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Lawrence Block Message Board 8/16/2011 8:45:32 PM
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Author Block's Book Reviews

A Ticket to the Boneyard
Matthew Scudder, free-lance unlicensed investigator, is working for Reliable Investigations. He's recently off the booze and is attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings regularly. He's also divorced and off the police force, and he seeing Elaine, a high-price call girl who's sort of a girlfriend. Years ago, James Lee Motley, a brutal rapist and murderer, tried to take Elaine over and become her pimp. Scudder, using somewhat unorthodox methods (to say the...
A Walk Among the Tombstones
Matt Scudder is about to take a week's vacation in Ireland when he gets the call: a woman has been kidnapped and brutally murdered despite her husband's payment of ransom. He'll spare no expense to catch and personally deal with the killers. There's practically nothing to go on at the start – the killers have even made their ransom calls from pay phones. A good part of the rest of the book is taken up with investigative procedure – interviewing potent...
All the Flowers Are Dying
In Lawrence Block's 16th Matthew Scudder mystery, Matt is semi-retired. He agrees to follow his client's mysterious boyfriend to find out if he is what he says he is (i.e. not married, living alone, reasonably prosperous, etc.). This assignment alternates with a description in third person of a psychologist interested in whether a convicted killer can really believe he is innocent despite overwhelming evidence. We soon discover that the psychologist is ...
Burglars Can't Be Choosers
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Block booklist

Dance at the Slaughterhouse
Matt Scudder is an alcoholic, a private detective without a licence and a good guy. In Block's earlier novels featuring Scudder he drank a lot, now he doesn't drink at all. He spends a lot of time at AA meetings. In this book he is hired to find out if Richard Thurman killed his wife. The police think he did but cannot prove it. Matt has his work cut out and before he finds a solution he is enveloped in a case of more violent death. A friend give...
Eight Million Ways to Die
Kim Dakkinen, a high-priced prostitute wants out. She hires Matthew Scudder, a policeman turned private detective, to tell her pimp, Chance, that she's leaving. Kim says she's afraid that Chance will persuade her to stay if she faces him. Matt taps his street sources and checks the bars, but finding Chance proves to be a job in itself. When he runs him down, Chance tells Matt Kim wasted her money – he would never hold a girl against her will. In fact, C...
Enough Rope
This must be the biggest book of short stories in print. There are eighty-four of them and all by Lawrence Block. Some of them feature characters that Block has created and written series' of novels about, like Matthew Scudder and Bernie Rhodenbarr. They are all crime stories and if you like Block and you like short stories (which I do) you will love this book. Some I had read before in other publications like ‘A Bad Night for Burglars' where the house...
Even the Wicked
Adrian Whitfield, a prominent defense attorney, wants private detective Matthew Scudder to keep him alive. Whitfield is the fifth person to be named by the mysterious “Will of the People,” who writes letters to columnist Marty McGraw telling him who he plans to kill next. Then Will kills the subjects of his letters. The point is, Will says, these are people who deserve to die, but cannot be prosecuted. So far, there's a man who murdered children but got...
Everybody Dies
Private investigator, Matthew Scudder, puts his own life in jeopardy in trying to solve a mystery and save the life of a very close, but criminal, friend....
Hit List
John Keller kills people. Keller lives in his mid-size New York apartment, goes on dates, watches TV, visits his astrologer, collects stamps, and occasionally travels to far-off cities and kills people he's never met. But something has gone very wrong for Keller. As he moves from city to city, he leaves a trail of death in his wake...somebody else's trail. Keller soon concludes that someone is out to kill him, and doesn't mind taking out a few civilia...

Lawrence Block list of books

Hit Man
Hit Man has no real plot, being a series of episodes in the life of John Paul Keller, a middle-class bachelor who lives in New York and works as the favored assassin of a murder-broker in White Plains. The book is about Keller's world. His girlfriends, his dog, his therapy sessions, his stamp-collecting hobby, and other everyday facets of the human existence. It is also about Keller's business. Keller is the traveling-salesman of murder, going from cit...
Hope To Die
Morrow, Nov 2001, 25.00, 320 pp. ISBN: 006019832X In Manhattan someone brutally kills Byrne and Susan Hollander in their home with their daughter Kristin finding the bodies. A few days later the Brooklyn police investigate a bad odor emanating from an apartment only to find two male Caucasian corpses and the Hollander loot. To NYPD both cases close as the apparent Brooklyn suicide-murder event resolves the Manhattan crime. Though he ...
In the Midst of Death
Jerry Broadfield, an admittedly crooked cop, hires Matthew Scudder to help him prove he's not shaking down a prostitute, Portia Carr. Carr claims Broadfield charges her $100 per week, plus occasional sex, to let her stay in business. Broadfield is working with Abner Prejaninan, an investigator to expose corruption in the New York Police Department. Scudder, himself a former cop and now an unlicensed private investigator, believes Broadfield is exaggerat...
Out on the Cutting Edge
Unofficial private detective Matthew Scudder is hired to find a young woman who disappeared after coming to New York to pursue an acting career. Her parents have left messages on her answering machine that were not returned. Her father has come to New York and found she moved out of her furnished room. Oddly, she left her linens on the bed and her answering machine. Scudder discovers that Paula Hoeldtke didn't have her phone shut off until nearly a week...
Small Town
The link to three murderous incidents, in which dozens of people are killed, is Jerry Pankow. Jerry cleans up other people's messes for a living. He likes to say he visits three bars and a whorehouse before breakfast every day. Then a private client, Marilyn Fairchild is strangled. The prostitutes and madam in the whorehouse are brutally murdered. The three bars are firebombed. John Blair Creighton, a modestly successful writer, is arrested for Fairch...
The Burglar in the Closet
Bernie Rhodenbarr, a gentle thief, gets himself caught up in another murder. This time, his dentist wants him to burglarize his ex-wife, but she winds up getting killed while Bernie is hiding in the closet!...

Lawrence Block novels

The Burglar on the Prowl
A very intelligent known burglar (Bernie Rhodenbarr) with his lesbian best friend along as a lookout, has been asked by a friend to break into a house to collect a large sum of money known to be in the safe. The plot thickens when while he was canvassing the neighborhood a few days before the big heist was to place he is spotted on cameras as being in the area and that same night 3 people end up burglarized and dead. The policeman who brings him in h...
The Cancelled Czech
Evan Tanner, an independent spy for the USA is sent on a secrect mission to release and bring back alive, the infamous Nazi Janos Kotacek. (He has been imprisoned by the Czeck governement). Given almost no help or resources, he is told by our governemnt to succeed or die. After a lengthy train ride, (arriving close to Pisek, Czeck) and a wild escape from the authorities, Evan winds up at a farmhouse,with new contacts. This includes the meeting o...
Time to Murder and Create
Jacob “Spinner” Jablon, a small-time snitch and blackmailer brings Matt Scudder an envelope and a request: Open the envelope only if I should die unexpectedly. The envelope contains the evidence Jablon is using to blackmail three people. The envelope also contains $3,000 as Scudder's fee for finding the person who killed him. Scudder, an ex cop and unofficial, unlicensed private investigator, decides to pretend he's continuing the blackmail as a way to ...


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