Bernie Rhodenbarr, as the title says, is a burglar who finds himself in dire straits after a job goes wrong in an unexpected way. This was published in 1977 and ohh does it show. In 1977 New York the WTC still stands and an honest cop is one who stays bought. (All cops can be bought but not all stay bought: Know Your Bribable Cop, friends.) People are listed in the phone book if you want their addresses and getting information requires many long distance telephone calls. Answering machines, it is generally agreed, are an abomination: self-respecting people have services. And there are many old and dilapidated office buildings which, I am fairly sure, have now been turned into towering steel and glass monstrosities. Watergate is a recent memory and Reagan hasn't happened, hence there's still a middle-class, a dearth of billionaires, and actors who can afford to live in the Village.
One wouldn't want it back, I suppose (the sexual attitudes alone are hair-raising) but there's something terribly innocent about this pre-80s world, where Trump was only worth 2 million dollars (his words and 1977 values, of course.)