Reviewer: Mary Lignor
Title: To Sketch a Thief - 2nd in the Portrait of Crime Mystery series
Author: Sharon Pape
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Release Date: June 2011
Genre/Sub-genre: Cozy Mystery
Year/Setting: Present day, Huntington, New York
Overall Rating: 4.5
Sexual Content Rating: Subtle
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None
Violent Content Rating: Moderate
Sharon's Website/Blog: www.sharonpape.com
Aurora McCain, AKA Rory, is a former police sketch artist who used to create pictures of known criminals and never needed a partner. Now she is the owner of her own detective agency and has a partner who's been dead for more than 100 years. Rory inherited her house from her Uncle Mac and she also inherited some extra baggage in the form of Arizona Marshal Ezekiel Drummond, (Zeke). He is living in the house as he was killed there in 1978 and he absolutely will not cross over until he finds out who was responsible for his murder. Rory has nothing against Zeke and his instincts to help her solve cases for her firm but she would like him better if he would not appear so suddenly and also, if he would keep his numerous opinions to himself.
In this new edition of the Portraits in Crime series, Rory finds a big stray dog named Hobo. Fortunately, he has tags on his collar and can be returned to his owner. Rory takes the dog home and sees the front door is ajar so she knows how the dog got out. As she enters the house she finds the owner murdered. Rory is now pulled into the middle of a police investigation. As a matter of fact there are two investigations as one of the murder victim's friends contacts Rory's agency to tell her that numerous dogs have been taken and wants Rory to find them.
Now, along with a ghost who doesn't like dogs, Rory is now sharing her house with Zeke, Hobo and cases to solve. Hopefully Hobo the dog, can help her sniff out some clues and Zeke will use his energy to help her, instead of just using his energy to scare poor Hobo just because he enjoys doing it rather than just use it to frighten the poor dog for his pleasure. Working together, hopefully they will catch the dog-nappers.
This is a terrific book is a story within a story and readers will hang on every word. It is uniquely well written and plotted as the stories just meld together. Even though Zeke is a ghost, it doesn't read like a ghost story. Zeke just seems to be a funny and friendly character who is really up on crime solving. A wonderful read for cozy readers and any other mystery buff. So, enjoy and I'll talk to you soon.
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