The Burglar Who Painted Like Mondrian (Bernie Rhodenbarr by Lawrence Block

By Lawrence Block

It isn't that used book shop proprietor and part-time burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr believes the fewer felony of his professions is especially moral. (It is, even though, a hurry, and he's first-class at it.) He simply thinks it really is unfair to stand a jail time period for his valid actions. After appraising the value of a wealthy man's library -- comfortably leaving his fingerprints all over the method -- Bernie unearths he is the police officers' leading suspect while his purchaser is murdered. somebody has framed Bernie Rhodenbarr larger than they do it on the Whitney. And if he desires to get out of this nook he is been masterfully painted into, he will need to unravel a slightly crafty -- if multiply murderous -- rip-off.

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I sipped my coffee black and went on adding numbers. The figure I came up with was somewhere in excess of $5,400, and I read it off to him. “I was probably conservative,” I added. “I’m doing this on the spot, without con­ sulting references, and I shaded things on the low side. ” “Retail prices. ” “And if you were buying the books as a dealer, presuming of course that this type of material was something you were interested in—” “I would be interested,” I allowed. ” I shook my head. “I’d be going with the first fig­ ure I quoted you,” I said.

Ubi, full name Ubiquity or Ubiquitous, I forget which, was a plump Russian Blue, more affectionate and a good deal less assertive than his Burmese buddy. Both had started life as males, and each had received at a tender age the sort of surgical attention which leaves one purring in soprano. “He was hiding somewhere,” I suggested. “No way. I looked in all his hiding places. In things, under things, behind things. Besides, I ran the electric can opener. ” “How? The window was shut and the door was locked.

Even if Appling and his wife were sequestered with the rest of the turkeys, there was always the chance that one of the rooms held some relative or friend or servant, sleeping peacefully or cowering in ter­ ror or putting in a quiet call to the local precinct. I went quickly in and out of each room and encoun­ tered nothing living but the houseplants. Then I re­ turned to the living room and switched on a lamp. I had plenty to choose from. The cobra door knocker was the first but hardly the last piece of art nouveau I encountered, and the living room was festooned with enough Tiffany lamps to cause a power failure.

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