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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Booked to Die


by John Dunning

Just what I need right now - a really good mystery! I really enjoyed this one. It was like getting two books in one: A good mystery and a story about bookscouting and running a bookstore.

"Denver cop and rare book collector Cliff Janeway is introduced in this engrossing whodunit from two-time Edgar nominee Dunning. A sensitive and introspective sort, Janeway chafes in the hard-edged role of law enforcer so often demanded of him. When a down-on-his-luck book scout named Bobby Westfall is murdered, Cliff at first suspects local thug and personal nemesis Jackie Newton. Newton's girlfriend, a victim of physical abuse, makes Cliff more determined than ever to nail Newton. Sensitivity notwithstanding, he goes after his quarry with both fists cocked and both barrels aimed, neglecting any semblance of correct police procedure. This ironic twist shapes the plot as Janeway delves further into his city's antiquarian book trade, whose practitioners display an expertise exceeded only by their greed. Crisp, direct prose and nearly pitch-perfect dialogue enhance this meticulously detailed page-turner." --from Publisher's Weekly

The main character is a likable, down-to-earth guy with a few flaws that keep him human. And he loves books. He loves to read and to collect and to sell books. Throughout the book he mentions titles of quite a few books that are valuable. I've never been a collector of 1st editions, but when I saw the wooden box containing all 7 Harry Potter's in hardback in a recent ad, I started scheming. I knew then that this book got through to me.

I learned about two books that I want to find and read: Beyond a Reasonable Doubt by C.W. Grafton, Sue's father and Red Dragon by Thomas Harris.

I think this book was first recommended to me by Jenclair. Thanks, Jenclair. I loved it and am looking forward to reading the next in the series.

22 comments:

3M said...

This is one of my favorite books! I loved the story, but I didn't think the writing was so great. Easy to forgive, though, when books and bookhunting are the topic!

twiga92 said...

I have this on my list with booksfree.com. Or I might break down and get it from paperbackswap. Glad you enjoyed it - it sounds interesting!

Mailyn said...

I love mystery novels! Although I prefer historical mysteries. Have been reading some rather good ones lately.

Stacy at Exceedingly Mundane said...

Great review; sounds like a good book. I just checked and my library has it in the system, so I've added it to my ever-growing list. I swear, my to-read list is growing exponentially, the more good books people read and blog about :)

Happy Reading!

Literary Feline said...

I have this series among my TBR collection. I'm glad to hear it's worth reading. Thank you for your great review.

Darla D said...

I enjoyed this one, too. I remember listening to it in audio format, and it lent itself well to being read aloud. I think about the book often when I'm going through book donations at my library, trying to figure out if musty old books might actually be worth something. It gave me a real appreciation for people who actually know what they're doing!

Framed said...

Is this the first of the series? I've read two of them, both really good, but not this one.

Carrie K said...

I really liked the first two of this series. They're a little uneven after that, or maybe it was me. Still a fun romp and what's not to love about a book guy?

Bellezza said...

I haven't read this particular novel, or author, but I'm always up for a mystery! Thanks for sharing. Have a great time on your upcoming trip!

Ex Libris said...

I read this a few months ago and really enjoyed it! Glad you did, too :)

Joy said...

I've had this on my TBR list for quite some time and I've only heard good things about it. :) Glad you liked it, too.

I've heard of RED DRAGON, but that's it...just heard of it.

Eva said...

hmmm...this book sounds interesting!

I've read Red Dragon, and I love it! Thomas Harris is an amazing writer (I haven't read his latest, but the first three were very powerful). The movie w/ Edward Norton and Anthony Hopkins is good too. It's more Silence of the Lambs style creepy, instead of the awful, gorry travesty Ridley Scott made of Hannibal (I still haven't forgiven him).

Lazy cow said...

I love this series too. And Red Dragon is a good read.

SuziQoregon said...

Sounds good - this one's going on my TBR list :-)

Dewey said...

I used to read a LOT of mysteries, and then I just got out of the habit for some reason. This one looks good!

Les said...

My hubby has read this entire series. I plan to. Not sure why I'm holding off. Maybe I'm just being too strict with myself, trying to read what I already own.

Lynne said...

Oh no, another book to add to my growing wish list! Thanks for the recommendation.

jenclair said...

:) I'm so glad you liked it! I've enjoyed all of the books in the series and especially like the way the character develops.

kimbofo said...

Thanks for this review. This book has been recommended to me by so many people -- I have it on my wishlist but am yet to buy it. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Robin said...

I've never read any John Dunning, but I'm going to have to take care of that really soon. Do I need to read his books in any kind of order, or is this one a good starting point? It sounds really good.

Bonnie Jacobs said...

And because it is one of my five chosen for the "Something About Me" Reading Challenge, you added it as one you plan to read:
http://readfromatoz.blogspot.com/2007
/06/something-about-me-challenge.html

I'm glad you enjoyed the book. I also see that you plan to read Shadows on the Rock by Willa Cather. I'm sure you are (or will be) happy to have seen Quebec in connection to this book. I reviewed the book this week and just posted one of your photos showing the city, here (I gave you credit for both the photo and what I quoted of your commentary about Quebec):
http://bonniesbooks.blogspot.com/2007
/08/quebec-city.html

Earlier tonight I was overjoyed to find your photo of an iceberg off the coast of Newfoundland. I gave you credit when I used it to illustrate my review of Latitudes of Melt by Joan Clark, here:
http://bonniesbooks.blogspot.com/2007
/08/icebergs-off-newfoundland.html

I think you would probably like this book, too. Are you home from your trip yet?

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Booklogged, you haven't posted this review of Booked to Die at the Something About Me challenge, yet ... or at least I haven't found it there. Although you used different book covers there and in this post, it was one of the books you chose for the challenge:

http://readfromatoz.blogspot.com/2007/06/something-about-me-challenge.html