#1 — THE COLLECTION
Matt Friedrich has twenty days to find a cache of stolen paintings in Milan before its mafia owners (or his partner) kills him.
#2 — STEALING GHOSTS
Dorotea DeVillardi is ninety-one years old, gorgeous, and worth a fortune. Matt Friedrich’s going to steal her.
#3 — CHASING CLAY
Matt Friedrich has sixty days to find the source of 800-year-old smuggled Southeast Asian antiquities. If he fails, he may be buried next to them.
For the first time, Allyson looks out the window. I’m not sure she’s seeing anything, but she isn’t X-raying my soul anymore. After a few moments, she sighs, clicks off her tablet, then closes its cover. I guess the interview is over.
She looks up. “I never told you what it is I do, did I.”
“No. All you said was, you ‘fill needs,’ whatever that means.”
She nods. “I do things for people who need things to be done.”
“Why don’t they do it themselves?”
“They haven’t the skill set. They can’t be seen to be involved. They’re restricted from operating. Any number of reasons, none of which you’ll ever be privy to should I employ you.”
I roll that around a bit. “Who are these people? The CIA? Oil companies? Political parties?”
She arches an eyebrow.
“The Mafia? Terrorists? Drug cartels?”
“Are they so different?”
— From The Collection
Allyson DeWitt is the president of The DeWitt Agency. Its headquarters is a brass plate outside a discreet Luxembourgeois lawyer’s office door. Its corporate treasury is in Vanuatu. Its directors are strangely untraceable. Its only other full-time employee is Olivia, who’s able to arrange for the damnedest things when an Agency associate needs help.
Matt Friedrich is the Agency’s newest employee. He has a certain useful set of skills that he learned while working in a crooked L.A. art gallery, and other knowledge that he gained while hanging out in federal prison with Wall Street types who had bad lawyers. He’s out on supervised release and working for $10 an hour at Starbucks to pay off over half a million in debts and restitution.
When one of Allyson’s clients has a need to fill that involves art in whatever form, Matt gets the project. He can knock down a chunk of his debt with each payoff… so long as he stays alive and out of jail. Sometimes he’s paired with Carson, a disgraced Toronto cop who has her own debts, problems, and useful skills. Together they make a pretty good team — if they don’t kill each other first.
Follow Matt as Allyson’s projects drag him around the world, where he sees new places, meets new friends, avoids old enemies, and discovers (or pulls off) new scams. If he plays his cards right, he can make a lot of money, pay off his debts, and build a new life. All he has to do is not screw up… which is much harder than it sounds.
Want to read more about the crimes against art that Matt discovers (or commits)? Check out the Art Crime Bookshelf.