John Dunning is an American author of detective fiction and non-fiction. He is famous for his reference books on old-time radio and mystery series featuring ex-policeman Cliff Janeway and bookseller Denver.
Order of Cliff Janeway Series
|1||Booked To Die||1992|
|2||The Bookman's Wake||1992|
|3||The Bookman's Promise||2004|
|4||The Sign of the Book||2005|
|5||The Bookwoman's Last Fling||2006|
Order of John Dunning Non-Fiction Books
Order of John Dunning Standalone Novels
Born in 1942 in Brooklyn, New York, Dunning moved to Charleston, South Carolina, his father’s hometown at the age of three. He later moved to Denver, Colorado in 1964 where he worked at a horse racing track as a stable hand before getting a job at The Denver Post. In 1970, he took up writing novels after quitting the newspaper. In 1984, he stopped writing due to trouble with his publishers and opened a store selling rare and second-hand books. He later returned to writing novels in 1992 after the urging of fellow authors. His first novel, Booked to Die featuring Cliff Janeway was released the same year.
John Dunning Awards
In 1982, Dunning got his first Edgar Award nomination, “Best Paperback Original”, for the book Looking for Ginger North. The following year, he received a nomination for the same honor for the novel Deadline.
Dunning first won the Nero Award for the novel Booked to Die and received a nomination in the “Best Novel” category for the 1993 Anthony Award. The sequence to this bestseller, The Bookman’s Wake, was nominated in the “Best Novel” category for the Edgar Award in 1996.
Best John Dunning Books
Dunning’s series of suspense novels has brought him more accolades due to his superb talent and rich mix of horses and books. Here are some of his bestselling novels that are definitely good reads.
Booked to Die: This is the first Cliff Janeway novel. The main character, Cliff Janeway is a homicide detective in Denver who does not play by the rules, though he is an avid collector of first and rare book editions. A local book scout is killed in his area and Janeway tries to solve the murder only to lose his badge. The main suspect, Jackie Newton is a local lowlife who had mastered in eluding the law. Janeway resorts to his lifelong passion and opens a small bookshop while searching for evidence linking Newton to the murder. Janeway’s life takes a new chapter when he attempts to resolve the deaths along with vintage Twain and Chandlers.
The Booman’s Wake: The follow-up to the popular novel Booked to Die. Ex-detective, Cliff Janeway is now a book dealer. He finds himself tracking a charming young fugitive known as Eleanor Rigby, who stole a rare copy of The Raven, belonging to Poe. Trouble ensues as Eleanor disappears into a city full of people who need the book at all costs. Stuffed with intriguing book knowledge, this mystery is a dream of every bibliophile.
The Bookman’s Promise: Cliff Janeway becomes embroiled in a sticky situation involving a missing library of Burton material as he looks for the original copy of a memoir signed by Sir Richard Burton, a nineteenth-century explorer.
The Sign of the Book: This bestseller is full of irresistible suspense. It traces the murder cases linked to the missing rare books. Cliff Janeway is an expert in assessing a book’s value due to his passion for rare books. However, he can be supremely challenged by some signed first editions. Here, Janeway agrees to help attorney Erin’ Angelo to determine if her husband was killed by her childhood friend. Janeway discovers some books from the deceased, an amazing collection which is very expensive but he is not interested in their financial worth. He sets to reveal the genuine signature of the book to put the truth out about the cold-blooded murders.
The Bookwoman’s Last Fling: The last Cliff Janeway novel ends the series on a high note. Janeway is interested in Candice Geiger books which have the true passion of a book woman. Unfortunately, Janeway never meets Candice who died 20 years ago, leaving her books that portrayed the extraordinarily remarkable vision of a woman. Janeway discovers the juvenilia collection soon after H. R. Geiger, Candice’s husband died. However, the collection misses valuable titles which are replaced with cheap reprints. Sharon, Candice’s daughter, may help Janeway learn the truth about the collection.
Janeway traces Candice’s suspicious past leading him to Santa Anita and Golden State racetracks. He gathers more information while working in the racetracks and is stunned by what he gets once he visits Candice’s house to look for answers.