Saturday, February 26, 2011

"Booked To Die" by John Dunning

Published: 1992
Read: 2011
Genre: fiction
Setting: Denver
Rating: 3
Review: Goodreads

Right when you walk into the local library, there is a carousel that showcases various genres.  A couple of weeks ago, it was "Books About Books".  If that doesn't interest a bookish person, not sure what will.

I picked this up after reading the jacket:  "Detective cop Cliff Janeway probably knows as much about books as he does about homicide."   Hmmmmm.  Then flipped to the back to read about the author.  "John Dunning - an expert on rare and collectible books, he owned the Old Algonquin Bookstore in Denver for many years....."  Sold.  The book began the pile of books checked out that day.

I liked it.  A good book to read before going to sleep.  The other two books that I'm reading, Villette by Charlotte Bronte and The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion, are not good "before I sleep" candidates.  I need to be wide awake for Bronte and Didion's book is just too sad to read before heading off to dreamworld.

Since detective books are plot driven and too much disclosure would ruin the book, I will give a few high level thoughts.  From my reading in this genre, the motives for most murders are lust, love or greed. Usually for a person and/or for money.  In this case, the object of desire is books, which when sold would yield a lot of money.

As the narrator, Detective Janeway gives the reader a crash course in the world of book scouting and book selling.  Interesting stuff.  Add a few murders that seem to be linked but are stubbornly difficult to solve and you have a classic "who-dun-it.  The addition of a couple of intriguing female characters add layers to the plot.   A quick and fun read.

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