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The Bookwoman's Last Fling: A Cliff Janeway…
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The Bookwoman's Last Fling: A Cliff Janeway Novel (original 2006; edition 2006)

by John Dunning (Author)

Series: Cliff Janeway (5)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9954115,664 (3.42)31
Traveling to Idaho at the invitation of a wealthy horse owner, Cliff discovers a stunning collection of first-edition children's classics. The books are valued in the millions, which would be excellent news for their owner--if he hadn't suddenly been murdered. Considering the worth of the books, it's no secret why someone would kill to get near them. But to find out who that someone is, Cliff must pound a trail through the world of horseracing.… (more)
Member:SMBrick
Title:The Bookwoman's Last Fling: A Cliff Janeway Novel
Authors:John Dunning (Author)
Info:Recorded Books, Inc. (2006), Edition: Unabridged, 9 pages
Collections:Read
Rating:***
Tags:None

Work details

The Bookwoman's Last Fling by John Dunning (2006)

  1. 00
    The Bay Psalm Book Murder by Will Harriss (benjclark)
    benjclark: Protagonist even has the same first name!
  2. 00
    Fast Company by Marco Page (benjclark)
    benjclark: If you enjoy John Dunning, you'll likely also like this 1938 thriller by "Marco Page".
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» See also 31 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
[This is a review I wrote in 2008]

** Another Brilliant Book-ish Whodunnit - but this time with a horse racing twist!**

Yet another page-turning, intriguing crime story in the Bookman series by John Dunning. This one is quite different to those that have gone before, in that in this novel Cliff Janeway turns his hand to "walking hots" on a racetrack (cooling down hot horses that have just exercised or run a race). It's quite a lot like reading a Dick Francis, with a lot of information about the racetrack and racing, but there is still a book-related plot running through the book - this time mostly on the theme of collectable children's books.

Cliff Janeway, the Denver bookman, is as appealing as ever, and still can't give up his ex-cop past to concentrate solely on his bookstore. When a wealthy horse trainer H. R. Geiger dies, Janeway is asked to investigate his late wife's legacy of rare 1st edition children's books. Janeway soon discovers that a number of her books have been carefully stolen over time and replaced with cheaper imitation reprint editions. However, the waters soon muddy as other family members get involved and Janeway soons realises he might just be on the hunt for a killer too...

Brilliant! If you like books and you haven't come across this series before then start with the first one, 'The Sign of the Book'. The others are 'The Bookman's Promise', 'The Bookman's Wake', and 'Booked to Die'. ( )
  ArdizzoneFan | Nov 14, 2020 |
A quick, easy to read mystery. ( )
  Terrie2018 | Feb 21, 2020 |
BOTTOM-LINE:
Slow book, too much about horses and not enough detecting.
.
PLOT OR PREMISE:
Janeway is hired to appraise part of an estate, a collection of first-edition children's books amassed by a woman who died 20 years before. Now the husband has died, and his children want to distribute the money, but first, everything has to be totalled up.
.
WHAT I LIKED:
Early on, the case has some interesting bits including discovery that someone has been slowly replacing some of the books with cheap duplicates, but not in any strategic way. Someone who knows something about value, but skipping some obvious choice books. It doesn't take much for a daughter who also loves books to want Janeway to figure out if the mother was killed, and if so, by who. A bunch of brothers run around, and they're all a little bit crazy, but who is the craziest? The dead husband was a horseman, and Janeway works for one of the brothers as a stable boy / horse walker to get in with the horse crowd. Reads a lot like a vintage Dick Francis book.
.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE:
As with most Janeway novels, there are two mysteries interwoven -- the death of the young wife 20 years before and the theft of the children's books. Unfortunately, the story spends a LONG time with the horse crowd with not much happening. It read more like a personal diary than a mystery novel. Huge stretches of time with NOTHING RELEVANT to the mystery. Equally, neither of the mysteries are unraveled in an interesting way, just plodding in one case and almost happenstance in another. And so obvious for one ending, yet it takes forever to get there.
.
DISCLOSURE:
I received no compensation, not even a free copy, in exchange for this review. I am not personal friends with the author, nor do I follow him on social media. ( )
  polywogg | Apr 8, 2019 |
3.5 stars
In a plot that mixes book collecting with horse racing, Cliff Janeway struggles to find the person who has pillaged a dead woman’s extraordinary collection of children’s books. He’s also struggling with whether he wants to be a book seller or a cop, and I think the character’s struggle may parallel the author’s struggle with what direction the series takes. Dunning is still able to craft a pretty good plot, but there are a lot of red herrings and the book just doesn’t capture the love of books and mystery that the earlier works did. ( )
  BookConcierge | Jan 22, 2016 |
the best of the series by far! ( )
  kdf_333 | Jan 17, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
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This is for Helen, for all the reasons there are. Love and hugs forever, from the room far below.
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The morning was angry but I was cool.
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John Dunning (1942- ), an American writer of detective fiction
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Traveling to Idaho at the invitation of a wealthy horse owner, Cliff discovers a stunning collection of first-edition children's classics. The books are valued in the millions, which would be excellent news for their owner--if he hadn't suddenly been murdered. Considering the worth of the books, it's no secret why someone would kill to get near them. But to find out who that someone is, Cliff must pound a trail through the world of horseracing.

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Average: (3.42)
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1 6
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2.5 7
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