Over the weekend, I read Lawrence Block’s Burglars Can’t Be Choosers, the first of the Bernie Rhodenbarr series (not currently in print; I got it from the library). The general pattern, for people unfamiliar with the series: Bernie tries to steal something, gets involved in a murder as a result (often as the suspect), and must figure out who the real killer is, cracking wise along the way and often getting entangled in dubious romantic relationships. In later books, he buys a used bookstore and acquires a henchperson and best friend in Carolyn, whom I like even better than Bernie. (People who’ve read Westlake’s Dortmunder books might like this idea for a cross-over between the series, courtesy of James Nicoll on rec.arts.sf.written.) This isn’t the best of the series, but it’s certainly good enough that I would have kept reading them, if the library had had it on the day I decided to try Block.