Cover image for Lieberman's thief
Lieberman's thief
Kaminsky, Stuart M.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Henry Holt, 1995.
Physical Description:
238 pages ; 22 cm.
Geographic Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense

On Order



Chicago police detective Abe Lieberman races against time to find burglar Pitty-Pitty Patniks, who, in the course of a robbery, becomes an unwitting and reluctant witness to murder.

Author Notes

Stuart M. Kaminsky is head of the radio/television/film department at Northwestern University in Illinois. He is also a writer of textbooks, screenplays, and mystery novels.

The more popular of his two series of detective novels features Toby Peters. Set in the 1930s and 1940s, the Peters books draw on Kaminsky's knowledge of history and love of film by incorporating characters from the film industry's past in nostalgic mysteries. Murder on the Yellow Brick Road (1978), for example, features Judy Garland while Catch a Falling Clown (1982) stars Emmett Kelley as Peters's client and Alfred Hitchcock as a murder suspect.

His other critically acclaimed series chronicles the cases of Inspector Porfiry Rostnikov. Kaminsky's detailed studies of Russian police procedure combined with aspects of life in Russia have earned the Series an Edgar nomination for Black Knight in Red Square (1984) and the 1989 Edgar Award for A Cold Red Sunrise (1988).

Stuart Kaminsky was born in Chicago in 1934 and died in 2009.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

George Patniks is a professional burglar and a good one. Unfortunately, the day he has chosen to burgle the Rozier home turns out to be the same day Mr. Rozier has chosen to kill Mrs. Rozier. As the one witness who can't report the crime to the police, Patniks tries to keep a low profile, but Rozier can't afford to ignore such a risky loose end. Chicago homicide detective Abe Lieberman and his partner Bill Hanrahan immediately suspect Rozier, but they have nothing on which to build a case. Kaminsky captures the sights and sounds of his Chicago setting most convincingly. He guides us through the police-procedural aspects of the plot smoothly, while depicting enough of Lieberman's and Hanrahan's personal lives to make them fully realized characters. Despite the fact that Kaminsky has three successful series of mystery novels running simultaneously, he consistently creates interesting plots and believable characters. Highly recommended. --George Needham

Publisher's Weekly Review

The fourth in Kaminsky's Chicago mystery series starring put-upon detective Abe Lieberman begins with a career burglar stealing into a home only to witness the man of the house murdering his wife. George Patnicks, the small-time thief‘who's also a good painter‘goes into hiding from both the homeowner and the cops. While working on the case, Lieberman contends with his off-the-charts cholesterol count and his partner's romancing of a Chinese woman whose powerful benefactor takes a dim view of a recovering-drunk Irish cop's pursuit of his beloved charge. ``The Jewish policeman who looked like an old, tired dog'' (as he appears to the sister of another thief) also faces his daughter's failing marriage, the rabbi who wants to buy the Lieberman house and the wily band of old-timers at the local deli, who crack wise and, as usual, threaten to steal the detective's thunder. Kaminsky keeps all these balls in the air, expertly juggling the moods of his prose: comic, scary, murderous. If only Lieberman could work the same magic with his diet. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Kaminsky's fourth title in his series featuring the long-suffering Chicago detective Abe Lieberman (e.g., Lieberman's Day, Audio Reviews, LJ 3/1/95) is a delight. When career burglar George Patnicks witnesses a murder in the course of a domestic break-in and Lieberman is assigned the case, their paths are fated to cross. As usual, complications arise in Abe's personal life and in the cases he is handling. Reader David Colacci makes all the right choices in his reading: he uses a slightly sardonic voice while infusing dry humor and resignation in Abe's dialog and handles the remaining characters with ease. Kaminsky's story is involving and character-driven, with a feel for their daily lives. A must for mystery collections.‘Melody A. Moxley, Rowan P.L., Salisbury, N.C. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.