Wednesday, October 3, 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.

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