A lot is at stake for bookstore owner and part-time burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr in his 10th outing. The cops consider him a suspect in a crime he didn't commit, they don't know about the one he did commit and unknown persons are trying to make him the victim of a crime yet to happen. Bernie needs to figure out what's going on before he ends up in jail or the morgue. Neither place is one he'd like to visit.

Bernie is in this mess because he likes to burgle. It gives him a thrill that selling books can't match. But his part-time vocation leads to trouble when he hits an apartment near the location of a triple homicide. He was spotted in the area, and now cops are on his tail. When his apartment is tossed, Bernie knows that goons are after him too, but why is anybody's guess.

Block hits a home run as he challenges his hero to unravel the threads in a virtual tapestry of crimes. The reader's only task is to sit back and enjoy Bernie's wit and wisdom as his ingenuity is put to the test.

This is another winner from the pen of Mr. Block. (Mar., 320 pp., $24.95)
Reviewed by: 
Jo Peters