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Burglar In The Closet [Mass Market Paperback]

Lawrence Block
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 27 1997 Bernie Rhodenbarr Mysteries
Hired by his dentist to steal back some valuable diamonds from his ex-wife, Bernie Rhodenbarr is nearly discovered and hides in the closet, only to become the witness to the woman's murder. Reprint. NYT.

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About the Author

A Mystery Writers of America Grand Master, Lawrence Block is a four-time winner of the Edgar Allan Poe and Shamus Awards, as well as a recipient of prizes in France, Germany, and Japan. The author of more than fifty books and numerous short stories, he is a devout New Yorker who spends much of his time traveling.

--This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.

From AudioFile

This is the second in the popular Bernie Rhodenbarr series, and once again the feckless New York City burglar blunders into a murder scene. Getting himself out of this situation while chasing a woman or two occupies him throughout. Adams Morgan narrates in such a way that he disappears into the background. He has an expressive American voice, and he imparts the rueful lightness called for by the first-person point of view. His characterizations are entirely a matter of pacing. It's all nicely done and understated. D.W. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Burglary Isn't All It's Cracked Up to Be! May 3 2003
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Lawrence Block is one of our most talented mystery authors. In the Bernie Rhodenbarr series he explores out an ordinary, but intelligent, "honest" person might go about pursuing a life of crime as a fastidious and talented burglar who isn't proud of what he does, doesn't like to hang out with criminals, and really gets a big thrill out of breaking and entering . . . and removing valuables. As you can see, there's a sitcom set-up to provide lots of humor. But the humor works well in part because Mr. Block is able to put the reader in the Bernie's shoes while he breaks, enters and steals . . . and evades the long arm of the law. To balance the "honest" burglar is an array of "dishonest" and equally easy-money loving cops. As a result, you're in a funny moral never-never land while your stomach tightens and your arm muscles twitch as tension builds. To make matters even more topsy-turvy, Bernie at some point in every story turns into an investigator who must figure out "who-dun-it" for some crime that he personally didn't do. It's almost like one of those "mystery at home" games where the victim comes back as the police investigator, playing two roles. Very nice!
So much for explaining the concept of the series. The Burglar in the Closet is the second book in the series. I strongly suggest that you begin the series by reading Burglars Can't Be Choosers. Each story in the series adds information and characters in a way that will reduce your pleasure of the others if read out of order. Although, I originally read them out of order and liked them well enough. I'm rereading them now in order, and like it much better this way. The Burglar Who Liked to Quote Kipling comes next in the series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another fun to read Burglar April 28 1998
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the second of eight novels in the Bernie Rhodenbarr series by author Lawrence Block who has written many other novels. I was first introduced to Bernie when I picked up a copy of "The Burglar Who Traded Ted Williams," in a discount pile of books on the way down south on I-95. I have also read and reviewed "Burglars Can't Be Choosers," which introduces us to Bernie a burglar who lets himself into wherever he wants to go with his trusty set of burglar tools. Bernie gets himself into trouble, again. This time while burglarizing an apartment he is locked into a closet. He has already lifted the jewels he came for. His victim is Crystal Sheldrake the ex-wife of Bernie's dentist who puts him up to the crime. While locked in the closet Crystal is murdered by another intruder. The weapon just happens to be a dentist's scalpel. Once again this full-time cat burglar must turn part-time detective to save his own skin. "The Burglar in the Closet," is fun as are the other "The Burglar Who..." books I have read.
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Less well known than some of the installments that followed it in the "Burglar" series, THE BURGLAR IN THE CLOSET is a fabulous play-fair whodunnit, filled with great character bits and at least a dozen scenes that will make you laugh out loud. Bernie is not yet the proprietor of his used bookstore here -- he's a full-time burglar and part-time detective, working desperately to free his dentist from a charge of murder. Block's authoritative asides on the science of burglary are delicious and the climactic unmasking of the killer at the end is entirely satisfying. (Fans of the series will note that this book contains the first appearance of artist Denise Raphaelson, who returns to great effect in Block's brilliant THE BURGLAR WHO PAINTED LIKE MONDRIAN.)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Lawrence, Meet ... Lawrence July 14 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If you miss Lawrence Saunders, then meet Lawrence Block. His series reminds me a lot of Saunders' Archy McNally, except that Bernie's on the other side of the law!! But the gist is the same, bachelor, swinger, funny, and always entertaining. In this installment, he steals jewels,which are stolen from him, doesn't kill someone the police think he killed and sleeps with a girlfriend that ain't his. But he puts everything (well, almost everything) back into balance by the end of the story, though he doesn't get the jewels or the girl. A good read, and an entertaining plot that doesn't give itself away until the very end, it will make you want to get the rest of Block's series. Easy going fiction.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Overall, good book. Nov. 1 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Although this was not the first 'Bernie Rhodenbarr' mystery in the series, this was my first book by the author. I found the book to be quite good. His first mistake was to not have taken the jewels in the closet with him. It was really far-fetched to think that he would ever find the jewels and I knew that it would be very difficult to find the killer AND the jewels, but in the end, it worked out quite well for him. I will continue to follow with the rest of the 'Bernie Rhodenbarr' mysteries.
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