Artscape

( 2 )

Overview

Ike Schwartz thought he could return to his hometown and ditch the demons that pursue him. More than anything, he wanted to blot out the pain and anger that came when his wife of less than a month was gunned down in a CIA foul-up. So he buried himself as sheriff in rural Picketsville, Virginia, a community indistinguishable from any of the hundreds of small towns that hang like beads on Interstate 81 running from Pennsylvania down to Georgia.
Aside from its Civil War history, ...

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Artscape (Ike Schwartz Series #1)

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Overview

Ike Schwartz thought he could return to his hometown and ditch the demons that pursue him. More than anything, he wanted to blot out the pain and anger that came when his wife of less than a month was gunned down in a CIA foul-up. So he buried himself as sheriff in rural Picketsville, Virginia, a community indistinguishable from any of the hundreds of small towns that hang like beads on Interstate 81 running from Pennsylvania down to Georgia.
Aside from its Civil War history, Picketsville's only real claim to fame is Callend College, a private women's school located just within its corporate limits. The college is notable, in turn, for housing one half of the billion dollar Dillon art collection, carefully secured in an underground bunker originally built in the late 1950s as a super bomb shelter.
It's bad news for both Dr. Ruth Harris, the newly hired president of the college, and for a shadowy group whose services have been contracted by Middle Eastern fanatics—The New Jihad—when the collection is scheduled to be removed to New York. The plan is to steal the half billion dollars worth of fine art and statuary, and ransom it back for millions.
With the closure of the facility imminent, the operation must be moved forward, which, in turn, creates unanticipated risks and problems. And everyone dismisses Ike Schwartz as a stereotypical rural sheriff. He is, however, a man with uncommon skills, a tough hide, and a notable past—all of which make an arresting first novel.
 

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Frederick Ramsay uses a deceptively easy going pace in setting up this thriller, then gradually ratchets up the tension as the stakes grow increasingly higher...The mixture of CIA and FBI expertise, along with country sheriff initiative makes for an exciting read." — Sally Powers, I Love A Mystery Newsletter
 
"
…solid debut …. Ramsay nicely mixes town and gown, sophisticates and rustics, thugs and masterminds. Ike Schwartz seems destined for a bright future."—Publishers Weekly
 
"A solid debut." —Library Journal
 
Sally Powers
Frederick Ramsay uses a deceptively easy going pace in setting up this thriller, then gradually ratchets up the tension as the stakes grow increasingly higher...The mixture of CIA and FBI expertise, along with country sheriff initiative makes for an exciting read. I really enjoyed this book.
I Love A Mystery Newsletter
Publishers Weekly
Small-town sheriffs come in all shapes and sizes, but Ike Schwartz, who dominates Ramsay's solid debut, is both engaging and extravagantly overqualified for the job. Ike retreats to his hometown of Picketsville, Va., and wins the job of sheriff after a personal disaster in a botched CIA operation. In quiet Picketsville, Ike's biggest worries are domestic squabbles, speeding tickets and an occasional problem with a Callend College student. It's Callend's superb art collection, valued at half a billion dollars and protected by a state-of-the-art security system, that changes all that. Funded by terrorists, and using a disaffected federal agent, mobsters plan to hijack the collection and hold it for ransom. The smoothly planned operation goes off with several hitches, including a killing and the taking of hostages. Callend president Ruth Harris, who believes Ike to be the stereotypical small-town sheriff, is screaming for "higher" authorities to take charge. Laid-back but decisive, Ike does that, calling on his experience, his country roots and old allies as he matches wits with the savvy professionals who committed the crime. While Ike emerges as the most fully developed character, several secondary characters stand out as well, as Ramsay nicely mixes town and gown, sophisticates and rustics, thugs and masterminds. Ike Schwartz seems destined for a bright future. (July 19) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Just weeks before its scheduled removal, a valuable family art collection is stolen from its highly secure small-town Virginia college location. Pickettsville sheriff Ike Schwartz must flex his intelligence to catch the thieves, who killed a security guard and took two hostages. Later, they demand a $50 million ransom to be paid to an alleged terrorist group. Complications include the assistance of a renegade FBI agent and possible collusion between the Mafia and the collection's "owner." A solid debut. Ramsay lives in Surprise, AZ. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781464200564
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
  • Publication date: 8/7/2012
  • Series: Ike Schwartz Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 250
  • Sales rank: 1,452,752
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Frederick Ramsay was born in Baltimore, Maryland. He received his doctorate from the University of Illinois.  After a stint in the Army, he joined the faculty of the University of Maryland, School of Medicine. In 1971 he was ordained an Episcopal priest. He is the author of several scientific and general articles, tracts, theses, and co-author of The Baltimore Declaration. He is an accomplished public speaker and once hosted a television spot, Prognosis, on the evening news for WMAR-TV, Baltimore. He is also an iconographer with works displayed around the world. He lives in Surprise, Arizona with his wife and partner, Susan.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2004

    Great debut mystery

    While CIA operative Ike Schwartz was vacationing with his wife in Europe, he was asked to pick up a package, a simple assignment that ended with the death of Ike¿s wife, his expulsion from Switzerland and his leaving the CIA. He returns to his hometown Picketsville, Virginia where he is elected the county¿s sheriff. It is an easy job and for three years, he does little more than answer domestic disturbances and gives out traffic tickets............................... One day he is called out to Callend College, a private woman¿s school, because a $50 million dollar art collection was stolen from an underground vault protected by one of the most sophisticated security systems in the world. The terrorist group the New Jihad has contracted out to the Mafia the job of exchanging the art for diamonds. One of the thieves is an ex-FBI agent, who wants out of the operation when a security guard is killed and two college students are taken hostage. Though Harry works from the inside and Ike uses all his skills and resources, there is little chance that both men will achieve their goals................................ Frederick Ramsay¿s debut novel is well nworth reading because he has a fresh voice that will resonate with readers who like crime thrillers with lots of action and interesting characters. The theft of the artwork brings Ike out of his three-year limbo and he starts a relationship with the college president. The ex-FBI agent is as much a hero as Ike even though he gets no credit for helping the authorities. Let us hope that there will be more novels starring Ike, an intelligent tactician who endears himself to the reader............................... Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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