From Publishers Weekly
Picketsville, Va., sheriff Ike Schwartz investigates a botched robbery at the home of Louis Dakis, a professor at Callend University, where Ike's lady friend, Ruth Harris, happens to be president, in Ramsay's absorbing sixth mystery to feature the dogged lawman (after 2008's Choker
). Though it appears nothing was taken during the break-in, a dead body turns up around the same time, propped in the local hospital's emergency room. Convinced the two cases are related, Ike digs into Louis's life and finds a bitterly estranged wife, a missing lover, and several religious icons, one recently brought into the country. Ike soon has dozens of questions, no answers, and an itch to learn more about a particular icon called The Virgin of Tenderness
. With folksy charm and dollops of humor, Ramsay crafts a tale of international intrigue in which the past and present make poor bedfellows. Fans of Ruth and Ike's blossoming romance will find plenty to cheer about. (July)
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Espionage hits Picketsville, Virginia, where crime generally involves domestic squabbles, speeding, or college students feeling their oats. A corpse left in a hospital waiting room and a break-in at the home of a visiting professor of iconography seem unrelated cases. But when Sheriff Ike Schwartz finds a microdot on the eye of the Virgin of Tenderness icon at the professor’s home, he contacts former CIA colleague Charlie Garland. Ike keeps tight control of the cases, which, of course, are related, even after he learns that the chip contains data on a decades-old international incident. As the situation draws the attention of the CIA, FBI, and Mossad, Ike and his deputy, Samantha Ryder, a skilled hacker, push the envelope and face serious charges. Meanwhile, Ike’s personal life takes a turn as he and Callend University President Ruth Harris cement their spiky but lusty relationship. The sixth in this series has Ramsay’s trademark folksy touch, a well-rounded cast of characters, and brisk and believable dialogue, this time with an international scope. Ike Schwartz’s outings just keep getting better. --Michele Leber