Meet Cliff Janeway, the crime-busting book lover

bookedtodieFlipper and BookMoocher friend Triccie recommended John Dunning’s Cliff Janeway series to me when we were raiding the Book Sale warehouse last year, but it slipped my mind until I got a copy of Booked to Die that my mom brought home from the states, among the load of books she bought from the estate sales she went to.

I was finally able to read it  (and a couple of other books) while I was getting my hair rebonded (the best reading time I’ve had in months!) a couple of weeks ago.

Booked to Die (Book #89 of 2009) is the first book in the Cliff Janeway “Bookman” mystery series by John Dunning. In this book, Cliff Janeway is a homicide detective investigating the murder of a bookscout in his home turf: Denver, Colorado, and the prime suspect is a longtime nemesis whose face he is itching to rearrange. He takes matters into his own hands, and it causes him to lose his badge.

Cliff Janeway is, in all aspects, one tough cookie, but he also happens to be a hard-core bibliophile, an avid collector of first-editions whose apartment could easily pass for an annex of the Denver Public Library.

Finding himself without a job, Cliff Janeway takes on a new career, and does something he has always dreamed of doing: putting up his own antiquarian bookshop: Twice Told Books.

Janeway appears to have settled into a more peaceful life, but as several rare (and outrageously expensive) books turn up, the body count in the local book trade rises, and Janeway’s cop instincts bring him on the trail of a murderer who will kill for a good book.

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Peter Rabbit and company (Picture Book Roundup #6)

I haven’t done a picture book roundup in nearly a month, so here’s one on my Beatrix Potter books (books 86-88 for 2009), because I recently found a great Peter Rabbit gift set at Book Sale

I didn’t really grow up on Beatrix Potter; I was familiar with her books (well, who wouldn’t be, they’re the best selling picture books of all time!) but I didn’t really pay attention to them until later on, I think when I was in high school, when my sister got The Tailor of Gloucester as a Christmas present and it became my favorite Beatrix Potter story.

The Tailor of Gloucester is similar to The Elves and the Shoemaker story, but in Beatrix Potter style, it involves a cat named Simpkin and a band of mice. The tailor needs to sew a coat for the Mayor of Gloucester, and has all the pieces cut out and laid out at his shop, but he is lacking one skein of cherry-colored silk.

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Currently reading: Beyond the Grave (The 39 Clues Book 4)


Squee! Finally Book 4 of The 39 Clues series is here. I’ve been so excited to read this, after reviewing Maze of Bones and One False Note and The Sword Thief. I’m halfway through Beyond the Grave but I am reviewing it for Manila Bulletin so I won’t be able to post the review here just yet.

In the meantime, you’ll find ten things about the book beyond the cut. Don’t worry, no crucial spoilers!
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The Three Investigators

Three Investigators endpapers, photo from

I just finished reading a 3-in-1 Three Investigators book containing The Mystery of the Flaming Footprints, The Mystery of the Coughing Dragon and The Mystery of the Singing Serpent (books 86-88 of 2009)

Before I even started reading Nancy Drew, I was hooked on the The Three Investigators series, because it was my older sister’s (Tattie’s) favorite series when she was in grade school and she always talked about it.

As soon as I had access to the bigger library (4th grade), I found a whole shelf of the books and I didn’t even have any competition – nobody was checking them out! Nobody my age had even heard about them – the last borrowers were a good five years or so back – and so I was able to read them in order.

I was hooked, and I ended up checking out two or three of them at a time (three was the maximum number we could check out at one time at the library, and I was one of the few girls who were pushing the limit and filling up back to back blue borrower’s cards).

In fact, I ended up reading so many them that my mom had to curtail my reading time to half an hour a night (depending on her mood) and only after I did my homework (and then eventually I was limited to reading ONLY during the weekends; I had a reading ban on weeknights while the rest of my siblings got TV ban and I couldn’t have cared less about the TV). This is, I think, the reason I learned to read fast (and read on a moving vehicle on the way to and from school), to maximize reading time.

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Making the mark

I’ve always wanted a way to establish my identity on my books. I usually scrawl my name and the date inside, but I’ve longed for a more “official” mark for a long time now,  and I’ve grown tired of running out of book plates and stickers to label my books.

I thought of a rubber stamp, but I didn’t really want to mess with ink, and I was still not sold on the self-inking kind. And then one day,  I mooched a book that had a dry seal on it, and I got the idea of having my own dry seal made for my library.

Luckily there was a dry seal maker next to the post office and I was finally able to get mine made yesterday.

The results? Here you go:


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