Cover image for The burglar in the rye : a Bernie Rhodenbarr mystery
The burglar in the rye : a Bernie Rhodenbarr mystery
Block, Lawrence.
Personal Author:
[Large print edition].
Publication Information:
Thorndike, Me. : Thorndike Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
440 pages (large print) ; 23 cm
Format :


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X Adult Large Print - Floating collection Floating Collection - Large Print - Closed Stacks

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Bernie Rhodenbarr, bookseller by day and burglar by night, is hired to steal back the letters of a reclusive author from his former agent, who now wishes to sell them at auction. Seems like an easy enough job, until Bernie discovers the letters missing and the agent dead.

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 3

Booklist Review

When Block returned to his Bernie Rhodenbarr series after a lengthy hiatus, Bernie's fans rejoiced. The bookseller-thief remains one of the most endearing characters in the genre, and combined with a stellar supporting cast, remarkably clever premises, and nonstop humor, the series offers terrific entertainment. This latest Bernie book provides all of the above, though not in quite the quantity of such series high-water marks as The Burglar Who Thought He Was Bogart (1995). This time Bernie accepts the pro bono job of stealing a Salinger-like writer's letters before his former agent can publish them. Naturally, the agent is dead when Bernie arrives on the scene. With the help of his lesbian pal Carolyn, Bernie sorts through a bushel of literary scalawags, including a Joyce Maynard figure, leading up to a Nero Wolfesque finale. Great fun, certainly, but this time Bernie's banter seems less fresh, the premise not as cleverly developed. Still, Rhodenbarr a shade off form remains close enough to perfection to please even the most demanding readers. --Bill Ott

Publisher's Weekly Review

Block's addictive series about bookseller/burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr (The Burglar Who Painted Like Mondrian, etc.) continues as our hero invades the hotel suite of an aged literary agent in search of a cache of letters, by a respected and reclusive writer, that are wanted by people both legitimate and not. As he usually does, Bernie finds a corpse on the other side of the locked door he so neatly opens, and he is immediately suspected of murder by his nemesis, sticky-fingered Ray Kirschmann of the NYPD. More murder ensues before Bernie, with the help of his lesbian buddy Carolyn, can get a handle on the proceedings. But when he does, and has gathered all the principals into a room for the inevitable explanatory/accusatory windup ("I suppose you're wondering why I summoned you all here," he gets to say, to his and the reader's delight, time and again), he hits on a solution that fingers a most unlikely suspect, satisfies all the claimants to the letters and leaves him (and Ray) richer. Block's effortless mastery of his material, his relaxed ease, are as pleasurable as always, and he has some splendid fun with an author not unlike J.D. Salinger. This is the prolific Block's only new novel of the year, and it's a steal at any price. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

If truth is stranger than fiction, it also sometimes makes for some funny fiction. In Block's ninth Bernie Rhodenbarr mystery, obviously inspired by the J.D. Salinger/Joyce Maynard literary tempest in a teapot, our beloved burglar/bookstore owner has been hired by Alice Cottrell, the former teenage lover of reclusive author Gulliver Fairborn, to steal Fairborn's letters before his former literary agent Anthea Landau can auction them. Slipping into Landau's room at the Paddington Hotel, Bernie discovers the letters gone and Landau murdered. As usual, Bernie is considered a prime suspect by the police and must prove his innocence with the aid of dog washer and lesbian buddy Carolyn Kaiser. Although lightweight, this is an entertaining read filled with Block's trademark humor and clever plot twists. In addition, Block throws a few satirical jabs at the literary world. One hopes The Burglar in the Rye will amuse the elusive and (litigious) author of The Catcher in the Rye. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 3/1/99.]ÄWilda Williams, "Library Journal" (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



The Burglar in the Rye Chapter One The lobby was a bit the worse for wear. The large oriental carpet had seen better days, lots of them. The facing Lawson sofas sagged invitingly and, like the rest of the furniture, showed the effects of long use. They were in use now; two women sat in animated conversation, and, a few yards away, a man with a long oval face and a high forehead sat reading a copy of GQ . He wore sunglasses, which made him look dapper and sly. I don't know how they made the magazine look. Dark, I suppose. While the lobby may have been the least bit down at the heels, the overall impression was not so much of shabbiness as of comfort. The glow of a fire in the fireplace, a welcome sight on a brisk October day, put everything in the best possible light. And, centered above the fireplace mantel, painted with such . . . The Burglar in the Rye . Copyright © by Lawrence Block. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from The Burglar in the Rye 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.