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Tillabooks: Will's Book Blog

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Booked Twice by John Dunning

Booked Twice by John Dunning. New York: Scribner, 2004. ISBN: 0-7432-6140-2

This omnibus edition contains the complete and unabridged text of the first two Cliff Janeway “Bookman” novels, Booked to Die, originally published in 1992, and The Bookman's Wake, published in 1995.

What a delightful discovery these books were! I'm quite sure I had heard or more likely read about them somewhere before, and they are probably on one of my numerous “to read” lists that I create from time to time as I encounter recommendations from various sources. But I latched onto this volume serendipitously from the “new titles” shelf at my local public library.

And once started, they proved entirely irresistible. Mysteries with a former cop turned bookman. Lots of book collecting tales and lore. What's not to love? For anyone who loves books, these stories are bound to be appealing.

My only problem? I get so caught up in the story itself, that I am sometimes unable to follow the intricate twists and turns of the plot. That's why mysteries remain a second-favorite genre for me after science fiction. In The Bookman's Wake, for instance, with its improbably named character, Eleanor Rigby, I never did figure out how Eleanor got out of the clutches of the evil Pruitt, and into the care of her adoptive father, leading to a final bloody clash at the end of the tale.

I should go back and reread as much as it takes to figure it out, I suppose, but that's not for me. For me, it's on to the next book!

There are two more Bookman novels out there to savor: The Bookman's Promise (2004) and The Sign of the Book (2005). These first two, at least, are highly recommended, and so, no doubt, will be the others, once I get around to reading them.


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