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The Burglar Who Liked to Quote Kipling (1979)

by Lawrence Block

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Bernie Rhodenbarr (3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7891123,159 (3.73)38
In this third installment of Block's "New York Times" bestselling series, bookseller and burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr is on the prowl for a long-lost Kipling poem. But Bernie soon finds himself as the prime suspect in a murder investigation.
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» See also 38 mentions

English (10)  Spanish (1)  All languages (11)
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
Block, Lawrence. The Burglar Who Liked to Quote Kipling. 1979. Bernie Rhodenbarr No. 3. HarperTorch, 2005.
In this third volume of the Bernie Rhodenbarr series, Lawrence Block reaches his stride. He has given Bernie a bookstore, which he can use to launder some of his ill-gotten gains, and he has given him a permanent sidekick, Carolyn Kaiser, a witty lesbian dog groomer. Of course, Ray Kirschmann, “the best cop money can buy” is back for his piece of the action. The series can now run like a stable sitcom with a familiar cast and setting. The plot in this one involves purloining a rare volume of antisemitic poetry by Rudyard Kipling. As usual, the plot is satisfyingly twisty. 4 stars. ( )
  Tom-e | Mar 31, 2022 |
This was my favorite book of the series so far,funnier then ever with lines like

“Wonderful. I can play it safe by sitting in a stolen car parked at a bus stop. Why don’t I just wait in the subway? I could cling to the third rail for security.”

Fictional Kipling poems " The Deliverance of Fort Bucklow" drives the story but it's all Bernie and Carolyn thatdrive the fun with excellent dialogue and a complicated mystery just perfect for a book lover.

( )
  kevn57 | Dec 8, 2021 |
In the third book in the “Burglar” series, Block provides the reader with a short, satisfying, humorous read. Bernie Rhodenbarr is a bookseller by day and a burglar by night and he is often quite a burglar. In many ways, this series is a “Yin” to the “Yang” of the dark, brooding Scudder series. Although it is crime fiction in that Bernie is a burglar and he is often accused of murder and placed in dangerous situations, including often being on the run from the law, the series tends to be light and humorous rather than dark and gritty.

Plot-wise, most of the Burglar books tend to follow a similar pattern. If you’ve read one, then you probably have an idea of how the others will go. Bernie is approached to burgle an item of value and somehow, in the course of burgling or fencing the item, a dead body appears and the police and the media think that Bernie is the killer, although he has never turned to violence before. Bernie is generally on the run from the law and out to unmask the real killer. This volume follows this basic plot.

Here, Bernie for the first time operates a bookshop, an antiquarian bookshop, which means valuable used or old books, which are things that people physically bought in stores before the advent of E-books. Quite old-fashioned of them. Bernie is approached by a seemingly well-to-do gentleman who is after a book of Kipling’s prose, a book that was part of a private printing and, of which, there is only one remaining anywhere and it isn’t for sale. There are, of course, others who want this book and Bernie is held up at gunpoint, framed for murder, drugged, hunted by the police, and generally put in some awkward positions. The story moves along at a quick and humorous pace until Bernie finally solves the murder in a scene with all suspects gathered and the police ready to spring out.
It is an enjoyable quick read, filled with light banter and other stuff. ( )
  DaveWilde | Sep 22, 2017 |
I don't think that I have read this one before, but I'm glad that I caught up with it now. It is somewhat more convoluted than some of the others. I often find it worth a giggle or two to see how far communications and inflation have come since the book was written. The story involves double crossing, double dealing, some godawful poetry, and a mink coat.
Richard Ferrone continues to be marvelous as Bernie Rhodenbarr. ( )
  jetangen4571 | Jan 21, 2017 |
This is my first venture into the world of Bernie Rhodenbarr
It started off well Bernie is a reformed burglar who owns a 2nd hand book shop in New York. He isn't that reformed as he agrees to steal a very rare book of poems written by Rudyard Kipling.
He is then framed for murder and with the help of his lesbian friend Carolyn sets about clearing his name and finding the real killer.

I will stick to Matt Scudder novels. ( )
  Daftboy1 | Sep 25, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lawrence Blockprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bocchino, Maria LuisaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Daly, GerryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
When from 'ouse to 'ouse you're 'untin' you must always work in pairs--
It 'alves the gain, but safer you will find--
For a single man gets bottled on them twisty-wisty stairs.
An' a woman comes and clobs 'im from be'ind.
When you've turned 'em inside out, an' it seems beyond a doubt
As if there weren't enough to dust a flute
(Cornet: Toot! toot!)--
Before you sling your 'ook, at the 'ouse-tops take a look,
For it's underneath the tiles they 'ide the loot.
(Chorus.) 'Ow the loot!
Bloomin' loot!
That's the thing to make the boys git up an' shoot!
It's the same with dogs an' men,
If you'd make 'em come again
Clap 'em forward with a Loo! loo! Lulu! Loot!
Whoopee! Tear 'im, puppy! Loo! loo! Lulu! Loot! loot! Loot!
--Rudyard Kipling
"Loot"
Dedication
for Cheryl Morrison
First words
I suppose he must have been in his early twenties
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Blurbers
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In this third installment of Block's "New York Times" bestselling series, bookseller and burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr is on the prowl for a long-lost Kipling poem. But Bernie soon finds himself as the prime suspect in a murder investigation.

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