Review: The Burglar Who Studied Spinoza

The Burglar Who Studied Spinoza
The Burglar Who Studied Spinoza by Lawrence Block
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Finished this a few days ago but haven’t been able to think of much to say. Bernie burgles, someone gets murdered, Bernie uses his lockpicking skills to hunt down clues, doesn’t tell the reader anything, gathers everyone in one place and reveals whodunnit.

Its satisfying in its way, neat and tidy, the kind of book that people who devour books can pop in their craw and masticate and move on from. I mean, to keep the food analogy going, Lawrence Block isn’t cooking at The Four Seasons but he’s not slinging hash at a greasy spoon, either. You won’t get a belly ache after reading this book, you’re not going to need any Maalox.

My mom used to read two or three romance novels a day, and if she was a mystery reader, this would be the sort of thing she’d get through. I guess what I’m getting at here is a kind of aesthetic that has nothing to do with the plot of this 4th burglar novel. I mean, who cares what the plot is, right? These books kind of write themselves.

At least they do in the hands of a skilled pensmith. Don’t get me wrong, these are competent reads. Quick, fun, easy. And if I need to say something about this one in particular- the Spinoza stuff? Completely unnecessary. A sprig of parsley on the side of the plate.

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