Bernie Rhodenbarr is trying to go legit by opening up a seconhand bookstore called Barnegat Books. But he can't resist the urge to steal, especially when someone's paying him to do it, and quite handsomely at that. What's at stake is a rare Kipling edition, and retrieving it is as easy as picking a lock.
The trouble starts when Bernie tries to turn over the book to its unrightful owner, and finds instead a once-lovely lady who's now a less-lovely corpse. Suddenly the burglar who copped Kipling is wanted for a nasty crime he wouldn't think of committing. All this hassle, and he still hasn't been paid.
Former burglar turned bookstore owner Bernie Rhodenbarr is hired to steal a rare volume of poetry from a rich man's library. On delivery, however, Bernie is drugged and framed for murder. Now he has to find the real murderer...
Bernie Rhodenbarr is a thief who has gone legit (sort of) as the owner of a used book store in Greenwich Village. Of course, used books don't turn much of a profit, so to make ends meet, he accepts an opportunity to steal a very rare book-length poem from a rich man's library. The heist goes off without a hitch, but the delivery is a different story. Drugged by the client's female go-between, he wakes up in her apartment to find the book gone, the lady dead, the smoking gun in his hand and the cops knocking at the door. Suddenly, he has to extricate himself from this sticky situation and find the killer before he's booked for Murder One.
(from back cover)
Quite amusing. I enjoy Bernie Rhodenbarr's character and the awkward situations he manages to get himself into without much effort. He reminds me of Stephanie Plum. Hehe. Maybe one day Rhodenbarr and Plum can meet up and solve a mystery together while on the run.