LAWRENCE BLOCK – The Burglar in the Closet. Random House, hardcover, 1978. Paperback reprints include: Pocket, 1981; Signet, 1997. Film: Warner, 1987, as Burglar, with Whoopi Goldberg as Bernie (as in short for Bernice).

LAWRENCE BLOCK The Burglas in the Closet

   In Burglars Can’t Be Choosers, when last we met our favorite breaking-and-entering expert, Bernie Rhodenbarr, he was nabbed red-handed in an apartment which, quite unknown to him, came complete with a corpse in the bedroom.

   This time, he checks around first. While the murder’s being committed, he finds himself accidentally locked up in a closet instead. The victim? No one important, only his dentist’s not-so-favorite ex-wife.

   So, in the midst of the comedy routines provided by dentistry and other irreverent views of the world, Bernie is forced once again to become a detective on the run — burglars find it terribly difficult to get policemen to be sympathetic to their job-related problems. The end result is fast, fresh, breezy, and wow, was I slow on the clues!

From The MYSTERY FANcier, Vol. 3, No. 3, May-June 1979
            (very slightly revised).

Bernie Rhodenbarr novels:

1. Burglars Can’t Be Choosers (1977)
2. The Burglar in the Closet (1978)
3. The Burglar Who Liked to Quote Kipling (1979)
4. The Burglar Who Studied Spinoza (1980)
5. The Burglar Who Painted Like Mondrian (1983)
6. The Burglar Who Traded Ted Williams (1994)
7. The Burglar Who Thought He Was Bogart (1995)
8. The Burglar in the Library (1997)
9. The Burglar in the Rye (1999)
10. The Burglar on the Prowl (2004)

Short stories:

“Like a Thief in the Night.” Cosmopolitan, May 1983.
“The Burglar Who Dropped In On Elvis.” Playboy, April 1990
“The Burglar Who Smelled Smoke.” Mary Higgins Clark Mystery Magazine, Summer/Fall 1997.