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Other titles in the Cliff Janeway Novels series:
The Bookman's Promise: A Cliff Janeway Novelby John Dunning
Synopses & Reviews
Cliff Janeway is back! "The Bookman's Promise" marks the eagerly awaited return of Denver bookman-author John Dunning and the award-winning crime novel series that helped to turn the nation on to first-edition book collecting.
First, it was "Booked to Die, " then "The Bookman's Wake." Now John Dunning fans, old and new, will rejoice in "The Bookman's Promise, " a richly nuanced new Janeway novel that juxtaposes past and present as Denver ex-cop and bookman Cliff Janeway searches for a book and a killer.
The quest begins when an old woman, Josephine Gallant, learns that Janeway has recently bought at auction a signed first edition by the legendary nineteenth-century explorer Richard Francis Burton. The book is a true classic, telling of Burton's journey (disguised as a Muslim) to the forbidden holy cities of Mecca and Medina. The Boston auction house was a distinguished and trustworthy firm, but provenance is sometimes murky and Josephine says the book is rightfully hers.
She believes that her grandfather, who was living in Baltimore more than eighty years ago, had a fabulous collection of Burton material, including a handwritten journal allegedly detailing Burton's undercover trip deep into the troubled American South in 1860. Josephine remembers the books from her childhood, but everything mysteriously disappeared shortly after her grandfather's death.
With little time left in her own life, Josephine begs for Janeway's promise: he must find her grandfather's collection. It's a virtually impossible task, Janeway suspects, as the books will no doubt have been sold and separated over the years, but how can he say no to a dying woman?
It seems that her grandfather, Charlie Warren, traveled south with Burton in the spring of 1860, just before the Civil War began. Was Burton a spy for Britain? What happened during the three months in Burton's travels for which there are no records? How did Charlie acquire his unique collection of Burton books? What will the journal, if it exists, reveal?
When a friend is murdered, possibly because of a Burton book, Janeway knows he must find the answers. Someone today is willing to kill to keep the secrets of the past, and Janeway's search will lead him east: To Baltimore, to a Pulitzer Prize-winning author with a very stuffed shirt, and to a pair of unorthodox booksellers. It reaches a fiery conclusion at Fort Sumter off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina.
What's more, a young lawyer, Erin d'Angelo, and ex-librarian Koko Bujak, have their own reasons for wanting to find the journal. But can Janeway trust them?
Rich with the insider's information on rare and collectible books that has made John Dunning famous, and with meticulously researched detail about a mesmerizing figure who may have played an unrecognized role in our Civil War, "The Bookman's Promise" is riveting entertainment from an extraordinarily gifted author who is as unique and special as the books he so clearly loves.
"The combination of Burton the adventurer-author and Janeway the cop-bookseller is a match made in crime-fiction heaven." Booklist
"Though not as tightly wound as Janeway's first two adventures, this one is still endlessly inventive, exhilarating, and literate. Quite a knock-out punch for a used bookseller." Kirkus Reviews
Cliff Janeway, the cop-turned-rare-book-dealer, returns in a new Bookman mystery set in the arcane world of collectible books — from the award-winning author who captivated readers with Booked to Die and The Bookman's Wake.
Cliff Janeway is back! The Bookman's Promise marks the eagerly awaited return of Denver bookman-
About the Author
John Dunning, winner of the Nero Wolfe Award, is the author of Booked to Die, which instantly became a hotly sought collectible, and The Bookman's Wake, a New York Times Notable Book of 1995. He owned the Old Algonquin Bookstore in Denver for many years, and now does his bookselling online. He is also the author of a novel about old-time radio, Two O'Clock, Eastern Wartime, and a nonfiction book, On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio, and was for many years host of the weekly Denver radio show Old-Time Radio. He lives with his wife, Helen, in Denver, Colorado, where he is finishing the next Janeway novel. Visit his website at www.oldalgonquin.com.
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