This is a fun mystery novel, the ninth in a series, by J. Michael Orenduff. The books feature Hubie Schuze who lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico and makes his living by illegally digging up ancient Native American pots on public lands and selling them. He also supplements that income by copying such pots and selling them to unsuspecting tourists. Despite all that he seems like a nice guy. A nice guy who seems to know a lot of people who get murdered. Not that he does any of that though but he is under suspicion a lot and so has to try and solve murders himself to clear himself.
This latest murder is a puzzler. An unidentified man is killed on his way to Schuze’s shop. Thing is he shares DNA with Schuze and although the man’s death was captured on video, the police have no idea how he was killed or who did it.
So yes, solving the murder and figuring out who victim was is fun but even more fun is following Schuze’s moves as he goes to the solution. We learn about academic politics at the University of New Mexico, how a woman seduced him by teaching him how to iron clothes. He’s on a first name basis with the lead homicide detective. He consults his family, he drinks margaritas at happy hour. It takes him a while but he finally gets it.
There is lots of New Mexican culture and background in these books. I’ve read all of them and am looking forward to another.
I just finished “The Pot Thief Who Studied Georgia O’Keefe” by J. Michael Orenduff. The seventh book in his “Pot Thief” series. The book, like the rest of the series, is set in New Mexico and features Hubie Schuze, the owner of a native american pot store (the pottery kind of pot, not the Colorado variety) who buys and sells pots but is also known to take his Bronco out to the boonies and dig one up illegally on public land and sell it.
A pot on display at the Heard Museum in Phoenix
Hubie is quite the character and you can tell the author has fun with him. In the book Hubie falls in love with a beautiful woman. (Thankfully the author closes the blinds and turns up the music on the intimate scenes like I wish more authors would) Hubie also steals a pot from a top secret military installation and makes a copy of it and then finds out that his pots are changing hands way faster than he can keep track of himself and of course one of the characters ends up dead and Hubie sets to finding out whodunnit. He also gets involved in an obscure O’Keefe painting.
This isn’t a painting by Georgia O’Keefe is by Mary Cassatt and is called the reader. I don’t have any photographs of an O’Keefe painting
He spends a lot of time at his favorite bar drinking margaritas and eating chips with his friends. Orenduff lived and worked in New Mexico and knows it. I was born there and spent my high school and college years in Albuquerque and get homesick from time to time. This book is the latest mystery set in New Mexico. If you love New Mexico and fun mysteries this is for you!!