Thursday, January 21, 2010


Booked to Die, John Dunning, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1992, 321 pp

Up until the past year or so, I did not often read mysteries. Now, thanks to my friend and mystery author Alice Zogg, I've added several mystery writers to my list of authors I like to read. John Dunning just joined the list.

Reading Booked to Die was pure fun. This is Dunning's first in a series featuring Cliff Janeway as detective. While working as a Denver homicide detective for years, Janeway has also been a closet collector of valuable first editions.

When his fixation on bringing in a certain psychopath drives him to acts outside the allowed perimeter for cops, Cliff finds himself suspended from the force. It is all a sort of midlife crisis which ends up in his owning a rare book shop.

Once a detective, always a detective though, so our hero continues to pursue the killer of a down-and-out book scout and, having lost his girlfriend along with his badge, also pursues Denver's most mysterious and successful rare book dealer, Rita McKinley.

What you get is page-turning crime fiction, insider peaks at the rare book business and amusing asides to all the great books you've either read or heard of. There are five in the series, so here I go!

(Booked to Die is sometimes in stock at Once Upon A Time Bookstore in the mystery section. If not you can order it in mass market paperback.)

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