John Dunning was born in 1942, and began receiving awards for his writing in 1981. His Dilys Award, however, didn't arrive until 1993, when independent mystery booksellers discovered the pleasure of pointing readers to Dunning's first Cliff Janeway detective novel, BOOKED TO DIE. Today Dave, whose expertise covers a wide range of mysteries, fills in the details:
One of my favorite mystery books is John Dunning’s first mystery in the Cliff Janeway series, titled Booked to Die. Janeway is an ex-policeman who has become a bookseller in Denver. There are five books in the series and they were all sought after by mystery collectors and readers and are considered bibliomysteries. The titles are the following:
Cliff Janeway novelsBooked 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)
Dunning's awards for the Cliff Janeway series are the following: Booked to Die won the Nero Award and was nominated for the 1993 Anthony Award in the "Best Novel" category; the book also won the Dilys Award for 1993. The follow-up to this novel, The Bookman's Wake, was nominated for the 1996 Edgar Award in the "Best Novel" category. Dunning had also been nominated early in his career (1981) for an Edgar Award (best paperback original) for his mystery by the title of Looking for the Ginger North, which was a stand-alone.
Booked to Die is one of the books that I constantly recommend because it has the themes of book collecting, bookselling, police work, and mystery. I have given more than 12 copies to friends and family over the years, and without fail everyone loves this book. Maybe that's why first edition, first printings that are signed are fetching from $650.00 to $1,200.00.
Find a copy and let us know what you think!
PS from Beth -- nice bio of John Dunning from Old Algonquin Books here. Also, if you haven't already seen it, please see our earlier post in this week's "This Dilys Is a Dilly!" We're building up to Archer Mayor's visit to Kingdom Books on Saturday Oct. 20 at 2 p.m., with a giveaway of one copy of his new book PARADISE CITY and two signed copies of S. J. Rozan's Dilly of a book, GHOST HERO.