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The Steel Deal

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  19 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
At 55, big city sleuth Sonny Busco is sinking deep into debt and distrust when suddenly he's thrown a lifeline. The chief assistant to a prominent university professor offers $2500 for safe delivery of a confidential briefcase to Santa Fe, NM. Sonny accepts, thinking it's easy money. That is until he learns of the case's contents: an amazing alloy called sentient steel. So ...more
Paperback, 226 pages
Published September 3rd 2010 by Inkwater Press
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(showing 1-24 of 27)
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Todd Fonseca
Jan 23, 2012 Todd Fonseca rated it really liked it
The Steel Deal - A Unique Voice in the Gumshoe Genre

Rating: 4 of 5
Author: James Blakely
Format: Paperback, Kindle

Gumshoe Sonny Busco is broke. Worse than broke, he owes everyone - big time. With loan sharks on his tail and his security gig not paying enough to keep up with the bills, he struggles to get from one end of town to the other in his junker car. Enter Pixy - young, attractive, in trouble, and willing to pay $2500.00 up front for Sonny to simply deliver a package to Santa Fe. What coul
J.A. Beard
Nov 20, 2011 J.A. Beard rated it really liked it
4 Stars for The Steel Deal (original review at

The Steel Deal
Author: James Blakley
Genre: Hard-boiled Mystery/Suspense


Just when private investigator Sonny Busco's debts threaten to overwhelm him, he's approached for what seems a very simple job given by an attractive young woman. He's to take a suitcase carrying an experimental alloy sample to Santa Fe. Soon, he finds himself running from numerous people who want what he's carrying and aren't afrai
Feb 10, 2012 Laurie rated it it was amazing
My Rating 4.5 Stars

Drawn into the story immediately, I was amazed at the wonderful originality of thought within the sentences. Mr. Blakely conveys ideas with uniqueness rarely encountered; no worn-out, tired clichés. I absolutely fell in love with this author’s voice and style. The sentences are particularly well-constructed, fluid, and contained phrases that helped me visualize the story and the characters’ personalities especially well.

The whole idea of sentient steel fascinated me, and the
Catrina Barton
Aug 14, 2012 Catrina Barton rated it liked it
In the spirit of full disclosure, I received a free PDF in exchange for a honest review.

Mr. Blakely is a talented writer and his debut noir is well worth reading. This is the first noir I've ever read, so I kept my comments contained to over all writing style and characterization.

The Good:

I enjoyed how smoothly the writing flows most of the time, and the humorous parts. The way Mr. Blakley interlaces Sonny Busco's thoughts into the writing, without making them stand out, is admirable.

Opening wit
Amanda Chalifoux
Sep 20, 2012 Amanda Chalifoux rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Amanda by: James Blakley
Shelves: giveaway-books
The Steel Deal by James Blakely is a great book. I have to say I really enjoyed reading this book. Only took me like a day to read. The Steel Deal is an action/ thriller book I would say. It is about a 55 year old man name Sonny Busco, Sonny is a risk taker and he tries to make fast money. Sonny is a P.I. and he works as a Security Guard.

He gets a job from this woman named Pixy to get a brief case and deliver it to San Fe. To make some easy money $2500 when he had made a safe delivery. But it
Loves To Dive
Jun 24, 2012 Loves To Dive rated it liked it
Meet Sonny Busco, a 55 year old down and out private investigator. He’s in debt, out of shape, has a mob boss after him, his car is on its last leg and he just barely makes ends meet. Life has not been good for Sonny, but it looks likes things might just be looking up when young Miss Pixy Sage offers him $2500 to deliver a package to Sante Fe, NM. Sounds easy enough, so Sonny agrees to meet Pixy to arrange pick up of the package, and get some background information from her.

The package turns ou
Sherry Fundin
If you are a conspiracy theorist, this may be a book for you. Sonny Busco, a Private Investigator finds himself mixed up with The Men and Women in Black, while trying to keep the other side from stealing sentient steel, a revolutionary new invention that could change the world as we know it. Sentient steel is lightweight like aluminum, elastic like rubber and durable like titanium. It can be shaped into almost any form. It can think and become whatever it wants.

My name is Sonny Busco. I am a Pri
Darian Wilk
Nov 15, 2012 Darian Wilk rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-review
The Steel Deal is about Sonny, a P.I. who's buried in debt, owes the wrong kind of people money, and lives a "bare minimal" kind of lifestyle. His clunker car is in the shop again, and he's presented with an opportunity to make some quick money. Sounds like a solid deal. Or so he thought. Sonny is pulled into a deep web of lies, and starts putting the pieces together.

I liked Sonny from the start; he's a funny, realistic, no B.S. kind of guy that's down on his luck. He's a bit older than most mai
Barbara Morgan
Oct 13, 2013 Barbara Morgan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013-book-shelf
The Steel Deal by James Blakey is a story about an 55 year old private detective named Sunny Busco, who is buried in debt and broke. Sunny owes money from playing the horse and the loan shark is after him. Sunny’s car is breaking down on him. Sunny needs more bad and quick.

When Sunny meets Pixy who offers him $2500 to deliver a package to Santa Fe , New Mexico in 24 hours. He jumps at the opportunity. Little does Sunny know that delivering the package will bring him into a web of lies.

The charac
Kathy Cunningham
Jan 17, 2013 Kathy Cunningham rated it really liked it
James Blakley’s THE STEEL DEAL is a crisply written novel about a hard-boiled, noir-style detective (think Sam Spade) who gets mixed up in a complex case involving stolen science and government intrigue. Sonny Busco is a wise-cracking 55-year-old private investigator who’s been down on his luck for as long as he can remember – he doesn’t own a cell phone or a computer, and he owes loan sharks more money than he makes in a month. When a woman named Pixy offers him an easy way to make $2,500, he j ...more
Laura Thomas
Dec 02, 2012 Laura Thomas rated it it was amazing
It all started with the horses. Sonny Busco, private eye, aged 55, thought playing the horses would help him make ends meet. Business had dried up and he needed money badly. Living without running water or a telephone was not good for business, or for him.

He figured he’d cash in on the ponies, but as it usually goes, he lost. Enter Gator Grimes, the loan shark.

Sonny borrows $500 and before you know it, it’s $1.500. When he can’t meet the payment deadline, friends of Gator come callin.

Ziggy and S
Dec 29, 2012 Dale rated it liked it
Published in 2010 by Inkwater Press

Sonny Busco is a down-on-his-luck 55 year old private detective who is broke. He is so broke that he works more for a security guard company than he does as a private detective. He is so broke that he owes money to loan sharks and he is behind on his payments. He is so broke that he's not sure if his car will start and if it does if it will even get him there. He is so broke that he pawned his gun!

But, Busco gets the offer of his life - just carry a briefcase
LaTonya Garrett
Jan 12, 2015 LaTonya Garrett rated it liked it
Sonny Busco is not your average private detective. He is cut from a different cloth. He happens to be intelligent, somewhat witty, but his appearance does not suggest this at all. After getting involved in a case, he finds that the case isn't as it was presented. What he uncovers is interesting facets that you don't find during the read.

Blakley is giving us another glimpse into his creative mind. I give three stars due to slow start. For a detective drama, the beginning did not have enough actio
Dec 15, 2013 Heather rated it really liked it
Although not a genre I typically pick up to read, I enjoyed this tongue-in-cheek noir novel. The author's writing is easy to follow and flows like a narrator of an old, cynic detective movie. I really adore the main character has flaws, is older, and struggles like you'd expect a down and out PI to. The plot ties in the end left my brain reeling a bit, but it's always good to give the old neurotransmitters a whirl.

I won a copy of this book in print as part of a blog giveaway.
Deb Novack
Say hello to Sonny Busco, a 55 year old detective who owes everyone money including a loan shark. Sonny finally gets a job delivering a briefcase to Santa Fe,N.M. Everything gets a little crazy, but Sonny needs the $2500 that the jobs pay.
I loved the characters especially Sonny, they were well developed and you could relate to them, the storyline was wonderful and intriguing. I am truly looking forward to reading more by Mr. Buckley. Good Work!
Alana Woods
Jan 15, 2012 Alana Woods rated it really liked it
Tightly-written and well-paced with a flawed but likeable main character, this was a book I was reluctant to put down until I had finished it. It is packed with the kind of detail that is evidence of insider knowledge or a great deal of research. I liked it a lot.
Michael Phelps
Michael Phelps rated it it was amazing
Oct 05, 2014
T.l. Criswell
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Sep 06, 2013
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Jul 16, 2013
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Jan 09, 2013
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Nov 20, 2012
James Blakley was educated at Missouri Western State College and Washburn University. While at MWSC, he was a local and national award-winning columnist and co-editor of "The Griffon-News".

Blakley worked 10 1/2 years as a page and as an Assistant Librarian for the River Bluffs Regional Libraries of St. Joseph, MO. He currently lives in Topeka,KS where he worked for The Topeka & Shawnee County
More about James Blakley...

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