I received a large number of books as Christmas presents from my relatives this year. One of them caught my eye in a hurry and I finished it already, yesterday. The book is called THE BOOKMAN'S PROMISE and is written by John Dunning. It's a page-turner mystery that I really enjoyed. It's not WAR & PEACE but it's an entertaining read.
The primary character is a guy who runs an antiquarian book store in Denver. He's a former homicide detective that was drummed out of the force for beating up a hood. The story involves searching for priceless (or high-priced) books written by Richard Burton (the 19th century British explorer - not the actor). I learned much about the used and rare book industry in the book. Also a lot about "Interrogation 101" techniques used by the police. Particularly appealing to me was the fact that a good portion of the book takes place in Charleston, South Carolina. My wife and I vacationed there in March of this year. Most of the places he mentions were ones that we visited, including Isle of Palms, where we stayed.
John Dunning himself is quite interesting. He is the "winner of the Nero Wolfe Award, is the author of BOOKED TO DIE, which instantly became a hotly sought collectible,, and THE BOOKMAN'S WAKE, a New York Times Notable Book of 1995. He owned the Old Algonquin Bookstore in Denver for many years, and now does his bookselling online. He is also the author of a novel about old-time radio, TWO O'CLOCK, EASTERN WARTIME, also ON THE AIR: THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF OLD-TIME RADIO, and was for many years host of the weekly Denver radio show OLD-TIME RADIO. He lives with his wife, Helen, in Denver, Colorado, where he is finishing the next Eric Janeway Novel." It was a fun read.
You can check out his website at www.oldalgonquin.com