(This is a repeat of an earlier blog from 2008. Some of these books just came over my desk to be checked and I was going to write a review when I faintly remembered writing one before. Not enough people know about the series, so I thought I'd repeat it).
If you love books or collect them, you'll find the Bookman series by John Dunning fascinating and very entertaining. They are mysteries, starring Cliff Janeway, cop turned bookman and bookshop owner. A bookman is a person who engages in buying and selling books or a person who loves books; a collector. There are five books in the series, all at JDL. John Dunning has been a bookscout (a person who looks for old books,) worked at race tracks all over the west, been a copyboy, investigative reporter, journalism/writing professor, radio host, political press secretary and bookshop owner. The first book, Booked to Die, instroduces Cliff Janeway as a tough cop going after even tougher criminals. When Cliff beats up a bad guy, he is suspended and starts hanging around his favorite bookshop, eventually becoming a bookscout and bookshop owner. He finally gets the bad guy, but in doing so, decides he likes the bookman's life better that being a cop. Here's a more complete summary from our Fiction Connection database.
"Denver homicide detective Cliff Janeway may not always play by the book, but he's an avid collector of rare and first editions. After a local bookscout is killed on his turf, Janeway would like nothing better than to rearrange the suspect's spine. But the suspect, sleazeball Jackie Newton, is a master at eluding murder convictions. Unfortunately for Janeway, his swift form of off-duty justice costs him his badge. Turning to his lifelong passion, Janeway opens a bookshop -- all the while searching for evidence to put Newton away. But when prized volumes in a highly sought-after collection begin to appear, so do dead bodies. Now Janeway's life is about to change in profound and shocking ways as he attempts to find out who's dealing death along with vintage Chandlers and Twains".
The Bookman's Wake, The Bookman's Promise, The Sign of the Book and The Bookwoman's Last Fling complete the series, although I sure hope he hasn't finished his stories about Cliff Janeway. Dunning is also an expert on old-time radio shows and has written Tune in Yesterday: the ultimate encyclopedia of Old-time Radio.
If you like books and mysteries, give the Cliff Janeway Bookman series a try. And, check out the author's webpage and learn more about his colorful life here.