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
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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.
"One of Block's funniest, most ingenious mysteries."
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.
"A laugh riot of a mystery!"
NYC, humor, mystery, law-enforcement, burglar, murder
Another fun murder mystery with Bernie Rhodenbarr stuck in the middle. This one is as twisty as the rest, and still manages to have a red herring or two. Carolyn is his best friend and foil as usual, and Det. Ray Kirschman's mangling of names will truly make you spew your caffeine! The rest of the characters really are that as well. This is a reread for me as I wanted to read them in order for once.
Richard Ferrone did a great interpretation once again.
"Good voyage in literary references, and OK mystery"
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.
"Not one of Block's best; still worth listening."
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.
"Excellent story . Very entertaining"
Intricate plot and requires close attention, but well worth the effort !
Absolutely recommended reading. Reader performance is wonderful !
"Great Great Book!"
This is the second book I've ever read and this really changed my views about reading , I used to hate it but after this book I've never felt so good about reading a story like this . More books should be written like this.
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).
"My first time and not the last"
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.
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