November 19, 2002

The Burglar in the Closet, and The Burglar Who Painted Like Mondrian, by Lawrence Block

When I was a kid I worried that someday, in the distant future, I would run out of good books to read. Seriously. Thinking back, that probably speaks more to my innocence and ignorance than to my taste in books at the time. But I did and now, many, many, MANY moons later, I have yet to hit that tragic moment. And I highly doubt that I will. This has little to do with Lawrence Block's books except that they are a new discovery for me and whenever I find a new author to read I experience a slight feeling of relief. I haven't run out yet.

Anyway, these were my first two Bernie Rhodenbarr mysteries and already I have figured out Block writes with a formula. Bernie breaks into someone's house after some sort of treasure, something goes wrong, like a murder, and he has to solve the crime himself or get the rap pinned on him. A formula book is comforting. You can sit back and watch how the writer varies it without horrid little surprises coming your way. And Block is funny, an added bonus. The Mondrian book was a little more developed than the Closet book. Block had developed additional characters and expanded Bernie's social life a bit. He has found his sidekick in Carolyn, the lesbian owner of a dog washing business. And he has developed Ray Kirschmann, the cop on the take who somehow always ends up helping Bernie out of the mess he finds himself in.

These are good books. Not great literature and not really even classics in the mystery genre. Just plain good reads. And there are lots of them so I donít have to worry about running out of good books for awhile. Phew.

Posted by Deb English at November 19, 2002 06:53 PM