The Fall of Augustus – Sarah Wisseman, Author

November 17, 2009 at 11:09 pm (Crime Novels, mystery, Suspense Novels) (, , , , , , , , , , , )



The Fall of Augustus – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat

‘Victor stepped into the elevator shaft and looked up. “This should make a good shot,” he said motioning to the video tech. The elevator light gleamed on his distinguished sweep of dark hair touched with gray. The cameraman, standing just outside the shaft for a better angle, pointed his camcorder up. Ellen moved closer and craned her neck.’

‘The Emperor Augustus hurtled down, crashing against the side of the shaft as he went. Victor, Susan, and Ellen vanished in the maelstrom of smashed plaster. There was a bone-jarring thud… then an awful silence.’

‘Victor’s crumpled upper body was partially hidden under the wreck of the cable car and chunks of plaster. One dead museum director.’

Lisa Donahue is the Senior Curator at Wigglesworth Hall. The museum is in the process of being moved to a new facility and with the death of Museum Director Victor Fitzgerald she now finds herself in complete charge of the move. But, what Lisa and police Sergeant Bruce McEwan want to know, ‘was the breaking of the cable used to lower the statue of Augustus through the elevator shaft an accident or murder?’

Lisa’s problems with the move are increased when a former boss Valerie Albrecht is hired to replace Victor. Valerie is a vicious woman who steps on anyone and everyone to make herself look good. She enjoys inflicting fear in her employees and is known by those who have dealt with her in the past, to make last minute changes to exhibits knowing it will be almost impossible to accomplished. And she is happiest when she can belittle those who failed her orders, especially if there is an audience present to hear her raving.

But Valerie isn’t the end of Lisa’s problems. Artifacts are starting to disappear and Lisa believes they are being taken by someone in-house. But who and how are they getting them out of the museum?

I’ve enjoyed following Lisa as she solves the mystery of Victor’s death and as she discovers the identity of the museum thief. The Fall of Augustus turned out to be a real page turner that I very much enjoyed.

And oh yeah, did I mention that Lisa is also faced with determining who has been taking bodies and attempting to turn them into mummies?

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The Pot Thief by Michael Orenduff

July 29, 2009 at 8:57 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , )


 

 

 

The Pot Thief Who Studied Pythagoras

 

Synopsis

 

           

The Pot ThiefThe Pot Thief Who Studied Pythagoras

 

Synopsis

 

            When a shady character offers him $25,000 to steal a thousand-year-old pot from the Valle del Rio Museum, Hubert Schuze knows he should turn it down. His pot digging may be illegal, but it s a big step from that to robbery. But he figures it can t hurt just to visit the museum and assay his chances. He figured wrong. After deciding the museum is impregnable, he returns to his shop to find a BLM agent who accuses him of stealing the rare pot. Theft charges escalate to murder, and Hubert must solve the crime to clear himself. His powerful deductive skills and weak nerves are put to the test as he creates a hoax to get the pot out of the museum and solves both the first murder and a second one whose victim turns out to be the person Schuze thought was murdered to begin

 

Reviews

 

The Pot Thief Who Studied Pythagoras has all the components of a great read – an intricate plot, quirky characters, crackling dialog, and a surprise ending.  What’s more, Orenduff successfully captures the essence of New Mexico through humor, romance, and even a little philosophical musing.  New Mexico ’s rich history, people, food, and landscape come alive on its pages.  But, while Orenduff’s account is authentic, this book leaves you wanting more of New Mexico , and the only way to remedy that is to come see for yourself. 

– Bill Richardson, Governor of New Mexico

 

The Pot Thief Who Studied Pythagoras proves that the measure of a successful detective story often depends upon the person of the protagonist.  Orenduff’s Hubert Schuze (affectionately, and appropriately, known as Hubie) is a fantastic creation — by turns modest and bold, sensitive, a wee bit finicky, intensely curious, and loyal.  Schuze is the type of character that you regret doesn’t exist in real life, as is his wonderful sidekick and best friend, Susannah.  Orenduff has obviously spent lots of time in and has great affection for the Northern New Mexico area, because he manages to successfully capture its flavor.  As in the case of Robert B. Parker’s Boston and Sue Grafton’s California coast, you can’t really imagine “The Pot Thief” happening anywhere else.  (By the way, if you are into Mexican/New Mexican food, do not read this book on an empty stomach – I got sidetracked by all the tantalizing descriptions!)  Because of Schuze’s personality and outlook, his entanglement in a web of intrigue, theft, and murder is all the more entertaining.  Schuze is the type of guy who finds himself in deep water purely (well, mostly) by accident, and his reactions to one unexpected situation after another really drive the spirit of the book.  While the plot is very tightly constructed (and impossible to predict), Orenduff’s characters and their very real humanity are what really made me love this book.

– Claire Bartos in Amazon.com

 

Folks, this is an outstanding book! I bought it at the PSWA conference mainly because I thought Michael was a charming guy and I liked the cover of the book. I had no idea what it was about. Oh, of course Billie told me it was a good book, but after all, she is the publisher of the Pot Thief.  What a surprise I was in for when I began reading. This is a mystery, but not like any mystery I’ve ever read before. The hero, Hubert, sells old pots from his shop in New Mexico, he also digs pots up which is no longer legal, and he can make a pot that looks like the old ones. Hubert gets all tangled up in a most devious plot to steal a pot from a museum, but the book is so much more than that. I laughed out loud in several spots, the dialogue is wonderful. Orenduff knows how to spin an intelligent tale and turn a surprising phrase.
Next, I’d like him to write a cookbook. I’ve never read about such mouth watering food before. If you want an entertaining time, do pick up the Pot Thief Who Studied Pythagoras. Thanks, Mike, for several hours of great fun.

Marilyn a.k.a. F. M. Meredith
Author of No Sanctuary

 

 

J orenduffLinks:

www.orenduff.org

www.ThePotThief.blogspot.com

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