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The Bookman's Promise: A Cliff Janeway Novel Mass Market Paperback – Jan 25 2005


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Star; 1st Pocket Books Pbk. Ed edition (Jan. 25 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743476298
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743476294
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 10.9 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #838,008 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Janeway series is just wonderful. Really glad I stumbled on it in a used book store. Wish there were more of them. Only 5 to date.
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Format: Hardcover
Perhaps it was because I was expecting a disaster--after all, an ex-cop turned antique book dealer! Come on! But what I found instead of a joke was a remarkable book with enough twists and turns to keep you busy on a Saturday night! This thing is just fantastic and I have to say that I was mightly impressed with John Dunning's talent as a writer. How does he come up with this stuff? As a crime/mystery novel, the story is good. Janeway is an interesting character, and you quickly become wrapped up in his quest. For me, the element that makes it a special read is the backdrop of book selling. I love books, and I love readingThe writing is great--on the same level as Jackson McCrae's "The Bark of the Dogwood" or Boyle's "Water Music," and the plot, pacing, and characters are amazing. I highly, highly, highly recommend this book!
Also recommended: McCrae's "Bark of the Dogwood--A Tour of Southern Homes and Gardens."
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Format: Hardcover
Some years ago, a bookseller told me that John Dunning had decided not to continue the Cliff Janeway series. I was really sorry, because I had so enjoyed the two Janeway novels. Thus when I saw the announcement of "Bookman's Promise," I was thrilled. I ordered the book and read it at once.
What a disappointment. Gone are the details of the rare book world that made "Booked to Die" so fascinating; gone is the careful delineation of Janeway's initially-complex character.
In their place is a superficial tough-guy private eye caper, complete with scumbag gangsters (in the rare book world, mind you), macho posturing, and that annoying rapid-fire repartee without which private dicks are apparently not allowed to beat up crooks.
According to the bookjacket, Dunning is working on Cliff Janeway #4. But I doubt I'll be reading it, now that Cliff has become just another Spenser clone. I'd suggest that Dunning and Parker collaborate on a cross-over, except that the characters would probably do nothing but trade smart remarks while they punch the crap out of each other.
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Format: Hardcover
Cliff Janeway is back with a fury. Mr. Dunning begins this novel in 1987 in Denver, the home of Janeway's bookstore. Then the policeman-turned-bookseller travels to Baltimore, Charleston and then back to Denver in his quest to find the murderer of Denise Ralston, who Janeway believes was murdered because the assailant thought she had a rare book by Sir Richard Burton, the l9th Century English writer, not the 20th Century actor, as Dunning would say. To paraphrase Faulker, "once a cop, always a cop" as Janeway's sleuthing skills come back to him. He sets about to solve the several mysteries here in a deliberate, meticulous fashion. As we have come to expect from Dunning's two previous novels, Janeway's relationship with a woman he pursues is rocky. And THE BOOKMAN'S PROMISE ends on a cliffhanger!
This novel flows more easily than the first two mysteries, I thought; apparently Mr. Dunning has found his stride. The reader learns a lot about Richard Burton; and for those who want to know more about this interesting individual, the author gives a list for further reading at the end of the book.
I must say I missed all the referenes to book publishers and first editions and prices that were so entertaining in the first two books of this series and for the most part are absent here, although Mr. Dunning does make a couple of digs at St. Martin's Press.
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Format: Hardcover
When ex-cop turned bookman Cliff Janeway takes a giant step into serious collecting, his $30,000 purchase of a volume by British explorer Richard Burton lands him in a quagmire of fraud, theft and, ultimately, murder.
This third in the series (years after "Booked to Die," and "The Bookman's Wake") is set in 1987, before the Internet made book searching easier, if not cleaner. The background booklore should fascinate anyone who likes books - from the searching of bibliographies and dusty shelves to the small world of serious collectors and occasional shady operators.
Janeway's acquisition puts him in an awkward position between the two when a frail old lady shows up claiming that his inscribed Burton book is part of her grandfather Warren's collection, stolen, or at least fraudulently sold, after his death. Further, Mrs. Gallant claims that Burton and Charlie Warren became friends and toured the south before the Civil War.
Her proof - an equally pristine Burton volume with a similar inscription - is hardly conclusive, but Janeway promises to pursue the matter. A brutal murder follows on the heels of the old lady's death and sends Janeway to Gallant's hometown of Baltimore, to an old bookstore with a sleazy reputation and to a woman who uses hypnotism to take oral histories from people like Mrs. Gallant.
Which leads to a somewhat awkward flashback-like section in which Charlie Warren (through the taped medium of Mrs. Gallant) tells the story of his trip with Richard Burton and how Burton helped start the war. Armed with this knowledge, Janeway speeds things along and is soon mixing it up with arrogant academics, thugs, arsonists and murderers. And exchanging wisecracks and romantic sparks with a possibly untrustworthy lawyer.
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