Together for the first time in a single volume -- the two critically acclaimed Bookman crime novels that helped inspire America's passion for modern first-edition book collecting and that belong on every bookshelf.
Includes "The Book Collector," advice and special tips from John Dunning on collecting rare books.
BOOKED TO DIE
Denver cop Cliff Janeway probably knows as much about books as he does about homicide. His living room resembles an adjunct to the public library. He's aware that some Stephen King first editions can bring more money than most Mark Twain firsts, and a copy of Raymond Chandler's Lady in the Lake is worth more than $1,000. And he realizes that, contrary to popular belief, "older" doesn't necessarily mean "more valuable."
He also knows that valuable volumes can be hidden in plain view among otherwise ordinary book collections. It's not easy to find such books, but some people seem to have an extraordinary talent for honing in on the treasures.
Such a man is bookscout Bobby Westfall. Bobby once earned $900 in a single weekend and has generally spotted enough valuable books to keep himself and his beloved cats fed and housed.
Now Bobby is dead, murdered at the witching hour on Friday the thirteenth, his body dumped under a ladder in a dark alley. It's not a good end for a superstitious man. Janeway is sure he knows who did it. But can he catch him? And, in the process, will Janeway's own life change forever?
THE BOOKMAN'S WAKE
The story starts and ends, aptly, with a very special book: a 1969 edition of Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven, published by the tiny, prestigious Grayson Press of North Bend, Washington. The Grayson bibliography mentions no such edition. If, indeed, it exists, it could be worth a fortune to the right collector. It's the kind of book somebody might kill for. In fact, somebody probably already has.
Ex-Denver cop Janeway is happily at work selling rare and used books when former police colleague Clydell Slater arrives with an offer. Slater runs a detective agency and he wants Janeway to go to Seattle to pick up a young female fugitive and deliver her to Taos, New Mexico. The woman is wanted for burglary and assault. More to the point, as far as Janeway's concerned, she may also have in her possession a stolen copy of the 1969 Grayson Press Raven, taken when she ransacked a Taos home.
The rare-book angle gets to Janeway every time. He could turn down thousands of dollars in fees, but he can't say no to The Raven.
Janeway signs on to the case because of a book, but he stays because of a vulnerable young woman. He will discover not only her painful story but the poignant tale of a once-great small press, where paper and ink became beautiful books in the hands of a master craftsman.