterprising young woman whose fate it is to walk in on our lad in mid-job, all in a near-empty office building in the middle of the night. That could be pretty frightening, but hey, it’s Bernie. She’s got nothing to be afraid of, and neither do we....
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Overview

“Like a Thief in the Night” is a Bernie Rhodenbarr short story that’s probably entirely unknown to most of Bernie’s fans. Not only does it lack the word burglar in the title, but Bernie’s not the story’s viewpoint character. It’s told entirely through the spirited and enterprising young woman whose fate it is to walk in on our lad in mid-job, all in a near-empty office building in the middle of the night. That could be pretty frightening, but hey, it’s Bernie. She’s got nothing to be afraid of, and neither do we.

The story originated in the late 70s, commissioned by a women’s magazine called Savvy, with a suite of offices in the huge old Port Authority building on Ninth Avenue in Chelsea. A couple of editors decided it was an intimidating location late at night, and thought it would be a good setting for a short story, even though they hadn’t yet run any fiction. One of them knew my work, and they got in touch.

I wrote the story, and they loved it and paid a decent price for it, but they never seemed to find room for it in an issue of the magazine. They kept scheduling it and changing their minds, and it seems to me they changed editors in the bargain, and after a couple of years of this they went out of business. Which was a pity, because it was an interesting publication, except for the fiction—of which, alas, there wasn’t any. My agent got the story back, and I believe he sent it over to Cosmopolitan, and no end of online sources now assure me that it ran in that magazine’s May 1983 issue.

And maybe it did. Except I don’t have a copy of the magazine, and don’t think I ever saw one. I’ve seen Cosmo’s May 1983 cover, it’s not hard to find online, and they blurbed eight or nine major pieces on it, and my story is not among them. Well, really, what difference does it make? It either ran there or it didn’t, and it’s been in short story collections of mine since, including my omnibus, Enough Rope. I had to read it closely in order to format the scanned story for ePublication, and I was pleased to find that I like it a lot. I can only hope, Dear Reader, that it works as well for you.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940013017795
  • Publisher: Lawrence Block
  • Publication date: 8/20/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 647,275
  • File size: 19 KB

Meet the Author

Lawrence Block has been writing award-winning mystery and suspense fiction for half a century. His most recent novels are A DROP OF THE HARD STUFF, featuring Matthew Scudder, and GETTING OFF, starring a very naughty young woman. Several of his books have been filmed, although not terribly well. He's well known for his books for writers, including the classic TELLING LIES FOR FUN & PROFIT, and THE LIAR'S BIBLE. In addition to prose works, he has written episodic television (TILT!) and the Wong Kar-wai film, MY BLUEBERRY NIGHTS. He is a modest and humble fellow, although you would never guess as much from this biographical note.
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2012

    Absolutely Terrific Story

    I loved this short story! I'm a fan of Lawrence Block's Burglar books for a few years now, and I'm glad Block is doing so much to potential of ebooks. This is a totally enjoyable read. I loved the ending! There are just a couple of errors in the text that should have been caught before digital conversion, but they aren't distracting enough to take away from the pleasant read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 16, 2011

    I adore this story

    I actually still have this story in Ellery Queen format. I read it after I'd started reading the Bernie stories. And I was absolutely thrilled to find it. It's short (obviously), but I love the POV character. And I love the last few paragraphs. I don't want to spoil it or I'd gush more about it.

    It's one of my favorites and I'm overjoyed to be able to have it in a digital format without having to scan it in myself. *grins*

    Can't wait to read and read it again.

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

    Posted January 3, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

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