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Death by the Book (Jack Susko Mystery) by…

Death by the Book (Jack Susko Mystery)

by Lenny Bartulin

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This is a mystery set in contemporary Sydney.
Jack Susko runs a slightly run-down bookshop in the middle of the City and gets approached to buy up as many of the copies of a poet's works that he can lay his hands on.
This turns out to be a very messy family business, murder happens and Jack, because of previous unsavoury connections, is under suspicion.
This was a nice, light read with lots of twists. ( )
  quiBee | Jan 21, 2016 |
I picked this book up simply because I liked the title. The fact that it was about a book seller helped too of course. I like mysteries, but I do not normally read crime dramas. I prefer my mysteries to have either a romance or paranormal twist to them, so this book was out of my comfort zone.Having said all that, I cannot decide if I did not like the book simply because it was not my style or because it was so dark. I think those are actually the same thing in this case.Jack Susko is not a likable person. The only positive thing I can say about him is that he likes his cat. Annabelle, the female lead, is hard to figure out. Is she really a nice person and a victim of her family or is she just out for herself?I did not enjoy reading the book, but the mystery was engrossing enough that I had to finish it. The outcome was also a surprise. I thought I had it figured out, but I there was an unexpected twist.If you like crime dramas, read this book. The sequel, [b:The Black Russian|8046826|The Black Russian (Jack Susko, #2)|Lenny Bartulin|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1272514618s/8046826.jpg|12689694], is scheduled for release in 2010.
  ElaineBooks | Jul 30, 2011 |
First Line: It was perfectly clear to him now, dangling in the wet tussock cleavage of a broad hill that slid towards the headland cliffs.

Used book dealer Jack Susko thinks it's his lucky day: wealthy businessman Hammond Kasprowicz has offered him $50 for every copy he can locate of the works of little-known poet, Edward Kass. Jack needs the money, so he tries to keep a firm rein on his curiosity, although his libido certainly isn't held in check when Kasprowicz's daughter, Annabelle, walks onstage. Then dead bodies start cropping up.

I have to admit to being disappointed in this book. The action occurs in Sydney, Australia, but you'd never know it. It makes me wonder if the book was given the Strip Mall Treatment for American readers. You know... the Americans who won't be caught dead reading about someone who actually has the gall to live in another country? One of the reasons why I read books set in other countries is for the local ambiance. I want a real sense of place of which this book has none. The Aussie friends I have would never live in such a bland place.

Bartulin has a wonderful way with language, but it wasn't enough to carry the book above average for me. What was the biggest letdown? Jack Susko was a private eye in disguise, complete with snappy comebacks and the drop-dead gorgeous dame who stalks into his office and steals his heart-- and naturally Jack falls for every word that falls from her pouty lips, the idiot.

With a standard P.I. plot, there were no surprises for me in Death By the Book. I picked the book up expecting something more along the lines of John Dunning's bookseller, Cliff Janeway. What I got was well-written Gumshoe. Too bad I'm not a fan. ( )
  cathyskye | May 31, 2010 |
Good first novel, I'd say. Spunky dialog and plenty of twists. ( )
  iceT | May 18, 2010 |
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First published as A Deadly Business (Carlton North: Scribe, 2008) in Australia. Published in US as Murder By The Book (New York: Minotaur, 2010).
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Jack Susko is enjoying a quiet life as the owner of a secondhand bookstore when Hammon Kasprowicz, a wealthy collector, offers him some easy money he can't turn down. After all, what problem could there be in locating as many copies as possible of the works of an obscure poet? And who cares what he wants them for? As far as Jack is concerned, Mr. Kasprowicz could light a fire with them--which is exactly what he does. But very soon, poetry books aren't the only things disappearing.--From publisher's description.… (more)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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