Cloggie: booklog 2001: The Burglar who Liked to Quote Kipling
The Burglar who Liked to Quote Kipling
Lawrence Block
301 pages
published in 1979

I got this from the library together with another Bernie Rhodenbarr mystery (not to mention an armful of other books you'll read about in due time) out of curiosity. Both Chad Orzel and Kate Nepveu had reviewed books from this series and made them sound interesting enough to check out. The series sounded similar to Donald Westlake's Dortmunder books, of which I'd read and liked Drowned Hopes about two years back.

The Burglar who Liked to Quote Kipling is the third book in the series and Bernie has gone legit and opened a second hand bookstore, though he's not above supplementing his income by the odd spot of burglary. This time, somebody has hired him to steal a rare volume of Kipling, supposedly one of a kind. Stealing the book was easy, but when he delivers the book, he's drugged and comes to holding a gun, while the woman who had recived him has a nice round hole in her body...

Needless to say, he has been framed and has to find out who murdered this woman and why, what the book has to do with it and which other players are involved; he had already been acosted by a mysterieus Sikh wo tried to rob him of the Kipling edition. Luckily he has help in the form of his friend Carolyn, a lesbian dog groomer who starts to like the thrill of breaking and entering.

I quite enjoyed this book. It moves along pretty well with Bernie narrating in first person smartass. The plot is servicable and the denouncement is reasonable, neither too pedestrian nor too much out of left field. The whole style of the book is lightly ironic, with some subtle digs at other crime writers, including Westlake. Quite enjoyable braincandy all in all, though I don't think I could read too much of these in one sitting.

HTML 4.0 Checked!

Webpage created 02-03-2002, last updated 02-03-2002
Comments? Mail them to