Burglars Can’t Be Choosers is the first of eleven Bernie Rhodenbarr mystery novels by Lawrence Block. Lawrence Block is also known for his series featuring private eye Matthew Scudder and the series featuring hit man Keller.

The Bernie Rhodenbarr books are Lawrence Block lite. Rhodenbarr is a gentleman burgler. He has a very good sense of humor. He needs it as every burglary he is involved in becomes much more complicated than planned and almost always involves an inconveniently dead body.

In Burglars Can’t Be Choosers Bernie his hired to break in to an apartment and steal a blue box. He has strict instructions not to look inside the blue box. Rhodenbarr should have tweaked at being approached by a stranger who knows he is a burglar but, hey, burglars can’t be choosers. There is, of course, a dead body in the apartment. Rhodenbarr has to evade police and solve the crime. There’s also the matter of the blue box he still hasn’t stolen.

Lawrence Block is an excellent mystery writer. Rhodenbarr is a great character but what makes the books is the supporting cast. In Burglars Can’t Be Choosers there is a woman who waters the plants in the apartment Bernie is hiding in and who really wants to help. There is a cop whose hand can be out at convenient times. He also knows Bernie is not that bad a guy and not a killer.

Toss in a secondary thread where almost every character is pretending to be someone else and you have yourself a fun to read mystery.

Not being that picky when it comes to light mystery novels, I did not question some parts of the solve too much. The author makes the resolution work so why not go with it.

Burglars Can’t Be Choosers
Lawrence Block
Harper Collins

Also by Lawrence Block and reviewed here: The Burglar on the Prowl  Grifter’s Game

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