Gene Lyons
August 15, 1997 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Burglar in the Library

Current Status
In Season
Lawrence Block
Mystery and Thriller, Fiction

We gave it a B+

The Burglar in the Library, the eighth in Lawrence Block’s whimsical series of Bernie Rhodenbarr mysteries finds its light-fingered protagonist marooned during a blizzard at an upscale New York inn. Having repaired to Cuttleford House in the hopes of pilfering a Raymond Chandler first edition, Rhodenbarr becomes a reluctant witness to a series of terribly silly murders. All the stock characters are on hand: suspicious servants, a retired British colonel, a pair of nosy spinsters, an irritatingly precocious child, and a cat named Raffles. The wittily diverting result is rather like an Agatha Christie novel narrated by Basil Fawlty, or a game of Clue organized by Monty Python. B+

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