Archive for the 'Reviews'


Block keeps the story light and fun, with plenty of literary references for readers, be it about the current world of bookstores and publishing, or Block making it very clear that even though Bernie might be helping out the police, he will never go fully legit like other characters in the past. It seems Bernie has gone the route of other literary characters: While the world might change around him, he will stay as a young ageless man who always can be found at his bookstore, with his friends there to help him.

Warning: This review contains minor spoilers

Click here to read the full review


Picking up any of Mr. Block’s series books always feels to me like catching up with an old friend, but this is even more true with Bernie than the others, since he is the first of Mr. Block’s characters that I met. Mr. Block wrote this book after announcing his retirement, and has now declared that it seems he doesn’t do very well at being retired. I, as I am sure many other readers are, am delighted at this, and I hope it means more books (and more Bernie books) in future.

Click here to read the full review


Bernie is still a lovable rogue. As with his more modern analog, Keller, the hit man, readers have little trouble rooting for a career criminal as he plies his illicit trade. Block is an engaging writer, effortlessly carrying readers along with him as he puts his characters through their paces. He can even perform info dumps with a wink and a nod that make them more tolerable than normal. Better still, once Bernie explains what happened in the burgled apartment, many of the subtle clues he left early in the book make sense.

Click here to read the full review


Proving that Bernie is for younger readers too, THE BURGLAR WHO COUNTED THE SPOONS is on YA Yeah Yeah’s list of Best Adult Books!

The return of Lawrence Block’s wonderful burglar, Bernie Rhodenbarr, 9 years after the tenth novel in the series, was my most-anticipated book release for an awfully long time. It is an absolute pleasure to report that the character has lost none of his charm, Block’s writing is as superb as ever, and the plot is as ingenious as in any of the previous 10. I read this in one sitting within 24 hours of it being released – and that was on Christmas Day!

There’s also a terrific review on the site:

A few years ago, I wasn’t expecting to ever read another Rhodenbarr book – at least not for the first time – but I really hope that this won’t be the final time that he utters that classic line of his. Hugely recommended.

Click here to read the full review


This wonderful review is from Charles Snee of Yahoo!:

There are times when the characters in a novel are just as entertaining and multi-faceted as the story line. Such is the case for Lawrence Block’s latest Bernie Rhodenbarr mystery: his self-published The Burglar Who Counted The Spoons, which he penned over the course of a five-week cruise in the North Atlantic this past summer.

Time for a dash of self-disclosure: I am not a well-versed (much less an avid) fan of the mystery genre. The last mystery that I read, decades ago for a high-school English assignment, was Agatha Christie’s Elephants Can Remember. They sure can, but I can’t remember anything about that novel. Nonetheless, when Block announced that Rhodenbarr was going in for a fresh round of purloining, after a hiatus of almost 10 years, the urge to meet Bernie was too demanding to ignore.

Block describes Bernie as a “lighthearted and light-fingered fellow.” That he indubitably is, as the playful banter between him and Carolyn Kaiser (his trusty confidant and sidekick) – sprinkled throughout with bad puns and double entendres – amply attests. But he also is a keen appreciator of history and of the written word. As the proprietor of Barnegat Books in Greenwich Village, how could he not be?

As one might gather from the title, buttons figure prominently in Bernie’s clandestine, nighttime engagements, as does a fair bit of history surrounding a prominent American Colonial silversmith by the name of Myer Myers and, in particular, his creation of a set of apostle’s spoons.

You’re not familiar with apostle’s spoons? Not to worry. Bernie helpfully provides a brief précis. “You know what a spoon is, right?” he begins. And you can’t help but keep reading, despite his parenthetical admonition to elide past the details: “Look, if you already know all this, skip ahead. It was all news to me.” And to this reviewer as well, but it still made for fascinating reading. A history lesson wrapped inside a mystery. Who knew?

And so it goes throughout the story, as Bernie helps Ray, the NYPD detective, unravel the mystery, he treats the reader to myriad other historical vignettes.

Intrigued yet? Well, you should be. And if you enjoy learning about the past, tuck yourself into your favorite easy chair, pour yourself a Scotch (Bernie would be proud) and dig in. Come for the mystery and stay for the history. You’ll be glad you did.