A gentleman thief gets involved with the Amsterdam cops.
Charlie Howard writes crime novels whose protagonist is a burglar. He knows whereof he writes because when he’s not under his muse’s spell, he’s often breaking and entering. Measured by time he hasn’t spent in the slammer, he’s an upper-echelon thief, caught just once when a Quixotic impulse made him return the swag—a mistake never to be repeated. But now Charlie’s been arrested by the Amsterdam-Amstelland police, who like him a lot for a murder he most certainly didn’t commit. Meanwhile, two hard guys have demonstrated a willingness to beat his brains out at every opportunity, while an enigmatic blonde can’t seem to decide whether or not he belongs on her enemies list. It all started with a tiny trio of cheap see-no-evil/hear-no-evil/speak-no-evil figurines carved in plaster of Paris that Charlie was offered a substantial sum to heist. Why? And why are the simian three suddenly real MacGuffins, with everybody in Amsterdam, apart from Charlie, hot for them? It seems like a good time for Charlie to find out what’s what so that he can take care of monkey business.
A decent first effort, even if Charlie Howard can’t yet carry Bernie Rhodenbarr’s lock-picks.