The Wisemann Originals

Ron Goulart, Author Walker & Company $16.95 (153p) ISBN 978-0-8027-5722-7
Missing drawings by a German artist of the '20s and '30s and art masterpieces hidden by the Nazis provide the motive for two murders in this absorbing mystery. Rudy Navarro, an operative with a detective agency whimsically named the Ajax Novelty Company, is detailed to find some 240 drawings by artist Heinrich Wisemann, a Jew who died in Dachau; the works have been missing since the end of WW II. To help, Navarro hires his old friend, unemployed art director Jack Briggs, a specialist in artists of Wisemann's period. Briggs, unfortunately, is also an alcoholic and very susceptible to women, a number of whom he has married. The mismatched pairNavarro is neat, methodical and on a health kickhead for Orlando, where three of the drawings have surfaced. There they find that they have competition from other collectors of Wisemann's work, including an unpleasant character in a ski mask who has tortured and killed others trying locate the trunk full of drawings. A tough female police detective, a triple-crossing dame and an alleged Mafia biggie complicate Navarro's and Briggs's task. Goulart ( A Graveyard of My Own ) provides a fast-paced read, marred, however, by some farcical scenes that fall flat. (Mar. )
Reviewed on: 02/27/1989
Release date: 03/01/1989
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