Booked to Die: A Mystery Introducing Cliff Janeway (Cliff Janeway Novels (Hardcover)) Hardcover – 23 Jan 1992
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United Press International Very credible...An involved tale that satisfies the mystery reader's wants.
"St. Petersburg Times" (FL) A perfect mystery. It's intelligently written; the action is bafflingly logical; the reader learns something, and it's got a sucker punch of a finale.
"Publishers Weekly" (starred review) Crisp, direct prose and nearly pitch-perfect dialogue enhance this meticulously detailed page-turner.
"Mystery Scene" Memorable...Compellng...Vivdly realistic...Fascinating and utterly convincing...A suspenseful, well-crafted mystery that should keep readers guessing right up to the closing paragraph. This novel, friends, is a keeper.
"Boston Sunday Globe" I am...an unabashed admirer of John Dunning's "Booked to Die." No one...can fail to be delighted by the sort of folkloric advice Janeway carries with him.
"New York Times Book Review" A joy to read...[A] whodunit in the classic mode.
"The Philadephia Inquirer" A standout piece of crime fiction...Compelling page-turning stuff.
"The Plain Dealer" (Cleveland) Irresistible....An outstanding novel.
"The Denver Post" A knockout....One of the most enjoyable books I've read in a long time.
"San Francisco Chronicle" Fascinating...Assured and muscular prose...Very cannily and creepily, Dunning shows how quiet men with civilized tastes can turn into killers...The payoff, in pleasure, is for the reader.
From the Back Cover
Denver homicide detective Cliff Janeway may not always play by the book, but he's an avid collector of rare and first editions. After a local bookscout is killed on his turf, Janeway would like nothing better than to rearrange the suspect's spine. But the suspect, sleazeball Jackie Newton, is a master at eluding murder convictions. Unfortunately for Janeway, his swift form of off-duty justice costs him his badge.
Turning to his lifelong passion, Janeway opens a small bookshop -- all the while searching for evidence to put Newton away. But when prized volumes in a highly sought-after collection begin to appear, so do dead bodies. Now Janeway's life is about to change in profound and shocking ways as he attempts to find out who's dealing death along with vintage Chandlers and Twains. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
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When a book scout called Bobby is found dead in an alley, Janeway notices that the murder is similar to a string of other homicides that have plagued Denver over the previous few years. Janeway knows who committed those murders. It was a lowlife thug called Jackie Newton whom Janeway has been trying to put away without success. Newton is Janeway's nemesis, he's the guy who inhabits Janeway's dreams. Janeway wants nothing more than to pin this new murder on Newton and to finally see him locked up for good, but there are a few things about this killing that don't fit the others.
The murder victim is a book scout, a guy who hunts for valuable books in thrift shops and other locations in order to sell them to book dealers. Janeway is no stranger to the book world, being a collector himself, and so he begins to investigate this murder with the idea that Bobby the book scout may have found some literary masterpiece or a collection of valuable books and that is what got him killed.
The investigation takes Janeway and the reader into the world of dealers in fine books. It is fascinating, especially for book lovers, even those who don't collect them but just enjoy reading them. It is a world in which a first edition may bring a hundred dollars today and $500 a month from now. It is a world in which one ink mark on an otherwise pristine volume can bring down the price by half or more. And it is a world in which dealers and book scouts hunt for books as others hunt for hidden treasure.
In his preface to the book, the author, John Dunning, wrote about how Booked To Die was published after ten years in which he hadn't written a book because he was disappointed with the mediocre sales of his previous novels. In the interim, he and his wife opened a high-end book dealership in Denver, which is how he became so knowledgeable in the field of fine books.
Booked To Die became an almost instantaneous success story, surprising its author more than anyone else. It also surprised me. I do not expect to enjoy this book as much as I did and I'm grateful for John Dunning for having written it. It is one of the best novels I've read in 2017.
This novel is extremely well-written, intelligent, engrossing, and suspenseful. The mystery element is also very well done. I did not guess who the murderer was until the very end.
This is a gem of a novel. If you're into mysteries of any kind, do yourself a favor and pick up this novel. I'm now reading the second novel in the Cliff Janeway series, and so far it is every bit as good as its predecessor.
The author made his characters thoroughly believable & thoroughly likeable. Mixed into this well written mystery are details about collectible books woven skillfully into the story.
A friend loaned me the paperback and I enjoyed it so thoroughly that I ordered the hardcover available on Amazon -- the book is that good! Buy it, if you love books as much as I do, you'll really enjoy and treasure this book!
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