From New York Times bestselling author John Dunning comes a riveting
new Cliff Janeway Bookman novel, combining captivating book lore with
Denver bookman and ex-cop Cliff Janeway is enjoying the good life, buying and
selling the books he adores as he ekes out a living in his store on seedy East
Colfax. And it doesn't hurt that superstar lawyer Erin D'Angelo has joined him
as a partner in both business and love.
Erin is a special lady, so it's hard for Janeway to refuse her when she asks
a favor. Will he travel to the little mountain town of Paradise, Colorado, to
check on one of Erin's girlhood friends who's in deep trouble? Laura Marshall
sits in the county jail, accused of murdering her husband, Bobby.
The situation is delicate because Bobby and Erin were a couple before he
married Laura. In fact, it was Laura's affair with Bobby that ended Erin's
relationship with each of them, and the women have been estranged ever since.
Now Laura has called on Erin for help, but Erin's not sure she even wants to see
her onetime best friend, let alone get involved in her case. Could Janeway visit
Laura on Erin's behalf and try to find out what happened the night Bobby died?
The clincher for Janeway: Bobby Marshall was a book collector, and Janeway
can't resist a house full of books any more than he can resist Erin's
uncharacteristic request. His normally self-sufficient girlfriend is clearly at
loose ends. He drives to Paradise the next day.
Janeway soon discovers that neither he nor Erin is likely to be able to save
Laura Marshall. The young wife and mother is terrified of something and has
already admitted to the arresting officer -- a smarmy local deputy with a huge
chip on his shoulder -- that she shot her husband and then tried to dispose of
the bloody evidence.
But did everything really happen as Laura claims? And what about the books?
Bobby had a vast library, but at a casual glance, the titles seem ordinary, even
to a seasoned bookman like Janeway. Could they possibly be a motive for murder?
Janeway, Erin, and local attorney Parley McNamara discover that the case
against Laura Marshall is far more complicated than it seems. Professionally,
Erin must decide whether to represent Laura; and personally, whether a
decades-old friendship can be resurrected. Janeway wants to know the
significance of Bobby's book collection. He senses their importance, and under
his careful scrutiny, the rows of unremarkable volumes could reveal a killer's
Rich with the intricacies of book collecting that only an expert like John
Dunning can offer, The Sign of the Book is a beautifully crafted,
enthralling novel of suspense from the consummate bookman himself.
Booklist - Bill Ott
This is the kind of thing Janeway
fans love juicy nuggets of bibliophile gold. That these tasty morsels come
wrapped in serviceable crime plots involving tough guys, gutsy gals, and snappy
patter makes the pleasure of devouring them all the sweeter.
Starred review. The
book-related plot is somewhat arbitrarily grafted onto the main narrative, but
Dunning writes with such confidence and assurance the reader cannot help being
drawn into this compelling whodunit.
clever mystery is neither dense nor twisty enough to rank with Dunning's best
work and the final revelation is one too
many. But Janeway is as resourceful as ever, and the usual irresistible asides
on the book trade will make this the most enthusiastically hand-sold title of
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Cloggie Downunder great climax The Sign of the Book is the 4th book in the Cliff Janeway series by John Dunning. Cliff agrees to help Erin determine if her estranged childhood friend, Laura Marshall, really killed her husband, or confessed to protect her troubled son. The... Read More
John Dunning is an expert on rare and collectible books and for many
years owned and ran the Old Algonquin Bookstore in Denver with his wife,
Helen. In 1994 he closed the bookstore in order to be able to
spend more time writing, but he and Helen continue to do business online.
Cliff Janeway series
Booked To Die (1992), The Bookman's Wake (1995),
The Bookman's Promise (2004), The Sign of the Book (2005), The Bookwoman's Last Fling (2006).
The Holland Suggestions (1974), Looking for Ginger North: One Man's Violent Journey Into
His Past-a High Voltage Novel of Suspense. (1980),
Denver (1980 or 1982),
Two O'Clock, Eastern Wartime (2001)
Research shows that 90% of Americans value public libraries(Dec 11 2013) According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, about 90% of Americans aged 16 and older said that the closing of their local public library would have an...