All Bernie plans to do is steal some letters. A New York City literary agent is auctioning off her personal correspondence with enigmatic writer Gully Fairborn. Gully's attractive ex-girlfriend has asked Bernie to swipe the letters so she can return them to her old heartthrob. But when Bernie breaks in, the letters are missing, and the literary agent is in bed with no hope of waking up.
With the police watching him very closely, Bernie relies on jiggers of rye and Caroline, his lesbian best friend, to sharpen his deductive skills and find the killer. Narrator Richard Ferrone expertly guides you on a laugh-filled journey through the twists and turns of the clever plot.
©1999 Lawrence Block; (P)2000 Recorded Books
Since I got introduced to L. Block's work in "The burglar who painted like Mondrian" and can't get enough. This is a delightful episode in the series about Bernard Rhodenbarr, an "admitted" burglar and reluctant detective. I found wonderful humor, wit, scorn and a very healthy dose of funny cynicism. The writing is masterful and the wry dialogue is sophisticated. Every sentence is expertly crafted. Richard Ferrone's narration is outstanding.
Despite a modern Hercule Poirot ending (Agatha Christie elements are common in this series), this lighthearted piece that keeps your cerebrum very well nourished and your time very well spent.
I enjoy comic mysteries, so I like the Bernie Rhodenbarr series about a burglar with a complicated sense of justice, who usually does more good than harm. This is a complex story about an author, who resembles Thomas Pynchon, whose novel "Nobody's Baby", meant a great deal to Bernie but who guards his privacy at all costs. The denouement is a scene out of Agatha Christie, in which Bernie plays Hercule Poirot, who has gathered the suspects together to coax out the true killer. Meanwhile, Bernie suffers his usual internal torments, engages in the pursuit of sexy women, and of course repeatedly uses his skills as a burglar to obtain information if not wealth.
Richard Ferrone does an excellent job of narration. He even made some female characters come to life.
The lovable fastidious thief just misses the mark in this book, but the richness in literary references makes it worthwhile. The book ends like an Agatha Christie mystery, with all characters gathered in the same room and our hero pointing out the guilty person. However, unlike Christie, he had an unfair advantage, and the clues were not really there or believable. The "Thief's Guide" series is much more enjoyable.
I am a great fan of Lawrence Block and especially like this series. I was disappointed with this book, but still, it was Lawrence Block and his worst is better than most.
What an exquisite combination of wonderful writing, a neat plotline, literary erudition, and sarcastic humor! It was my first exposure to this writer and I absolutely fell in love (despite being very picky when it comes to fiction -- to the point that I choose non-fiction about 9 out of 10 times whenever I am looking for a new book to listen to).
The plot twists kept me listening way past my bedtime :)
And the performance by Richard Ferrone is absolutely captivating! Now I hope that any other books featuring this lovable character Bernie are voiced over by Ferrone!
Cannot wait to hear another book in this series! (And I very rarely get into series, I'd say the only exception is Lawrence Sanders and his "deadly sin" short series).
I bought this audiobook during a sale, and I'm pleased to have discovered a new series.
At first, I wasn't sure I was going to like it - the style was dry and wry, and the idea of a burglar protagonist with a social conscience took me a little time to warm to. But soon I found myself not chuckling exactly but making little abrupt giggles at many points in the book in this entertaining mystery.
The story moved along well. I liked the characters. It was read well.
The metaphor and reference to Catcher in the Rye. I read it as a teenager and it was meaningful to so many of us at that age. Just wish old JD had written more.
The idea of the burglar as the good guy and an intellectual was interesting. I liked that he was so proud of his expertise and talents. Good story all around.
This is the first book I've listened to in the series, and thankfully I didn't feel like I was missing any important information.
This is an enjoyable and solidly entertaining book. What it is not is original. It follows a fairly detectable formula of detective stories focused on the wrongfully accused with one exception: whereas usually such stories have a strong "man against the world" angle, the hero-thief of this story had a whole host of supporting characters gladly helping him along, confident of his innocence. While it's an interesting angle, it also deprived the story of a certain level of suspense - if everyone is already on his side, then is anything really at stake?
To his benefit, the author kept it nice and simple and knew when to quit. Had this story been 15 hours I would have hated it, but its fast pace and catchy dialogue kept me hooked. I can't complain.
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