Dunning, John – THE SIGN OF THE BOOK

THE SIGN OF THE BOOK (Amateur Sleuth-Colorado-Cont) – G+ Dunning, John – 4th in series
Scribner, 2005- Hardcover


Cliff Janeway is a former policeman and now bookstore owner and collector. He is asked by his attorney girlfriend Erin to investigate the arrest of Erin's former best friend, Laura, who has confessed to killing her husband. What he finds is a woman, who may be trying to protect her disabled son, a bully deputy who has badly mishandled a murder scene, and a house full of signed 1st editions.

Dunning has created a wonderful character in Janeway. He's a tough ex-cop who knows how do to long stakeouts, understands judges and knows when a crime scene investigation has been bungled. He also knows books, finding, valuing and selling them. It's a combination that leads to a fully dimensional, and very interesting, character. He also knows how to build an excellent supporting cast, create a sense of place and build tension. If I wish his dialogue were better, that's a small criticism. For those of us who love books and tough-but-tender investigators, this is a very enjoyable series.

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