Home : Ex Libris : Authors : Lawrence Block

Lawrence Block


Evan, Bernie and Matt

Have you seen our weblog or our monthly book review?

Lawrence Block is a remarkably prolific, remarkably versatile author of at least three different mystery series, as well as quite a few singletons. I was introduced to his work in August of 1998, and had read most of three of his series by the end of that year. I recommend them highly.

Bernie Rhodenbarr

Bernie Rhodenbarr is a Manhattan burglar and bookseller who has an unfortunate tendency to find corpses in the apartments he's burgling. The Bernie books are consistently amusing and enjoyable. The following list includes all of the Bernie books I've read to date, in no particular order. I should say, order doesn't matter much with this particular series.

Burglars Can't Be Choosers
Reviews: 1 September 1998, 1 April 2002, 1 December 2002
The Burglar in the Closet
Reviews: 1 August 1998, 1 April 2002, 1 December 2002
The Burglar Who Liked to Quote Kipling
Reviews: 1 August 1998, 1 April 2002
The Burglar Who Traded Ted Williams
Reviews: 1 August 1998, 1 December 1999, 1 October 2003
The Burglar Who Thought He Was Bogart
Reviews: 1 October 1998, 1 April 2002, 1 July 2003
The Burglar Who Painted Like Mondrian
Reviews: 1 March 1999, 1 April 2002, 1 December 2002, 1 October 2003
The Burglar Who Studied Spinoza
Reviews: 1 December 1998, 1 April 2002, 1 March 2003, 1 October 2003
The Burglar in the Library
Reviews: 1 September 1998, 1 April 2002, 1 April 2004
The Burglar in the Rye
Reviews: 1 June 2000

Evan Michael Tanner

Evan Michael Tanner is Block's first character; he wrote a number of books about him in the 1960's, and then left him until very recently, when he wrote Tanner on Ice. Tanner is amazingly well-read; a supporter of every lost cause he has ever heard of, whether they are compatible or not; and completely unable to sleep, due to a brain injury he suffered in the Korean War. These books are thrillers, rather than mysteries proper, but no less enjoyable for that. So far as I can tell, only the first and the last volumes are in print in this country; I got the rest in English editions. The Tanner books are as follows, in the order they were written:

The Thief Who Couldn't Sleep
Reviews: 1 October 1998
The Cancelled Czech
Reviews: 1 October 1998
Tanner's Twelve Swingers
Reviews: 1 October 1998
Two for Tanner
Reviews: 1 October 1998
Tanner's Tiger
Reviews: 1 October 1998
Here Comes a Hero
Reviews: 1 November 1998
Me Tanner, You Jane
Reviews: 1 November 1998
Tanner on Ice
Reviews: 1 June 1999, 1 December 2002

Matthew Scudder

Finally, there is Matthew Scudder: ex-NYPD detective, alcoholic, occasionally violent. The Tanner and Bernie books are written for fun; these are considerably more serious, and deeper as well. Some are better than others, but I found them gripping enough that I read all thirteen of them in the course of a single month. I first read them out of order, which was OK, but they work better in order, which is how they are listed below:

The Sins of the Fathers
Reviews: 1 October 1998, 1 October 1999, 1 February 2003
Time to Murder and Create
Reviews: 1 October 1998, 1 October 1999, 1 February 2003
In the Midst of Death
Reviews: 1 October 1998, 1 October 1999, 1 March 2003, 1 July 2003
A Stab in the Dark
Reviews: 1 October 1998, 1 November 1999, 1 March 2003, 1 July 2003
Eight Million Ways to Die
Reviews: 1 October 1998, 1 November 1999
When the Sacred Ginmill Closes
Reviews: 1 October 1998, 1 November 1999
Out on the Cutting Edge
Reviews: 1 October 1998, 1 November 1999
A Ticket to the Boneyard
Reviews: 1 October 1998, 1 November 1999
A Dance at the Slaughterhouse
Reviews: 1 October 1998, 1 December 1999
A Walk among the Tombstones
Reviews: 1 October 1998, 1 December 1999
The Devil Knows You're Dead
Reviews: 1 October 1998, 1 December 1999
A Long Line of Dead Men
Reviews: 1 October 1998, 1 December 1999
Even the Wicked
Reviews: 1 October 1998, 1 December 1999
Everybody Dies
Reviews: 1 December 1999
Hope to Die
Reviews: 1 April 2003

Books on Writing

Telling Lies for Fun and Profit
Reviews: 1 May 2000
Spider, Spin Me a Web.
Reviews: 1 April 1999

Other Books

Hit Man
Reviews: 1 February 1999
Hit List
Reviews: 1 March 2002
The Topless Tulip Caper
Reviews: 1 May 1999
No Score
Reviews: 1 July 1999
Like a Lamb to Slaughter
Reviews: 1 July 2000
Some Days You Get The Bear
Reviews: 1 June 2000


Home : Ex Libris : Authors : Lawrence Block
Copyright © 2004, by William H. Duquette. All rights reserved.
Search this site:
 

• The View from the Foothills
• Previous Author
• Next Author
• Ex Libris Staff
• Links
• FAQs About Us

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay Learn More

Sites we like:

James Lileks
Banana Oil
2 Blowhards
God of the Machine
Goliard Dream
Reflections in d minor
Instapundit
Slashdot
Gizmodo
Blithering Idiot