Carl Brookins' The Case of the Purloined Painting begins with a murder, and ends with two more deaths.
In between is an interesting story of artwork stolen during World War II, and a fascinating detective. It's a mystery that would go well with the December release of the movie, "The Monuments Men".
Sean Sean is "A small PI with a large reputation" who works in Minneapolis. But, he's not sure why his latest clients picked him. First, Mr. Gerhz gave him an unusual story about looking for a woman he was supposed to meet who didn't show up. Then, a woman who only identified herself as Ann or Anne, gave him a retainer to give information to the police about a murder she witnessed. She was out walking in a February snowstorm when she saw two men push another man over the rail of a bridge. However, she didn't want to call the police. She only wanted them to know it was murder.
Sean Sean works well with the police. All the police knew is that the victim, Manfred Gottlieb, had been in a Nazi concentration camp. But, someone seemed to think that Gottlieb knew more than that. Somewhere, there might be a hidden ledger with information about artwork stolen from the Jews during the war. And, there might be a connection with a prominent Minneapolis family. Why should those few details lead someone to follow Sean, and try to kill him?
The Case of the Purloined Painting is an intriguing story, as much for the character of Sean Sean as because of the mystery itself. The PI's companion is a striking woman, an executive who owns a message therapist school, and knows her way around computers. Together, the two make an effective team. He has connections with the local police while she has connections in the local society scene. And, they share a love of mysteries. Part of the enjoyment of the book comes from the comments about mystery authors and characters.
Read Carl Brookins' The Case of the Purloined Painting for the history and characters. In the end, there are still a few mysteries to ponder in this enjoyable story.
Carl Brookins' website is www.carlbrookins.com
The Case of the Purloined Painting by Carl Brookins. North Star Press of St. Cloud, Inc. 2013. ISBN 9780878397082 (paperback), 166p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The publicist sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.