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Booked to Die  By  cover art

Booked to Die

By: John Dunning
Narrated by: George Guidall
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Publisher's Summary

Set in the world of rare books, this best-seller was an instant success with mystery fans who find Dunning's adept combination of sharp-edged suspense, compelling characters, and knowledgeable book lore irresistible. The murder of a harmless book dealer draws Denver homicide detective Cliff Janeway into an extraordinary quest. Suddenly his sources become victims, and he begins to understand that rare editions can cost lives.
©1994 John Dunning (P)1995 Recorded Books

What listeners say about Booked to Die

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    234
  • 4 Stars
    186
  • 3 Stars
    77
  • 2 Stars
    17
  • 1 Stars
    10
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    244
  • 4 Stars
    86
  • 3 Stars
    23
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    2
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    174
  • 4 Stars
    117
  • 3 Stars
    47
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    9

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Be Patient with Him

It's a good thing I didn't read the Janeway series in sequence because if I'd started with this I'd never have read another. And that would be a shame, because his writing gets better as the years go by.

At this stage, Janeway is a pompous, opinionated blowhard, an antique "tough guy" who would suit an old Shell Scott fan. He's self-important, self-congratulating, and self-absorbed. In his own mind, he's a liberal but, if he said that out loud at a dinner party, all the genuine liberals would roll their eyes. They wouldn't say anything, though, because they'd know in advance that Janeway would dismiss any argument.

The story isn't that good, either, filled with tired, overworked stuff about vulnerability, "the lone cowboy," and the agonies of commitment.

On the plus, there's a good depiction of the dilemma of "helping" a battered woman. But the portrayal of the love-interest's personality is a flop, albeit unconventional.

At one point, Janeway says that there's nothing wrong with writing mysteries provided you do it well, and fortunately the author puts this into practice in later novels.

Audio:

The reader sounds too elderly for the part (Janeway is 36 at this time). He turns reading into pompous pronouncements, over-emphasizing nearly all words. He sounds like the kind of guy who would dominate a group conversation, or tell his date how she ought to dress. This multiplies the offensiveness of the protaganist's personality.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Booked to Die? or Dead Book?

This book can't decide if it wants to be a murder mystery or a story about the book trade -- I ended up not caring about either. However, the worst sin is the waste of George Guidall's golden voice. Mr. Guidall is one of the most talented folks in the business but his voice is not right for this book. The protagonist is supposed to be 36 y/o. Mr. Guidall can do a lot of things but he does not sound like a convincing 36 y/o.
I did learn a lot about the book trade though and I liked that part

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great new series!

This intelligent and entertaining novel seems to be the start of a great new series - new to me, at least. Glad to find it! And, as usual, George Guidall is outstanding as a reader. He could read the phone book and I would listen.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Good Story

I enjoyed this book very much, and was anxious to read every time I picked it up. One of the things that makes a good book for me is the degree that the characters have been cultivated and whether or not I develop an affinity for them. In this case I was able to enjoy just about all of the players. What kept me from giving it another star was the fact that the female character was described as having been paralyzed with fear and paranoia after suffering a brutal attack, and not gradually, but instantly was able to overcome it. The fact that her son was in trouble was a great motivator, but her degree of recovery was just a little over the top for me. I understand the author's purpose in writing about the computer sex... that it was a way to communicate the fact that in spite of her history she still had needs and desires, but I don't think that they were required to be graphic and I therefore found it objectionable. Otherwise, I liked this story.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Engaging

I was unsure about this book when I purchsed the audio. I was not only surprised but extremely glad I had. This book was well written, has a few twists, and engaging plat, and believable characters. I read alot of books and many are from certain writers I follow, but I love to pick up something I have never heard of before and read. I am sometimes dissappointed but this book was an enlightenment. I will now add this author to my list that I buy everything they write, and I mean hard copies also.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great read.

This and Bookman's Wake are great mysteries by a wonderful author. Great characters, great plot, great writing.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Crack for Bibliophiles

The setup is preposterous—a book collector police detective working the murder of a book scout—but it's great fun to read. There is so much pleasure to be had in the book talk, the bookish characters, and the chase that you don't care how far reality is being stretched. Highly recommended for all book lovers.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Moderately entertaining

I love books and bookstores, but I have to say that this plot was just a bit slow to evolve. The 'mysterious woman' character was a bit too cliched for me. Hopefully the next book in this series will have a crisper pace and more believable female characters.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

love the book

What made the experience of listening to Booked to Die the most enjoyable?

I will listen to anything that George Guidall reads and he reads the best of them. This was my first Janway mystery and I plan on doing all of them. great story and of course terrific narrator. One should listen to Craig Johnson's books read by Guidal, another great writer and series of books.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting

I really enjoyed looking at the world of rare books from this author's perspective. I found the mystery good, with just the right twists and turns. I would recommend reading this book before the others in the series. It makes more sense that way.

1 person found this helpful