Burglars Can’t Be Choosers by Lawrence Block


Cozy Mystery

Burglars Can't Be Choosers Burglars Can’t Be ChoosersLawrence Block; HarperTorch 2004WorldCat

 Bernie Rhodenbarr is a professional burglar in New York City. He usually works for himself. He has been in jail once after being caught. He is not above trying to bribe a policeman if he is discovered in the act of his work.

He is approached by a man he feels he recognizes but doesn’t know and is offered a job. It should be a simple burglary. The resident will be at an off Broadway show the evening in question. Bernie is to break in and steal the blue leather box the man keeps in his roll top desk. While he is looking for the desk, New York’s finest enter after being tipped that there are noises coming from the apartment. Bernie is offering them money when the rookie cop goes to the back of the apartment and comes back completely shaken. There’s a dead man in the bedroom.

Bernie panics and runs even though he knows he didn’t kill the man. Now he is a fugitive. His face is plastered all over television and the news. It seems he was set up to take the fall for a murder. Who was the man who hired him? What is in the blue leather box? Where can he hide? And how will he prove his innocence of murder?

Lawrence Block has created a likeable bad guy protagonist. Bernie may be a burglar, but he has his ethics. He never carries a gun. He only burglarizes people he feels can afford it. He only burgles a few times a year to pay his bills. He certainly wouldn’t kill somebody. Ruth accidentally finds him in the apartment where he is hiding out. She recognizes him from the news, but believes his story and helps him out.

The novel is written in first person narrative, making it easier to sympathize and identify with Bernie despite his questionable occupation. This is a fun cozy mystery with some interesting twists and highly unbelievable coincidences. Burglars Can’t Be Choosers is an easy, fun read. It’s a good way to curl up and escape the world for a few hours.

Notice: Suggestive dialogue or situations

More books by Lawrence Block
Bernie Rhodenbarr series at Stop! You’re Killing Me!

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