BOOKED TO DIE by John Dunning

BOOKED TO DIE

KIRKUS REVIEW

 Dunning, twice nominated for the Edgar (a pair of paperbacks), deserves to win one for this Denver cop-turned-bookman tale--a lively, seductive primer on how to open a bookstore, spot a first edition, warehouse it, price it, and enjoy it for its own sake. Cliff Janeway quits the force when he is suspended pending the outcome of brutality charges brought by his nemesis, Jackie Newton. Long a collector and frequenter of Denver's Book Row, Janeway rents space, hires the charmingly efficient Miss Pride as his assistant, and opens Twice Told Books. And, on his own time, works on a case that the Denver force has no leads on: the murder of book scout Bobby Westfall. As Janeway goes deeper and deeper into the book business, he manages to pinpoint Bobby's last day--the book dealers he sold to, the collector he bought from, and the big score he was double-crossed out of. Then a book-scout friend of Bobby's and the estimable Miss Pride are executed at Twice Told Books, and Janeway ups his investigative pace, which involves meetings (and romance) with a highly secretive rare-book dealer; scrutiny of a collection appraisal; and schmoozing with the owners along Book Row, until an alibi, like some book spines, cracks. Janeway, who can be tough, sensitive, and passionate, is a credible hero, both as cop and as book-lover. Moreover, the mystery holds its own with the atmospherics. Happily for fans, Dunning, a rare-book dealer himself, plans further Janeway books.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-684-19383-3
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Scribner
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 1991




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