Saturday, November 13, 2010

Priceless: How I went Undercover to Rescue the World's Stolen Treasures by Robert K. Wittman

I love to read fictional mysteries, but everyone once in a while comes a true-story book that is as good as any fiction.

Former undercover FBI agent Robert K. Wittman, writing with Philadelphia journalist John Shiffman, takes us case by case through his real-life stories: recovering a headdress belonging to Geronimo, going after well-known TV appraisers who were conning people into turning over valuables for a pittance, and working to recover a Rembrandt and Vermeer stolen in 1990 from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston -- amid much turf squabbling and bureaucratic bungling within the FBI.

The stories are compelling, with equal doses of art history and suspense -- will he be able to fool the suspects, and pull a sting off? Is he going to be able to recover priceless paintings after missteps by a supervisor? Well, you'll have to read the book to find out.