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The "Bernie Rhodenbarr" novels are a series by Lawrence Block, about the adventures of Gentleman Thief / bookseller Bernie Rhodenbarr. Bernie owns a bookstore in New York City, and uses it as a cover and ostensible source of income; his actual income comes largely from relieving wealthy New Yorkers of their coin collections, jewelry and other such fenceable, untraceable valuables.
In the course of his burglarious career, Bernie often stumbles across murder victims, and to keep himself out of trouble, ends up having to solve them, often with the help of his friends: a rather corrupt Friend on the Force and a lesbian dog-groomer.
Books in this series
- Burglars Can't Be Choosers (1977)
- The Burglar in the Closet (1978)
- The Burglar Who Liked to Quote Kipling (1979)
- The Burglar Who Studied Spinoza (1980)
- The Burglar Who Painted Like Mondrian (1983)
- The Burglar Who Traded Ted Williams (1994)
- The Burglar Who Thought He Was Bogart (1995)
- The Burglar in the Library (1997)
- The Burglar in the Rye (1999)
- The Burglar on the Prowl (2004)
These books include the following tropes:
- Does Not Like Guns: Bernie hates guns. Given his profession, this is quite understandable.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Bernie's a thief, sure...but he abhors violence and only steals from wealthy people who can afford the losses.
- Gentleman Thief: Bernie.
- Rear Window Witness: The Burglar in the Closet
- They Fight Crime: Bernie and his friends.