Author: Chris Orcutt
Publisher: Have Pen, Will Travel
Introducing...Dakota Stevens, a modern New York private eye with the wit and grit of Spenser, the eloquence of Marlowe, and the sleuthing skills of Sherlock Holmes. And meet his gorgeous and formidable "Watson"—brilliant chess grandmaster Svetlana Krüsh. A Real Piece of Work, the 1st novel in the Dakota Stevens Mystery Series, delves into a world of forged and stolen art, secret identities and murder. At the close of a case in Key West, PI Dakota Stevens and his associate Svetlana Krüsh return to New York, where the city is in the grips of its worst blizzard since 1888. When an art dealer stumbles in from the storm and hires them to find a stolen painting, they think it's just another case, but in no time they're neck-deep in a world of unstable artists, seductive gallery owners, mysterious collectors, deadly henchmen and a stunning femme fatale. In a thrill-ride of a mystery that leads from Manhattan to the Catskills to Washington, D.C., what begins as the simple recovery of a painting soon reveals an international art scam and a chilling secret hidden for decades. Dakota Stevens is a former FBI agent with experience in the field and the lab, a modern PI who combines the wit and grit of Marlowe and Spenser with the sleuthing skills of Sherlock Holmes. However, Dakota's "Watson" is anything but. A Ukrainian-American chess champion with runway legs, predator eyes, and fluency in seven languages, Svetlana Krüsh is much more than a sexy sidekick, bringing worldly sophistication and a razor-sharp mind to their cases. A fast-paced and intelligent mystery in the noir tradition, A Real Piece of Work is a pristinely well-written page-turner for readers who like a great story told with literary style. "Action, lust, danger, style and witty repartee, Orcutt's A Real Piece of Work is a work of art." — IndieReader Praise from Readers: "Orcutt has combined a classic hard-boiled with the page-turning frenzy of a Dan Brown novel." "PI Dakota Stevens is a cross between Philip Marlowe and Jason Bourne and his partner Svetlana Krush is a chess Grandmaster with the body of a Victoria's Secret model." "Just when you think you've solved the mystery, Orcutt surprises you with another unexpected twist." "As for the characters—perfection. Flawed, funny, heroic and developed fully from the first page until the final page." "I read A Real Piece of Work in three days. Didn't get much sleep...but it was well worth it." "Dakota Stevens and his indispensable sidekick/chess champion Svetlana Krush are a delightful modern take on the noir detective style." "The author's ability to paint a picture or scene with words is astounding. This book is ripe for adaptation to film." "Orcutt weaves a story that keeps you hanging on until the very end." "People in the reviews keep mentioning Spenser/Robert B. Parker, and they're right; but add a good streak of John Le Carré, turn the roaster up a notch, and maybe you're getting in the ballpark." "Reading Orcutt is like chasing a lit fuse into a dark tunnel." "I am now stalking this author, anxiously awaiting the release of his next book in the series." More about A Real Piece of Work: * The novel contains a password, giving buyers access to research bonus material on the Dakota Stevens website. * The novel is based on over 2,000 pages of articles and government documents (including information about the now-famous Monuments Men) to ensure that elements of the book are historically accurate.