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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Bookman’s Promise

I’m currently reading The Bookman’s Promise, another Cliff Janeway mystery by John Dunning. If you don’t know this series, run to the nearest library or bookstore — at least if you love books. Dunning’s protagonist is a bookman, defined in Merriam-Webster Online as
  1. one who has a love of books and especially of reading

  2. one who is involved in the writing, publishing, or selling of books
Janeway is both. More particularly, he is a former cop who now sells rare and used books. Dunning makes this unlikely combination plausible, and he makes the world of rare books come alive. Anyone who’s fascinated by books — not just their content, but also their form and their heft and their typography and their bindings — will enjoy the entire Janeway series.

The Bookman’s Promise is Dunning’s third Janeway book. It contains some interesting history, a bit too much violence, and unfortunately not quite so much fascinating detail about the book business as the first two books offered the reader. Of course, since I haven’t finished this one, I can’t really give a considered opinion yet. But so far it’s well worth reading, even if it’s a notch below Booked to Die and The Bookman’s Wake.



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