A Lake Tahoe shamus and his harlequin Great Dane sniff out fake Rembrandts.
Wealthy Lauren Phelter is so concerned someone is stalking the tenants in her guest house that she hires cop-turned-shamus Owen McKenna (Tahoe Ice Grave, 2002, etc.) to protect them. But neither talk-show host Leah Printner, still recovering from the accident that killed her husband, nor her father, a retired dermatologist and skilled amateur painter, is interested in Owen’s services. Moments after they decline his help, the doctor is shot and killed, leaving Leah practically catatonic with grief. While he investigates her father’s death, Owen stashes her on a luxury yacht for safekeeping along with Spot, his giant Great Dane, who’s the world’s best watchdog because he does more than watch. Three clues—a crayfish claw, the mention of Grendel, the monster Beowulf battled, and the doctor’s secret atelier—lead Owen to a shoal of art mavens and the suspicion that the late doctor had been creating a series of purported Rembrandt canvases called the Night Portraits. Bullets fly and suspects lie (so does Leah). The resolution links the death of Leah’s husband, her dad’s forgeries and her own misfortunes back to a still earlier accident.
An action-packed thriller with a nice-guy hero, an even nicer dog and some worthwhile advice based on meticulous research explaining how to forge and frame an Old Master.