I found it fun to read. It’s like spending time with an old friend who’s been gone for a while. You know something is going to trip Bernie up somewhere and you just have to wait for it to happen. All I have to say is that Bernie was almost too smart for his own good in this story. Read it and see what you think.
Brandon over at Every Read Thing had this to say about THE BURGLAR WHO COUNTED THE SPOONS:
When it comes down to it, this is light storytelling at its finest. While the history of the silver spoon was tightly researched and the reasoning behind its procurement had been interesting, the free-flowing conversations between Bernie, Carolyn and Ray were the highlight, leading to the pages breezing by. I will be seeking out the earlier Bernie novels for sure – I suggest you do the same.
Those who have already done “best of the year” lists have jumped the gun, since THE BURGLAR WHO COUNTED THE SPOONS belongs on such lists. I had a great time reading it and think most of you probably would, too, so it gets a very high recommendation from me.
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel‘s “Guide to 100 best books for readers young and old” includes THE BURGLAR WHO COUNTED THE SPOONS as an Editor’s Pick!
The mystery grandmaster brings back gentleman burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr for a caper that involves buttons and spoons — and plenty of banter about the book business.
Lawrence Block, an incredible talent and a legend in the business, is releasing his latest novel on Christmas day, and I was lucky enough to get an advance copy. Let me just say this. The man can write. It’s an enormously articulate, viciously funny, poignant, whimsical, and erudite mystery entitled, “The Burglar Who Counted The Spoons,” and you could do far worse than picking up a copy. It’s also his first self-pubbed offering (yes, he’s come over to the dark side), and as such, deserving of our support. This marks another big name who has elected to self-publish rather than go the trad pub route, and is worthy of noting. Buy it and read it. For an author looking at how to write mystery, it’s like going to school.
The book has all the hallmarks of classic Bernie: fluent, hilarious dialogue; the admiration of artistic, cultural and literary worth; the ever-presence of New York City; Carolyn’s intermittently successful love-life; the culinary adventures of their daily lunch date; and of course the puzzle of who is the murderer and why.
I’ve been reading the novels of Lawrence Block since, well, I can tell you almost exactly how long.
Bernie is always excellent company, and his narration’s always a pleasure to read. Add in the snappy patter, the humor, the smooth plotting, and you have another big winner for Lawrence Block
Larry, if this is retirement, let’s have more of it.
Ian Rankin, author of the terrific John Rebus and Malcolm Fox series, had this to say about THE BURGLAR WHO COUNTED THE SPOONS:
‘The Burglar Who Counted The Spoons’ by @LawrenceBlock comes out Dec 25th. I’ve just finished reading an early copy. It’s joyous stuff.
— Ian Rankin (@Beathhigh) November 25, 2013
Reviewer Gloria Feit has just sent along her lovely post on THE BURGLAR WHO COUNTED THE SPOONS…enjoy!
This wonderful new book brings the return of Bernard Grimes (“Bernie,” or just “Bern”) Rhodenbarr, proprietor (with the help of his cat, Raffles) of Barnegat Books, on East 11th Street off Broadway, in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. Bernie also has a “sideline” as a burglar. Or maybe running the bookstore is the sideline. He has also been called a “gentleman burglar . . . a vanishin’ breed.” He himself admits “I’ve been doing this long enough so that it’s a profession.” But there is no doubt he loves books, and bookstores, the “old-fashioned kind, where people come in looking for something to read, and collectors come in hunting for treasures, and we all have nice intellectual conversations,” and bemoans the fact that “the world’s changing,” referring to the obvious direction in which the world of publishing in particular is headed.
As his best friend, Carolyn reminds him, in the past he and the local police have had sort of an adversarial relationship, where he was sought out “for the benefit of his expertise” when he’d gotten himself “in some jam and the only way out of it is to catch the real killer.” But this time his friend, Detective Ray Kirschmann, requests that Bernie act as an unofficial NYPD consultant when an elderly woman is found dead in her 92nd Street apartment, which appears to have been burglarized as well. The other plot line deals with a mysterious customer obsessed with collections in general, and buttons in particular. What follows is a terrific tale of detection and investigation, ending with a gathering of suspects in a scene beginning with the words “I suppose you’re wondering why I summoned you all here” which fans of detective (amateur or otherwise) fiction have known and loved for a long time.
If you enjoy consistently erudite, witty, clever writing, and who amongst us does not, you will find much to love here. I also particularly enjoyed the tip of the hat by the author to a few of the finest practitioners of the art of writing mystery fiction: Jeffery Deaver, Michael Connelly, S.J. Rozan, and the late Ed McBain and Rex Stout. I found myself wondering what percentage of the gems put forth by the author are actual fact – - all, I suspect, and all of it fascinating (some obscure, if not arcane) and all very impressive. As well, I was delighted by the reference to Brooklyn when it was “so far from being a desirable address that the Dodgers hadn’t even left yet.” And to discover that Bernie is apparently a Mets fan to boot (full disclosure: I am a former Brooklynite/Dodgers fan and a present Mets fan). The publication date makes this a perfect holiday gift, perhaps for oneself.