Cliff Janeway Books

The name Cliff Janeway refers to a series of mystery novels written by John Dunning. The books often lean towards the hard-boiled genre but they do not go far enough to warrant such a classification.

Order of Cliff Janeway Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Booked To Die 1992 Description / Buy
2 The Bookman's Wake 1992 Description / Buy
3 The Bookman's Promise 2004 Description / Buy
4 The Sign of the Book 2005 Description / Buy
5 The Bookwoman's Last Fling 2006 Description / Buy
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The series follows the exploits of a book collector that also solves crimes. When he is first introduced to readers in Booked to Die, the first of the Janeway novels, Cliff Janeway is a police officer in Denver.

Tough-talking and short-tempered, while Cliff has a great mind for solving crimes, his enthusiasm keeps getting in the way of his career. Cliff goes a little too far when it comes to delivering justice and he has no qualms about breaking the rules to put the bad guys away.

An encounter with the wrong sort of criminal brings to light Cliff Janeway’s wrathful approach to solving crime and he is summarily dismissed from the police force. Most cops in his position would fold and crumble under the weight of a life suddenly devoid of purpose.

But as it turns out, while Cliff loves pummeling bad guys to a pulp, readers learn that he enjoys collecting rare books and, in particular, first editions even more. And the ex-cop wastes little time in opening a shop, ingratiating himself into the collector business and carving out a new life for himself.

The Cliff Janeway series follows the detective around as he maneuvers the murky waters of book collecting even as he investigates the crimes that permeate his community. John Dunning, the author, is commended as much for his exploration of the book collecting world as he is for the mysteries and puzzles he crafts.

And from what Dunning writes, book collecting is a far more dangerous business than most people credit it. People like Cliff amass entire fortunes in rare books, not for the contents of those books but because they elicit a strange sort of pleasure from merely owning these items.

But life as a book collector, small shop owner, and even a book scout is hard. People less fortunate that Cliff Janeway spend their days rummaging through garbage piles and stalking the dinky halls of suspicious bookstores hoping to find that rare volume that just might transform their fortunes overnight.

So it isn’t unheard of for people as passionate and determined as the ones that surround Cliff to commit murder, theft or one of several other crimes. And when a crime in the book collecting world reaches the ears of Cliff Janeway, he does not hesitate to investigate it, driven as much by a desire to put his detective skills to good use as he is by his love of rare books.

Cliff Janeway Awards

The First of the Cliff Janeway novels was nominated for an Anthony Award. This is on top of receiving a Nero Award nomination. Additionally, its sequel earned an Edgar Award Nomination.

Best Cliff Janeway Books

The Cliff Janeway novels feel like hard-boiled mysteries whenever they explore a crime; but then the atmosphere completely changes whenever the protagonist gets nerdy over some of his favorite rare books, with some of the best books in the series including:

Booked To Die: Cliff Janeway is one Denver cop that was never afraid to break a few criminal heads to see justice done. But he went too far in his efforts to see a local lowlife punished and it cost him his job.

So now Cliff is a book collector with a small shop of his own and he spends his days pursuing his love for rare books. Cliff is forced to throw his detective hat back on when the appearance of a series of valuable books is accompanied by mysterious deaths.

The Bookman’s Wake: When Eleanor Rigby steals a rare volume, Cliff Janeway, a former detective turned book collector makes it his business to find her. His task takes a difficult turn when Eleanor’s prize attracts the attention of some truly dangerous people.

Other Book Series You May Like

Be sure to check out “A Fool and His Monet” as well. Serena Jones is passionate about art. She spends her days working with the FBI to recover stolen art pieces, not to mention resolving crimes associated with the world of art.

Readers also love the “Mordecai Tremaine” Series by Francis Duncan. Mordecai Tremaine is a super British, former tobacconist that loves romance novels and who cannot steer clear of trouble. An amateur sleuth, this series from the 1940s follows Mordecai around as he stumbles through murders and mysteries.

What Is The Next Book in The Cliff Janeway Series?

There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The Cliff Janeway Series. The newest book is The Bookwoman's Last Fling and was released on November, 30th 2005.

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