I’m currently reading The Bookman’s Promise, another Cliff Janeway mystery by John Dunning. If you don’t know this series, run to the nearest library or bookstore — at least if you love books. Dunning’s protagonist is a bookman, defined in Merriam-Webster Online as
- one who has a love of books and especially of reading
- one who is involved in the writing, publishing, or selling of books
Janeway is both. More particularly, he is a former cop who now sells rare and used books. Dunning makes this unlikely combination plausible, and he makes the world of rare books come alive. Anyone who’s fascinated by books — not just their content, but also their form and their heft and their typography and their bindings — will enjoy the entire Janeway series.
The Bookman’s Promise is Dunning’s third Janeway book. It contains some interesting history, a bit too much violence, and unfortunately not quite so much fascinating detail about the book business as the first two books offered the reader. Of course, since I haven’t finished this one, I can’t really give a considered opinion yet. But so far it’s well worth reading, even if it’s a notch below Booked to Die and The Bookman’s Wake.