To Sketch A Thief by Sharon Pape is the second book in the “Portrait of Crime” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime (Penguin), June 2011

Former police sketch artist Rory McCain never needed a partner to create a likeness of a suspect. But now, working as a sleuth, she’s got a partner who’s been dead for over a century.

Ghosts are supposed to be frightening, not exasperating. But Federal Marshal Ezekiel Drummond, aka Zeke, is one spirit who seems to specialize in fraying Rory’s nerves. Although it helps to have a lawman as part of her private detective business—even one who was shot in 1878—Rory often wishes she had a silent partner, instead of a dead one.

After a stray dog named Hobo leads Rory back to his murdered owner’s corpse, she finds herself involved in another homicide case—not to mention the new owner of a lovable pooch. Unfortunately the spirit who haunts her house doesn’t get along with dogs. Despite this bone of contention, Rory, Zeke, and Hobo are soon on the trail of some deadly dognappers and a missing Maltese.

After hanging out her shingles as a PI, Rory continues her ongoing mystery of who killed her spirited partner, Zeke. When she finds Hobo, a lost dog, and takes him home, Rory discovers that his owner has been murdered and is later hired by the owner’s friend to find her missing dogs. Rory digs into the dognapping business while the police investigate the murder of Hobo’s owner, helping each other along the way. This was a fast-paced and light-hearted read and I love the mystery within a mystery and Rory’s dogged pursuit of both her cases. I hope we get to see more of her family and I would love Zeke to meet her Aunt Helene. This was an entertaining read in this charming series.

FTC Full Disclosure – The publisher sent me a copy of this book

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