Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Book Review: The Pot Thief Who Studied Pythagoras

I've been exchanging emails with J. Michael Orenduff, comparing book tours visiting stores in New Mexico, promoting our respective books. When he threatened to buy my Roswell or Bust as a courtesy, I snatched a Kindle copy of his mystery book, The Pot Thief Who Studied Pythagoras.

It was a good move. While I don't intend to turn this blog into a book review column, the mystery was engaging, the characters were ones I'd like to see again and Orenduff writes with enough authority about the making and selling of pots to tempt me into finding a batch of clay and getting my fingers dirty.

The story takes place in and about Albuquerque, a place I have enough familiarity with to visualize quite well. When I was pre-school, I lived in Belen, just to the south. As a mystery, Hubert Schuze, is a likable pot digger who turned shop owner when his free-lance archeology got him kicked out of the academic world. Labeled 'pot thief' by a changing legal system, he's hardly a crook, but when museum pots go missing, he becomes a prime suspect by collectors and cops alike. His only self defense may be to find the true thief. Perhaps predictably, dead bodies get added to the mix and Hubert and his wide collection of true friends have to work hard to dig out the truth.

I look forward to the next title in Orenduff's pipeline, The Pot Thief Who Studied Ptolemy.

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