Sunday, 27 March 2011

Booked to Die by John Dunning

This is a murder mystery set in Denver around the second hand and rare book scene. The hero, Cliff Janeway, is a homicide detective for the Denver police. Due to overstepping the mark with a nasty piece of work that he has been trying to put away for years, Janeway has to resign from the force.

This cloud has a silver lining for Janeway because he can now follow his dream of opening a book shop and spend more time on his hobby which is searching out rare books. Of course he doesn't get to relax - a series of murders means that he puts his detective hat back on. The murders are of people in the book trade and seem to centre around a mysterious collection of very valuable books.

This book has been on my TBR list for years, and I'm glad I finally got around to it. The setting of the book trade was very interesting to me (which book lover doesn't dream of opening their own bookshop?) and I thought that the glimpses behind the scenes of the trade were very interesting. John Dunning is a collector and seller of rare books himself, and made this aspect of the book very believable. I thought that it was well plotted and pacy, with no loose ends.


  1. I loved this and went on to read the next three in the series. I haven't checked lately to see if there are any more, and if they have become more easy to find in the UK. Thanks for reminding me about him.

  2. Annie - it was great. I've already got The Bookman's Wake and I'm really looking forward to it.

  3. Unfortunately there are no more than the ones I've already read. I wonder if he has an e-mail address so I can urge him along a bit!

  4. I thought his pacing was good too! But the description of the rare book trade was crazy, hehe. I'd rather just check mine out from the library. ;)

  5. Annie - I think he is very selfish not to have written more!

    Eva - I was fascinated by the descriptions of the rare book trade. He made it sound a bit seedy. I would love to own a book shop - but I wouldn't like it to be my sole source of income!