ARTSCAPE (Police Procedural-Virginia-Cont) - G
Frederick – 1st in series
Poisoned Pen Press, 2004- Hardcopy
Ike Schwartz has returned to his hometown of Picketsville, Virginia and become its sheriff. Picketsville is also the home of Callend College, which houses a valuable art collection. When the collection is stolen, the head of college security found murdered and two students kidnapped, it's up to Ike to solve the crime and it quickly becomes clear he's more this just a small-town sheriff.
The plot would have done better with fewer characters and less mixing of Ike's past and present; hopefully, we'll have moved past that in the next book. Ike is an interesting character, if a tad too perfect, but that's being picky. Ruth, the president of the local college is very well drawn. The story doesn't quite know whether it's focus is the art theft or spies, which dilutes the effectiveness of both. Still, it is interesting, suspenseful, and progresses well. I can't say it was great, but it was good enough that I'll read the next.