By Jaden Terrell
The Pot Thief Who Studied Pythagoras is the first book in Michael Orenduff's series featuring Hubert Schuze, a shop keeper who deals in Native American pottery. Once upon a time, Hubert would have been called a treasure hunter, but now, since Congress passed the Archeological Resources Protection Act, he's what's known as a "pot thief," someone who digs up artifacts and sells them.
Hubert may be technically a criminal, but he is also a true gentleman--charming, witty, good-hearted, and well-educated, with a remarkable knack for rationalization. When he's offered $25,000 to steal an ancient pot from the Valle del Rio Museum, he knows he should walk away...but what harm could it do just to visit the museum and look things over? Plenty, as it turns out. When the pot is stolen and a man murdered, Hubert is the prime suspect. With the help of his friend Susannah, Hubert attempts to solve the crime and clear his name. Their adventures make for a delightful and entertaining read that seamlessly blends humor and suspense. If Lawrence Block's Bernie Rhodenbarr had been conceived by Tony Hillerman, the result might have resembled pot thief Hubert Schuze.
Orenduff's prose is crisp and his dialogue clever. Hubert's voice is pitch-perfect. I knew from the first paragraph that he would be a dear friend, and the rest of the book did not disappoint. I look forward to meeting Hubert again in The Pot Thief Who Studied Ptolemy and The Pot Thief Who Studied Einstein. Highly recommended.