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John Dunning

The Bookwoman’s Last Fling

Scribner, New York, 2006, 337 pp.

Pocket Books, New York, 2007, pb, 528 pp.


Cliff Janeway is a former homicide detective who is now an antiquarian book dealer, though one
who is far more involved in mysteries than the average book dealer. A racehorse trainer invites
Janeway to Idaho to appraise his wife’s collection of children’s books, but by the time Janeway
arrives, Geiger is dead. The book collection is not as it ought to be either: some volumes are
missing. Janeway investigates their disappearance, and that of Geiger’s long dead wife.

John Dunning is an antiquarian bookdealer and author. Born in Brooklyn, NY, in 1942, he was, he said, “a raging failure early in life. Quit high school, then got kicked out of the Army with a broken eardrum after only two weeks, went on to work in a Charleston glass shop for $1.05 an hour, and looked to be on a fast track to nowhere.” He moved to Denver, and managed to get a job on the racetrack, after which he worked for trainers in Denver, Idaho, California and Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, CA. It was a magic time in his life.


In 1966 he began to work as a journalist, worked in politics, and in 1984 started the Old Algonquin Bookshop with his wife Helen. The shop still runs, though now just as an internet entity. John Dunning started writing the Bookman series, whose hero is Cliff Janeway, in 1994 with Booked to Die. The Cliff Janeway series is not generally horse based, but one title at least is: The Bookwoman’s Last Fling.


Finding the book: easy to find


Links and sources

Old Algonquin Books

John Dunning and the Bookman

Simon and Schuster’s page on John Dunning

Bibliography - horse books only