A Real Piece of Work  (Dakota Stevens, #1) - Chris Orcutt Charming detective story. I was not familiar with Orcut’s writing before this one, but I will certainly look him up again. The title is, of course, a pun as it relates to several things, most obviously the painting that Dakota Stevens, ex-cop/FBI has been hired by a strange little man who appeared in his office out of a blizzard to locate. Ostensibly very valuable, it would appear the painting is a forgery.

Dakota is a great character and Svetlana, who speaks seven languages and is a chess master, his sidekick, a hoot.

I enjoyed the first seven-eighths of the book but lopped off a star for the ending that became the standard Lone Ranger and Tonto (albeit with a great body) stave off swarming hoards of enemy. It's only a wonder clouds of angels weren't singing Hallelujahs from the heavens. Well, perhaps I exaggerate some. Let's just say my crap-detector went into emergency overload. The plot was good involving art forgeries and stolen paintings, suitably intricate; the characters interesting,and Orcut had a chance to resolve it in a much more interesting way. But it's his first book. I'll certainly read the next.

P.S. Librarians play a central role in unraveling the threads of the mystery.