Saturday, February 11, 2006

John Dunning

I can either talk about the Arctic Monkeys or the book I am currently reading. The Arctic Monkeys will wait. Just keep in mind, however, if you've never heard of the Arctic Monkeys, you heard about them here first.

I am reading currently John Dunning's The Sign of the Book; A Cliff Janeway Bookman Novel. This is the fourth in a series of mystery books that features the a lead protagonist who is a former Denver cop who has left the force and now runs a bookshop. He inevitably gets tangled up in some mystery that inevitably involves books and book collecting. Gee, can you imagine why I enjoy these books?

In fact, it was Dunning's The Bookman's Wake, the second Janeway novel, which I partially credit with infusing me with a book collector's mentality. I also thank my beloved wife who, on our first "paper" anniversary, gave me a signed copy of Kurt Vonnegut Jr.'s Jailbird. The second book, because of its significance in altering my outlook on life, is my favorite and there was a long gap between that and The Bookman's Promise, which came out in 2004, and was quickly followed by The Sign of the Book in 2005.

The third book was the first I published while I was aware of Dunning, who also has written other books about, among other things, radio during World War II. Thus afforded me the opportunity two years back to finally meet the man himself, and have him sign my copy of The Bookman's Wake. He's a great personality and quite a hoot.

I don't think, like any great mystery series, you need to read the books in order, but it always helps. The latest book includes a main character Janeway met in The Bookman's Promise, which involved a "lost" book of the explorer Richard Burton.

After reading the second book, I went back and read the first one, Booked to Die which, from a collector's standpoint, is the scarcest and most collectible. All are good reads, and the latest fits into the successful formula. I am enjoying it thoroughly and would feel nothing but glee knowing BillyBlog helped one of its readers meet a new author.

You can read an excerpt of The Sign of the Book here.

I recommend them all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Vonnegut wasn't just signed! It was numbered in a series!
C'mon I hate to encourage this sometimes, especially when I realize that I might be at fault. And... don't go talking about any of my collection, because you know I am not anywhere near as obsessive.