Bernie Rhodenbarr breaks into an apartment while the owner is out to steal a blue leather box and make a quick five large. Only the apartment owner is home and quite dead, and the cops burst in while Bernie is there. Bernie goes on the run and sets out to clear his name with the help of an oddly helpful girl named Ruth. Can Bernie clear his name before he is apprehended for murder?
Lawrence Block put together an interesting mystery in this one, one involving actors, actresses, blackmail, and dirty cops. I sure didn't see the ending coming, neither the murderer nor the last plot twist at the end. It's more humorous than the Block books I've already read but more serious than Donald Westlake's Dortmunder books.
While I prefer Block's stories about Keller, Bernie Rhodenbarr's first tale is a good one and I'll be picking up the rest of them.