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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVED IT!!!!!!
Rory McCain inherited more than a house from her Uncle Mac, she also inherited Marshal Ezekiel Drummond (Zeke). He came with the house as he was killed there back in 1878 and his ghostly self refuses to crossover until he determines who killed him and why.

While Rory appreciates his lawman's intellect to help her solve cases for her brand new PI firm, she...
Published on June 7, 2011 by Lori Caswell

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Feellin' sorry fer Zeke
Although I liked this latest installment of the "A Portrait of Crime" mysteries, I found myself irritated with Rory a lot. I really like Zeke and it seemed like she was upset with him through the entire book! He did his best to help, but she treated him more like an office grunt than a partner. I felt sorry on Zeke's behalf as I slogged through Rory's mental whining about...
Published on June 9, 2011 by Mom7


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Feellin' sorry fer Zeke, June 9, 2011
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This review is from: To Sketch a Thief (A Portrait of Crime Mystery) (Mass Market Paperback)
Although I liked this latest installment of the "A Portrait of Crime" mysteries, I found myself irritated with Rory a lot. I really like Zeke and it seemed like she was upset with him through the entire book! He did his best to help, but she treated him more like an office grunt than a partner. I felt sorry on Zeke's behalf as I slogged through Rory's mental whining about his interference in her cases and the possibility that he could eventually be able to leave the house for any length of time. I wanted to tell her, "Quit your bellyaching and be grateful you have a friend who cares enough to help!" Rory seemed quite selfish and ungrateful in this book. She spent more time wishing Zeke would leave than wanting him around. He can haunt me anytime! ;-)

On the upside, I enjoyed the chapters that gave us glimpses into Zeke's life. I hope we eventually discover the fate of the evil Trask. In a way I want to learn who killed Zeke as well, but I'm afraid that if we do, there won't be any reason for him to stay among the living, and I'd miss him.

I also liked Hobo the dog and enjoyed reading about his relationship with Zeke. It took effort on both of their parts and I'm glad they eventually developed a sincere liking for one another. I think Aunt Helene might like the Marshal as well. She's an entertaining character who I hope will appear in future installments.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVED IT!!!!!!, June 7, 2011
This review is from: To Sketch a Thief (A Portrait of Crime Mystery) (Mass Market Paperback)
Rory McCain inherited more than a house from her Uncle Mac, she also inherited Marshal Ezekiel Drummond (Zeke). He came with the house as he was killed there back in 1878 and his ghostly self refuses to crossover until he determines who killed him and why.

While Rory appreciates his lawman's intellect to help her solve cases for her brand new PI firm, she would appreciate him more if he could just perfect his appearances and maybe keep his opinions to himself once and awhile, then Rory wouldn't mind so much "living" with the spirit.

In this story Rory finds a big lovable stray dog, Hobo, and luckily he has tags on his collar so he can be returned to his owner. Rory takes the dog home and sees the front door is ajar so she knows how the dog got out, but as she enters the house to find the owner she has that eerie feeling. She is not entirely surprised when she finds the owner murdered.

This puts Rory right in the middle of another police investigation. Actually two as one of the friend's of Hobo's owner contacts Rory and tells her that several dogs have been dog-napped recently, including not only the other dog of the murdered woman but two of her own dogs. She hires Rory to find the missing canines.

Rory is now sharing her house with a dog, a ghost who doesn't get along well with dogs, and three cases to solve. Hopefully Hobo can help her sniff out some clues and Zeke will use his energy to help her, rather than just use it to frighten the poor dog for his pleasure. Working together they are on the trail to track down the dog-nappers and may even a murderer.

This book is a mystery, within a mystery, within another mystery and I love them all. Extremely well written and plotted the three just flow together naturally making for a fast paced read you won't want to put down. I don't consider this a much a paranormal story as a mystery with with a spirit who is truly friendly and funny. The way he doesn't understand today's slang just cracks me up.

The fact that none of Rory's family knows about Zeke adds a little more quirkiness to this story. Aunt Helene is priceless. She loves helping Rory with her cases, and her family is still wondering why after all this time they have never been invited in her home.

I am so thankful that I received that book last year, because it would have been a shame to have missed this wonderful series. This is the perfect story to "escape" into for a relaxing afternoon.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Berkley Prime Crime, a division of Penguin Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great concept and potential - enjoyable mystery, June 21, 2011
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CJ-MO (Missouri, USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: To Sketch a Thief (A Portrait of Crime Mystery) (Mass Market Paperback)
A stray dog, aptly named Hobo, shows up at her door and leads former police sketch artist and current private detective, Rory McCain, back to the dog's home. Rory enters the house and inherits a pet and a case when she discovers the dog's owner has been murdered. The victim, Brenda Hartley, had another canine companion named Tootsie, who appears to have been dognapped. Rory is determined to track down Tootsie and find out who took the tiny Maltese.

Rory's partner, Zeke Drummond, is not happy about this new case. He's not a dog-lover and thinks time spent on this investigation takes Rory's attention away from his own case. Zeke and Rory have a very unusual partnership - the former U.S. Marshal was murdered in 1878, and Zeke wants Rory spending time on his cold case, not searching for dognappers.

There are a lot of different things going on in this book. There is a human and ghost detective duo, flashbacks to Zeke's life as a 19th century marshal, much information about dogs for the animal lover, Zeke's murder case, Brenda's murder case, and the theft of Tootsie, which may or may not be related to Brenda's murder. Although there are many different storylines, for the most part it works. I like the grudging, but growing friendship between Rory and Zeke. It would be hard enough living with a ghost in your house, but Zeke is outspoken and protective of Rory and sometimes shows up to assist her, whether Rory wants him to or not. Other people are able to see Zeke, so Rory is trying to keep his existence a secret to prevent the media from swarming. This makes the situation even more stressful for Rory, but amusing to the reader.

I think the concept of Rory's former profession as a police artist is unique and intriguing. Unfortunately, there are only two scenes in the book when we see Rory use this skill. One of these scenes plays an important part in the investigation, but since the series is called "Portrait of Crime", I expected to see more of Rory's drawing throughout the book.

I don't always like this technique, but the way Zeke's story was told through flashbacks every few chapters, is effective in this book. Zeke and Rory have an interesting dynamic - plenty of sparks fly, but not the romantic type. They are literally from two different worlds and see things very differently, but have their love of justice in common. When they are getting along, they make great investigative partners!

I like all types of mysteries, but well-written ones featuring professional private investigators seem to be becoming more rare. I enjoy seeing a professional detective in action, so I really liked that aspect of the book. It's a nice change to see a detective with a paying client asking questions and trying to solve the case.

"To Sketch a Thief" can't be called a "nail-biter", but it has a unique premise with an interesting plot that holds the reader's interest. This is only the second book in the series, so there is much potential for future books. While Zeke wants his own murder solved so he can finally be at peace, I selfishly hope he stays in this dimension for a while longer. Fans of Nancy Atherton's Aunt Dimity series will like the partnership of Rory and Zeke.

This review was originally written for The Season E-Zine. I was provided a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My 2 favorite genres combined, June 21, 2011
This review is from: To Sketch a Thief (A Portrait of Crime Mystery) (Mass Market Paperback)
My 2 favorite genres to read are cozy mysteries and westerns, so this series is a perfect blend of the two. I just love Rory and Zeke (and now darling Hobo too) and can't wait to read their further adventures.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Love This Series, June 18, 2011
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This review is from: To Sketch a Thief (A Portrait of Crime Mystery) (Mass Market Paperback)
Private Investigator, Rory McCain and her partner, Marshal Zeke Drummond are thrown into a crime when a dog, named Hobo leads them to his newly deceased owner, lying in a pool of blood, in his former home.

Well, that sounds fairly straight forward doesn't it? Until, you realize that Rory lives in Long Island, NY and did I type, Marshal? Yes, I did. You see Marshal Drummond died on the land that Rory's house sits back in 1878 and he needs her abilities to find who shot him in the back. What is a Texas Ranger Marshal doing in NY?

These are only two of the crimes that are explored in Sharon Pape's latest novel, "To Sketch A Thief." The biggest mystery? Who is dog-napping in the town?

Rory, or Aurora, as the Marshal is fond of saying, has somewhat adjusted to living with a ghost of a lawman but it can get lonely. Hobo is a lovable mutt of a large size and he has an open and giving heart to share with Rory, the marshal? Not so much.

This book is exciting, has moments you laugh out loud and Ms. Pape sets up scenes that you have to share with others as you read the book. I found myself feeling love for Hobo. Sorrow for the dogs and their owners, worry for all the characters, and compassion for the Marshal.

I did love this book. I can't wait to read the next book in the series.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable investigative tale, June 7, 2011
This review is from: To Sketch a Thief (A Portrait of Crime Mystery) (Mass Market Paperback)
When she inherited her current house from her late Uncle Mac, Rory McCain found Federal Marshal Ezekiel "Zeke" Drummond living there; which is odd because in 1878 he was murdered in Huntington, New York. A Suffolk County police sketch artist and private investigator, Rory knows first hand that ghosts do not make good roommates or business partners. Still her agreement with the ghostly lawman is she solves his cold case murder and he assists her on her caseload. Rory has doubts, but admits to herself (since his ego is already in the exosphere) that Zeke was instrumental in solving the double murder case (see Sketch Me If You Can).

Rory finds a canine in her yard. She checks his tag and takes Hobo back to his owner only to find the woman dead with a knife in her chest. While waiting for the cops to arrive, Rory learns the victim is Brenda Hartley and her dog's vet is Stanley Holbrook and she uses Boomer's Groomers. Brenda's friend Marti Sugarman arrives and asks Rory where Tootsie the Maltese is. Detective Cirello takes over the crime scene and he is nasty and sarcastic towards the two women. As Cirello works the homicide; Rory, Zeke and Hobo work what appears to be a dognapping caper.

The second Portrait of a Crime investigative tale is an enjoyable thriller as the ghost and the artist argue, fuss and fight in a friendly spirited way while working the case. Their pairing along with Hobo make for a fun whodunit though the dog-napping as the motive for the homicide is initially difficult to accept. Still fans will enjoy the present day case and the subplot into what happened to Zeke in 1878.

Harriet Klausner
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Fun Read, February 10, 2014
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I read the first book in the series last year, and was delighted to win the second in a giveaway on a book review blog that I follow.

The primary characters are perfect foils for each other. Rory McCain is a police sketch artist turned P.I. and Zeke Drummond the ghost of a 19th Century U.S. Marshal murdered in her living room. The pair have formed a somewhat turbulent relationship with the Marshal imparting his years of experience to Rory as she works her cases and attempts to solve the 100+ year old mystery surrounding the Zeke's death.

Into the mix comes Hobo - a 90 pound mutt with a murdered owner who worms his way into Rory's affections and becomes cemented their. While reporting the murder, Rory becomes aware of, and then hired to stop, a dog-napping ring.

There were plenty of good plot twists in the story, and I never quite put all the clues together to figure it out. That's always a good ending in my book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Sketch A Thief, May 10, 2013
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I just love this series...Read it, you will too, and that's all I'm going to say about it. Can't wait for the next installment.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable new series, March 21, 2013
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This review is from: To Sketch a Thief (A Portrait of Crime Mystery) (Mass Market Paperback)
I really enjoyed this light mystery by Sharon Pape. I bought all three books in her new series and am eagerly awaiting the next book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good read, January 1, 2013
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I liked the continuity of the stories and the growing relationship o the characters. You wanted to keep reading to see what happened next.
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To Sketch a Thief (A Portrait of Crime Mystery)
To Sketch a Thief (A Portrait of Crime Mystery) by Sharon Pape (Mass Market Paperback - June 7, 2011)
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