Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Deadly Business by Lenny Bartulin

Running a used bookstore in Sydney is one tough business. Owner Jack Susko can land a good punch and take one too. When he's asked to locate some used poetry books his life is suddenly at risk. To further complicate matters, Jack starts a romance with a woman who may not be all that she appears.

This book is the opposite of Lorna Barrett's cozy Booktown Mystery series. Even though there is the prerequisite cat (which every bookstore needs), in this bookshop fists fly and the language gets rough. If you don't like reading the F word, this may not be your cup of tea. 

Author Lenny Bartulin does a great job developing the character of Jack Susko. I kept reading every page because I wanted to see what happened to the guy. Not to mention how poetry books could be involved in murder.

There was one thing I didn't like.  The opening chapter gave too much information. We find Jack hanging over the edge of a cliff looking up at a woman who is pointing a gun. Why reveal the sex of the person? With only several female characters in the book (not counting the cat) it became clear who was involved. There were enough twists along the way, however, that kept me involved to the end.

Bartulin puts a macho spin on running a used bookstore. It's not for the faint of heart and can be, "A Deadly Business."

Question: What type of bookstore mystery do you prefer?

Rob's Grade: A B C D

Note: I purchased my signed (used) edition of "A Deadly Business" in Australia at Gertrude and Alice Bookstore Cafe, Bondi Beach.

A Deadly Business by Lenny Bartulin, Scribe Publications Australia, copyright 2008.


  1. I have never heard of this book but I really want to read it now! I am going to add it to my wishlist with a link back to your review!

  2. Aloha Becky..I'm glad someone found my first review!! And even more happy that it was a Sydneysider. Let me know if you liked the book. I understand the author has a second book now in the series.


  3. Yeah, in February 2010 Austran Book Review the sequel was reviewed - I think you can find the review online at

  4. Thanks for sharing the link, Becky. I found the title of the review when I did a search, but there's no pdf file to read. I wonder if I have to be a subscriber? Take care and I wish I could be in Sydney right now; we had so much fun in November.

    Aloha from Rob


Aloha! Thanks for taking time to talk story. Your comment will be posted soon.

Ho'ola'i na manu i ke aheahe

"The birds poise quietly in the gentle breeze."
Said of those who are at peace with the world, undisturbed and contented.