Cover image for Tanner's twelve swingers
Tanner's twelve swingers
Block, Lawrence.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Signet, 1999.

Physical Description:
261 pages ; 18 cm
General Note:
An Evan Tanner mystery.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Mass Market Paperback Central Closed Stacks
XX(1031255.2) Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Adult Mass Market Paperback Mystery/Suspense
X Adult Mass Market Paperback Mystery/Suspense

On Order



Out of print for fifteen years, Lawrence Block's third book in his hilarious Tanner series is back...And this time the intrepid spy is up to his neck in a dozen leggy beauties and a life-and-death smuggling assignment out of the cold corners of Russia.

Author Notes

Lawrence Block is the author of the popular series' featuring Bernie Rhodenbarr, Matthew Scudder, and Chip Harrison. Over 2 million copies of Lawrence Block's books are in print. He has published articles and short fiction in American Heritage, Redbook, Playboy, GQ, and The New York Times, and has published several collections of short fiction in book form, most recently Collected Mystery Stories.

Block is a Grand Master of Mystery Writers of America. He has won the Edgar and Shamus awards four times, the Japanese Maltese Falcon award twice, as well as the Nero Wolfe award. In France, he was proclaimed a Grand Maitre du Roman Noir and has been awarded the Societe 813 trophy twice. Block was presented with the key to the city of Muncie, Indiana, and is a past president of the Private Eye Writers of America and the Mystery Writers of America.

(Bowker Author Biography) Lawrence Block is the author of the popular series featuring Bernie Rhodenbarr, Matthew Scudder, and Chip Harrison. Over 2 million copies of Lawrence Block's books are in print. Lawrence Block has won the Edgar Award three times, the Shamus Award four times, the Maltese Falcon Award twice, and was named Grandmaster by the Mystery Writers of America.

(Publisher Provided)

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Block's anarchic adventurer finds himself escaping both from and into Communist countries in this 1967 novel. The multilingual Evan Tanner begins by helping a Yugoslav politician escape with a subversive manuscript taped to the American's body. But getting out of Yugoslavia is only the first stage of a complex route taking them to the Soviet Union where Tanner acquires a Lithuanian orphan (heir to her country's long-lost throne), 12 Latvian gymnasts, a highly coveted Soviet plane, and some Chinese microfilm, all of which he must somehow transport to the United States. Hearing him do so requires wading through some comparatively dry patches, but the payoff is worth it. The yarn's Cold War elements, occasionally satirized by Block, have a nostalgic charm. As with The Thief Who Couldn't Sleep, Nick Sullivan is a master of accents and a tongue-in-cheek tone. Recommended for public libraries.ÄMichael Adams, CUNY Graduate Ctr. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Tanner's Twelve Swingers Chapter One On my third day in Athens I sat at a small square table at the airport cafe watching a sleek Air India jet taxi down the runway, rise abruptly into the air, then break cloud cover and disappear from view. One of the seventy-nine passengers bound for London carried a passport that identified him as Evan Michael Tanner, American. The passport lied. I am Evan Michael Tanner, American, and it was with mixed emotions that I watched my passport wing its way out of my life. Across the table from me, Georgios Melas raised his glass in a silent toast to the departing plane. I lifted my own and sipped ouzo. It tasted like licorice whips on the tongue, like fire in the chest. "You are unhappy," Georgios said. "Not entirely." "And on such a magnificent day!" "A cloudy day." "A few clouds--" "It's getting cold. I think it's going to rain." "Ah, and you worry about Pindaris on the plane. It will land safely in London, do not worry. And Pindaris will be safe in London." It would have been unworthy to admit that I was worried about Pindaris chiefly in his capacity as custodian of my passport. Pindaris was an intense young Greek from the island of Andros who had recently revealed his discontent with the Greek government by hurling a canister bomb at a car that then contained the Minister of Defense. The bomb had not gone off. The alarm had, however, and Pindaris was hotter than Death Valley at high noon. Since Pindaris was a fellow member of the Pan-Hellenic Friendship Society and since his English was good enough to convince an Englishman that he was an American, it had seemed only proper that I turn my passport over to him. He in turn had sworn on his mother's grave that he would have the passport returned to my apartment in New York. "It will be home before you are," he had said more than once. And I could well believe it. I sipped more ouzo, comforting myself with the thought that the passport would have been of little use to me for the near future. Once I crossed the Yugoslav border, a passport with my name on it would become a distinct liability. It would only serve to identify me to the Yugoslav authorities, who would respond by hanging me. I had once started a revolution in Yugoslavia, and such activity is apt to render one persona non grata almost anywhere. Georgios motioned for more ouzo. "It is a noble thing you have done, Evan," he said solemnly. "The Pan-Hellenic Friendship Society will not be quick to forget this." "To the Society," I said, and we drank again. But for the Pan-Hellenic Friendship Society, my passport would not have been en route to London at that very moment. But for the Latvian Army-In-Exile, I would not have been on my way to Latvia. But for the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization, I would not have been preparing to slip across the Yugoslav frontier at the first opportunity. And yet, I had to admit, all of this was not entirely true. As it happened, I was on my way to Latvia because I did not want to go to Colombia and because Karlis Mielovicius was my friend. Karlis was also a Lett, and Letts are incurable romantics, and Karlis was a Lett with his home in Providence, Rhode Island, and his heart in Riga, Latvia. That's why I was going to Latvia. I was going by way of Macedonia not because it was the shortest way to Latvia or the safest way to Latvia or the most sensible way to Latvia. I was going to Macedonia to see my son. In Georgios' house on the outskirts of Athens he and I drank still more ouzo while his wife stuffed tender vine leaves with rice and pine nuts and minced lamb. After dinner we switched to coffee. It was raining outside, as I had thought it might. We warmed ourselves in front of the wood fire, and I opened my flat leather satchel and took out a small charcoal sketch. It showed a baby, and the baby looked like a baby. Cameras are scarce in Macedonia, and artists there have not been forced into abstraction by the advance of technology. Their task, as they see it, is to convey as well as possible the exact appearance of whatever it is they are drawing. This particular unknown artist had been drawing a baby, and that's exactly what the sketch looked like. "A beautiful baby," I said aloud. Georgios and his wife examined the sketch and agreed with my estimation. "He resembles you," Zoe Melas said. "About the eyes and I think the mouth as well." "He's plump like his mother." "He is in New York?" "He is in Macedonia." "Ah," she said. "And you go to see him?" "Tonight." "Tonight!" She darted a look of alarm at Georgios, then fastened her gaze upon me. "But it is a long journey," she said, "and you have been awake since early this morning. You were sitting before the fire when I myself arose. You could not have had much sleep last night." I had not had any sleep the past night. Nor, indeed, had I had any sleep in the past seventeen years, ever since a piece of North Korean shrapnel found its way into my skull and destroyed something called the sleep center, all of which was a source of considerable confusion to the army physicians, who wondered why the hell I seemed to be awake twenty-four hours a day, day after blessed day. Since the phenomenon confuses ordinary mortals as well as doctors, I didn't bother explaining it to Zoe and Georgios. I said only that I was not at all tired and that I wanted to get to Macedonia as soon as possible. "I might arrange for a car," Georgios said. Tanner's Twelve Swingers . Copyright © by Lawrence Block. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Tanner's Twelve Swingers by Lawrence Block All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.