Bernie Rhodenbarr Books

Description /Buy link takes you to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn money from qualifying purchases.

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.

Order of Bernie Rhodenbarr Series

1Burglars Can't Be Choosers1977Description / Buy
2The Burglar in the Closet1978Description / Buy
3The Burglar Who Liked to Quote Kipling1979Description / Buy
4The Burglar Who Studied Spinoza1980Description / Buy
5The Burglar Who Painted Like Mondrian1983Description / Buy
6Like a Thief in the Night (Short Story)1983Description / Buy
7The Burglar Who Traded Ted Williams1994Description / Buy
8The Burglar Takes a Cat (Short Story)1994Description / Buy
9The Burglar Who Thought He Was Bogart1995Description / Buy
10The Burglar in the Library1997Description / Buy
11The Burglar in the Rye1998Description / Buy
12The Burglar Who Dropped in on Elvis (Short Story)1999Description / Buy
13The Burglar on the Prowl2001Description / Buy
14The Burglar Who Smelled Smoke (Short Story)2011Description / Buy
15A Bad Night for Burglars (Short Story)2011Description / Buy
16The Burglar Who Counted the Spoons2013Description / Buy
17The Burglar in Short Order2020Description / Buy
Print: Print PDF

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 in Short Order and was released on March, 2nd 2020.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *