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LAWRENCE BLOCK BOOKS

BOOK REVIEW: THE BURGLAR WHO TRADED
TED WILLIAMS
BY LAWRENCE BLOCK

We hope you enjoy this book review by Patricia Reid.

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Our hero, Bernie Rhodenbarr, runs a used bookstore. He is enjoying his legitimate life and hasn't practiced the art of burglary in over a year. Then his store is visited by Borden Stoppelgard who purchases a book from Bernie. Borden informs Bernie that he is his landlord now and intends to increase his rent by giant proportions. Bernie is very upset since there is no way he can pay that rent and keep the store open but Borden will listen to no arguments.

Bernie has become accustomed to running the bookstore, doing lunch with his friend and confidant Carolyn who runs the Poodle Factory, a dog grooming business. This is not a store he wants to lose.

Bernie is afraid he will have to go back into robbing people's homes to make ends meet He discusses all of this with Carolyn over drinks and winds up missing his date with Patience, a poetry therapist. Bernie is sticking with Carolyn to fight off his desire to go burglarize the home of the Gilmartin's. Bernie just happened to be behind Mrs. Gilmartin in a line to pick up theatre tickets so he was fairly sure the Gilmartin's would be out that evening. He phones every hour to be sure they were out until he finally found them home. Then he felt the crisis was over but that was not to be.

After he left Carolyn he chanced to meet Gwendolyn Cooper, a stranger who asked that he walk her home and who dropped a hint about another apartment that was vacant and Bernie just could not resist the temptation to try his hand at burglary again.

The story is all told from Bernie's point of view, which is pretty funny, but when you get to the part where you think you lost half the book someplace since he is suddenly showing up with items that you know he can't have you are completely baffled. Then Bernie says well I guess there is a small part of the story I left out.

This is a wonderful book and a lot of fun to read. The new paperback addition is very attractive and would make a good Christmas gift for the readers on your list.

REVIEWED BY PATRICIA REID

DO NOT REPRINT WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE REVIEWER, PATRICIA REID

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