cover image Charlesgate Confidential

Charlesgate Confidential

Scott Von Doviak. Hard Case Crime, $22.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-78565-717-7

An art heist turns treasure hunt for a motley crew of Boston crooks, cops, and college students in Van Doviak’s highly entertaining debut, which moves the infamous 1990 robbery of Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum to 1946, then jumps ahead chapter by chapter to 1986 and 2014 and back again. In 1946, at the seedy real-life Charlesgate Hotel in Back Bay, Dave T’s illegal card game is held up by the Devlin brothers—and Dave realizes he has found a couple of patsies for the heist. Forty years later, college reporter Tommy Donnelly begins a history series on his dorm building, formerly the Charlesgate. And in the refurbished high-end condos of the 2014 Charlesgate, tenant Jackie St. John Osborne decides she would like the multimillion-dollar reward for the return of the stolen paintings by Vermeer, Rembrandt, and company. Smooth, often funny dialogue more than compensates for some left-field plot developments. Plenty of Red Sox references—it’s Beantown, Jake—add to the appeal of this era-bending caper novel. (Sept.)