The Burglar Who Liked to Quote Kipling (Bernie Rhodenbarr by Lawrence Block

By Lawrence Block

Bernie Rhodenbarr has long past professional -- nearly -- because the new proprietor of a used book shop in New York's Greenwich Village. after all, dusty previous tomes do not constantly flip a revenue, with the intention to make ends meet, Bernie's compelled, every now and then, to delight in his prior career: housebreaking. in addition to which, he likes it.

Now a collector is supplying Bernie a chance to mix his dual passions through stealing a really infrequent and extremely undesirable book-length poem from a wealthy man's library.

The heist is going off with no hitch. The supply of the ill-gotten quantity, although, is a unique tale. Drugged through the client's girl go-between, Bernie wakes up in her condominium to discover the ebook long past, the girl lifeless, a smoking gun in his hand, and the police officers on the door. And unexpectedly he is obtained to extricate himself from a slightly sticky real-life homicide secret and discover a killer -- ahead of he is booked for homicide One.

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Sample text

You’re like Casper the Ghost. ” The cats had deserted my lap and were brushing themselves passionately against her ankles, desperate to be fed. She ignored them. ” She listened, cocked her head. “Sounds like Monk,” she said. ” “It’s Jimmy Rowles, but that’s not what I meant. ” After the record ended we got a quickie commercial for a jazz cruise to the Bahamas, and I had to explain that that wasn’t it either. Then they gave us the eleven o’clock news, and high time, too. The Turkish earthquake, the flaky Albanian, the probable presidential veto, and then the extraordinary news that a convicted burglar, Bernard Rhodenbarr by name, was sought in connection with the murder of one Madeleine Porlock, who had been shot to death in her own apartment on East Sixty-sixth Street.

Won’t be there tonight,” he said shortly. He sounded as though someone had puffed up his tongue with a bicycle pump. He went on to give me an address on East Sixty-sixth between First and Second avenues. “Apartment 3-D,” he said. ” He thought it over. ” Odd, I thought, hanging up the phone. I was the one running on four hours’ sleep. He was the one who sounded exhausted. I don’t know exactly when the Sikh appeared. He was just suddenly there, poking around among the shelves, a tall slender gentleman with a full black beard and a turban.

CHAPTER Six I wanted to look him in the eyes but I couldn’t keep from staring at the gun. “There is something,” I said. ” His free hand snatched it up the instant I laid it on the counter. The smile was back now, broader than ever. He tried the book in his jacket pocket but it didn’t fit. He set it back on the counter for a moment while he drew an envelope from an inside pocket. He was still pointing the gun at me and I wished he’d stop. “For your trouble,” he said, slapping the envelope smartly on the counter in front of me.

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