By Katie Weitkamp/Managing editor

Bernie Rhodenbarr stole Lawrence Block’s heart, or so his turquoise T-shirt said. The New York Times best-selling writer came to campus Monday afternoon for a talk and reception on his current tour for his book “The Burglar on the Prowl.” The book is one in a series that follows Rhodenbarr, an antiquarian bookseller by day and burglar by night.In contrast with Block’s reading in Lexington Monday night, he skipped the reading and gave a brief introduction about himself and his writing to the Eastern audience. By May 8 he will have visited 45 libraries and about 25 bookstores but very few college campuses for this tour.

“The focus is different (on college campuses),” Block said. “You focus more on the writing than the work.”

In the hour-long session about 50 people, mostly students, attended and questions did not stop. Many questions centered on his inspiration for different novels and how he got his start in the writing industry.

Alysha Hart, a pre-veterinarian and marine biology major from Louisville, said Block was inspirational to her, an aspiring writer.

“He taught me that if you work hard you can be a writer,” Hart said. “And that you should only write if you really want to.”

In his speech Block told students if they could be happy doing anything other than writing they should be doing that, but if they really have the drive to stick with it, work hard and they could be successful.

When Christine Delea, assistant professor in the English department, found out Block would be coming to Lexington last September, she invited him to Eastern to speak.

“There are many mystery lovers in the department,” Delea said.

She said when she started talking about Block many people knew who he was and read his books.

Also, she said many of her students were fans, or if they hadn’t heard of him started reading his books when they found out he was coming to campus.

She said she was impressed with the amount of students who came to see Block.

“It was great,” she said. “As a college student I didn’t take advantage of everything that was going on (on campus), and that is one of my biggest regrets.”

Following the lecture and question session, Block signed books at a reception in the Keen Johnson Lounge.

Students and faculty were also able to buy shirts like Block’s that said, “Bernie Rhodenharr stole my heart.”

Reach Katie at

katherine_weitkam@eku.edu