More of Manhattan's favorite burglar/antiquarian-bookseller--Bernie Rhodenbarr, whose narration is becoming (to his credit) a little less aggressively wise-guyish. This time Bernie and sidekick Carolyn (a lesbian pet-store owner) rob a posh 18th street pad--and, though some other burglars have already ravaged the place, they lift a valuable 1913 nickel from the safe and entrust it to Bernie's beloved mittel-European fence, old Abel Crowe. Trouble ahead, though: that same night, the wife of the owner of the posh pad is found murdered. . . and then Abel Crowe is slain. Was the lady of the house killed by yet a third set of burglars? (Her hubby caught a glimpse of the robber, he says.) Did someone kill Abel to get hold of that nickel? And who is following Bernie around, trying to get the nickel from him? Even modestly savvy readers will guess the answer to the lady's murder--but the solution to Abel's death is endearingly surprising. And all the deductions are stagily announced by Bernie--from the pulpit of a little church in Brooklyn during Abel's memorial service. The usual assortment of break-ins, seams, dumb cops, smart talk, Village-y milieu. . . plus some numismatics: Bernie's fans will not be disappointed.