I bought this Block novel almost three years ago and it just sat on the book shelf. I rescued it this past weekend and read it in practically one sitting. Thief Bernie Rhodenbarr’s friend Carolyn has a uniquely named cat: Archie Goodwin. The feline is stolen and the catnappers (had to say that) want Bernie to steal a Mondrian painting from a museum in exchange for Archie's life. Bernie realizes it would be a lot simpler to swipe a Mondrian painting from a private collection where he did a book appraisal earlier in the week. Sidebar: when Bernie isn’t stealing, he’s a bookseller--and the collector as thief is a great touch. The fun begins after he breaks into the owner’s hotel room, discovers the painting has already been swiped, and then complicates matters by making love to the owner’s ex-mistress on the floor. Oh, and the owner of the painting is murdered in the other room. Whew! That’s just the beginning in this exceptional tale from the masterful storyteller. MONDRIAN is my first Rhodenbarr tale but I will seek out the rest in the amusing series.
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