Since we last saw burglar-cum-bookseller Bernie Rhodenbarr - some ten years ago - his creator, Lawrence Block, has gone on to become one of the most respected names in crime fiction. His Matthew Scudder series has won numerous awards, as well as the highest praise from both critics and readers alike. So, how does an author top all that success? By bringing back that infamous burglar, Bernie Rhodenbarr, to burgle once again. Just to update you on Bernie. For nearly a year he's walked the straight and narrow and has coaxed his secondhand bookstore in New York's Greenwich Village into turning a small profit. He's even allowed a cat to move in, and struggled with nocturnal retirement. Then Borden Stoppelgard comes into Bernie's life. Not a nice man. Borden is Bernie's new landlord, and wants to increase the rent by ten thousand dollars - a month! Desperate times call for desperate measures. By chance, or so it seems, Bernie discovers a West Side apartment whose occupants are in Europe, slips inside with his usual finesse, lifts a large sum of untraceable cash with his usual aplomb, and spots a naked dead man in the bathtub. Now, across town another burglary has taken place - at Stoppelgard's brother-in-law's apartment - and what's missing is a million-dollar baseball card collection. Somehow Bernie's been blamed (read: framed) for that crime. Toss in a mysterious woman and a crotchety New York police detective to Bernie's troubles, then mix well for a burglar in big trouble. What's the best way out? Why, to find the baseball cards and steal them back, of course. In The Burglar Who Traded Ted Williams, Lawrence Block once again gives us a riveting story and shows us a great time. It's crime fiction with a laugh track. And while he may be older, he may be wiser, and certainly more skillful, thank goodness he's still a bad boy at heart. Bernie, too. Reason enough for fans to rejoice.
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