Friday, May 13, 2011

To Sketch a Thief-Sharon Pape

To Sketch a Thief
Sharon Pape
Berkley, Jun 7 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780425241929

When she inherited her current house from her late Uncle Mac, Rory McCain found Federal Marshal Ezekiel “Zeke” Drummond living there; which is odd because in 1878 he was murdered in Huntington, New York. A Suffolk County police sketch artist and private investigator, Rory knows first hand that ghosts do not make good roommates or business partners. Still her agreement with the ghostly lawman is she solves his cold case murder and he assists her on her caseload. Rory has doubts, but admits to herself (since his ego is already in the exosphere) that Zeke was instrumental in solving the double murder case (see Sketch Me If You Can).

Rory finds a canine in her yard. She checks his tag and takes Hobo back to his owner only to find the woman dead with a knife in her chest. While waiting for the cops to arrive, Rory learns the victim is Brenda Hartley and her dog’s vet is Stanley Holbrook and she uses Boomer’s Groomers. Brenda’s friend Marti Sugarman arrives and asks Rory where Tootsie the Maltese is. Detective Cirello takes over the crime scene and he is nasty and sarcastic towards the two women. As Cirello works the homicide; Rory, Zeke and Hobo work what appears to be a dognapping caper.

The second Portrait of a Crime investigative tale is an enjoyable thriller as the ghost and the artist argue, fuss and fight in a friendly spirited way while working the case. Their pairing along with Hobo make for a fun whodunit though the dog-napping as the motive for the homicide is initially difficult to accept. Still fans will enjoy the present day case and the subplot into what happened to Zeke in 1878.

Harriet Klausner

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