Saturday, January 14, 2006

The Burglar in the Closet, by Lawrence Block

The Burglar in the Closet: A Bernie Rhodenbarr Mystery, by Lawrence Block

I haven’t encountered Bernie Rhodenbarr before, but this is just one of a continuing series in which he stars. Like Marlowe, Spenser, Rockford, and Kinky, Bernie is a tough guy with a heart of gold. Unlike those guys, Bernie is a thief instead of a private eye. The plot is straightforward: Bernie gets stuck in a closet during a robbery he is committing and a murder happens in the next room. Hijinks ensue.

Block is no Shakespeare, but his style fits this sort of potboiler very well. Passages like

“A woman? How will you know her?”
“She’ll be doing some serious drinking,” I said, “in a very frivolous bar.”
are littered throughout. A frivolous bar, my kind of place! I’ll be seeking out other Bernie novels for sure.

First Sentence:
“Gramercy Park,” said Miss Henrietta Tyler, “is an oasis in the middle of a cruel sea, a respite from the slings and arrows of which the Bard has warned us.”

No comments:

Search This Blog