Gilbert Cruz
April 20, 2007 AT 04:00 AM EDT

What's So Funny?

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Donald E. Westlake
publisher
Grand Central Publishing
genre
Fiction, Mystery and Thriller

We gave it a B+

In a dozen comic crime novels, Donald E. Westlake’s oddly named thief John Dortmunder has bungled his way into and out of more capers than a Greek salad. No. 13, What’s So Funny is no different. Blackmailed into stealing a valuable chess set by a PI and his wealthy client, Dortmunder assembles his old-school, ragtag team of crooks, none of whom are getting any younger (for them, Google is just ”some other nosey parker way to mind everybody else’s business”). Still, all are itching for the next big payday. As the requisite shenanigans follow, Westlake again delivers a breezily fun tale of good-natured criminality in his deceptively simple style.

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