Bernie Rhodenbarr Books

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Bernie is the main character of the series written by bestselling comic mystery novel author Lawrence Block. The character made his first appearance in Burglars Cannot Be Choosers which was published in 1977. Up to date, the character has featured in over ten novels by Rhodenbarr and some short stories Bernie Rhodenbarr, a criminal based in New-York and his specialty is housebreaking. He is fascinated by his norm of life due to the excitement it provides. During his youth, he was arrested and spent time in a state penitentiary, but since then, the professional burglar has sworn to never getting arrested again. His operations are timely, carefully planned and executed- regarding site surveillance and the getaway route after committing atrocities.

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Order of Bernie Rhodenbarr Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Burglars Can't Be Choosers ( By: Lawrence Block) 1977 Description / Buy
2 The Burglar in the Closet ( By: Lawrence Block) 1978 Description / Buy
3 The Burglar Who Liked to Quote Kipling ( By: Lawrence Block) 1979 Description / Buy
4 The Burglar Who Studied Spinoza (By: Lawrence Block) 1980 Description / Buy
5 The Burglar Who Painted Like Mondrian ( By: Lawrence Block) 1983 Description / Buy
6 Like a Thief in the Night (Short Story) ( By: Lawrence Block) 1983 Description / Buy
7 The Burglar Who Traded Ted Williams ( By: Lawrence Block) 1994 Description / Buy
8 The Burglar Takes a Cat (Short Story) ( By: Lawrence Block) 1994 Description / Buy
9 The Burglar Who Thought He Was Bogart ( By: Lawrence Block) 1995 Description / Buy
10 The Burglar in the Library ( By: Lawrence Block) 1997 Description / Buy
11 The Burglar in the Rye (By: Lawrence Block) 1998 Description / Buy
12 The Burglar Who Dropped in on Elvis (Short Story) ( By: Lawrence Block) 1999 Description / Buy
13 The Burglar on the Prowl ( By: Lawrence Block) 2001 Description / Buy
14 The Burglar Who Smelled Smoke (Short Story) ( By: Lawrence Block) 2011 Description / Buy
15 A Bad Night for Burglars (Short Story) ( By: Lawrence Block) 2011 Description / Buy
16 The Burglar Who Counted the Spoons ( By: Lawrence Block) 2013 Description / Buy
17 The Burglar in Short Order ( By: Lawrence Block) 2020 Description / Buy
18 The Burglar Who Met Fredric Brown (By: Lawrence Block) 2022 Description / Buy
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Bernie Rhodenbarr is never alone in his crimes; he has friends and some associates. Carolyn Kaiser his best friend, a frequent partner in criminal activities and a lesbian. She operates The Poodle Shop- a pet grooming salon proximal to Bernie Bookstore. Ray is a rogue plainclothes police officer whom Bernie describes as the good police that his money can acquire.” Wally Hemphill Bernie Rhodenbarr lawyer while Marty Gilmartin, a very wealthy businessman who identifies the possible victims for Bernie.

The first novel in the Bernie Rhodenbarr series by Lawrence Block is Burglars Cannot Be Choosers published in 1977.


Lawrence Block won the 2001 Antony Award for scripting down Best Short Story Collection. In 1985, By Dawns Early Light won Edgar Award for Best Short Story. Later in 1992 A Dances at the Slaughterhouse won Edgar Award under the Best Novel category. The author has also won several Shamus Awards for his novels under different categories.


Burglar in the Closet, the second book in the book series, was adapted into a 1987 Canadian-American film titled Burglar which featured Whoopi Goldberg as the lead character. Bruce Willis initially had been given the role of Bernie in the movie, while Whoopi was to play as the Neighbor, however, when Bruce dropped his role, Whoopi became the lead character and Bernie was renamed, Bernice. Unfortunately, the author was displeased by the adaptation, thus chose to write the succeeding books in such a manner that renders them unfilmable.


These are two best books of the Bernie Rhodenbarr series by Lawrence Block.

Burglar in the Closet: Bernie Rhodenbarr dentist Dr. Sheldrake spills the beans when he complains about his rebellious wife and mentions the diamonds that she keeps hanging around the apartment. The dentist does not seem to worry about anything since he knows that Bernie earns his income from the local bookstore he owns in town. A couple of nights later, Bernie breaks into the Dentist apartment ready to get the precious diamonds by all means possible. Unfortunately, the lady of the house arrives, and Bernie is forced to duck into the nearest closet. Things get from worse to worst when an unknown assailant breaks into the house kills Mrs. Sheldrake and escapes with the precious stones. Bernie got to what he has to save himself from being charged with murder that he did not commit and burglary that he only tried to commit.

The Burglar in the Library: This is the eighth book of the series Bernie Rhodenbarr by Lawrence Block. The local bookseller and the New- Yorker hardcore ventures out of Manhattan rarely, however, he is excited about a romantic getaway he has arranged for himself and his current girlfriend Lettice at a remote upstate. Unfortunately for him, Lettice has other plans in mind, she is getting married, and this forces the Bernie to take his best friend, Carolyn. A getaway from the busy city life would provide a perfect spot to get wasted. Besides getting wasted, there’s much valuable from the Cuttleford library that our burglar, Bernie can have a “close look at.” Unfortunately, he has to deal with a dead body he finds on the library floor. Things get worse when snowstorm approaches; phones lines get cut and the unexpected arrival of Lettice and her husband. It is up to Bernie Rhodenbarr to figure out the whole of murder and uncover the psycho killer before he gets killed.


If you are enthusiastic about Bernie Rhodenbarr burglar series by Lawrence Block, you might be love series such as “The Queen’s Thief” series by Megan Whalen Turner and “Gentleman Bastard” series by Scott Lynch.

What Is The Next Book in The Bernie Rhodenbarr Series?

There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The Bernie Rhodenbarr Series. The newest book is The Burglar Who Met Fredric Brown and was released on October, 18th 2022.

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