Friday, April 3, 2009

Friday's Forgotten Books: The Burglar Who Painted Like Mondrian by Lawrence Block

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.

Click on over to Patti Abbott's site for more Friday's Forgotten Books.

7 comments:

Craig Clarke said...

I love the Rhodenbarr series. They're very easy reading because they all follow the same formula: Bernie's stealing something where a crime happens and has to solve the crime to clear his name.

The draw is Block's charming style and characters (much like the Nero Wolfe series discussed recently) -- I especially enjoy the antagonistic friendship he has with cop Ray. You've got some fun reading ahead of you. :)

pattinase (abbott) said...

I loved this series too.

Scott Parker said...

Holy cow! THAT is a fun set-up. I always want to start a series with Book #1 but this one may be too good to not read now.

Charles Gramlich said...

I've got a lot of those books taht sit around a while before I read them. I like having them there, though

David Cranmer said...

Craig, You’re right on about Block’s charming style that he has in droves. I also read his Keller series and Bernie and the hitman couldn’t be more different yet that same hand wrote both. A very talented author -- I read he's going into retirement but I hope he keeps writing because he’s not at the end of his game by a long shot.

Patti, I have to check out that Evan Tanner series at some point too. Oh, and Chip Harrison.

Scott, I'm positive you can pick up this series with any book and not skip a beat.

Charles, I can't pass a budget bin without grabbing half a dozen books.

Martin Edwards said...

I've not read this series, but you've certainly sparked my interest.

David Cranmer said...

Martin, Just returning the favor.