I probably should have seen this coming: after reacquainting myself with Bernie Rhodenbarr, Noah e-mailed me to say it had inspired him to pick up one of the Burglar books ("The Burglar Who Traded Ted Williams") for the first time in years, and then somehow "Ted Williams" found its way back into my hands. (I didn't read it enough in Albuquerque.) And that wasn't the end of it.
#30 -- "The Burglar Who Traded Ted Williams" by Lawrence Block
#31 -- "The Burglar Who Thought He Was Bogart" by Lawrence Block
And you'd think that was enough, but I started "The Burglar in the Library" this morning. Everything I said before holds; these two may have been my favorite of the series, though that may be because they tackled subjects (sports cards in "Ted," old movies and Eastern Europe in "Bogart") close to my heart. The Burglar books are dangerous in two ways -- they make burglary seem like a really fun career, and worthwhile too, and they make New York seem like a city where everyone exchanges patter that would make Nick and Nora Charles jealous, and the bars are filled with witty drinkers rather than pink-polo-shirted douchebags. So when I move to New York and start breaking into apartments, Lawrence Block is to blame.