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The Pot Thief Who Studied Pythagoras (A Pot Thief Murder Mystery #1)

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3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  261 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
When a shady character offers him $25,000 to steal a thousand-year-old pot from Albuquerque's Valle del Rio Museum, Hubert Schuze knows he should turn it down. His pot digging may be illegal, but it's a big step from that to robbery. But he figures it can't hurt just to visit the museum and assay his chances. He figured wrong. After deciding the museum is impregnable, he r ...more
Paperback, 235 pages
Published February 10th 2009 by Dark Oak Mysteries (first published January 15th 2009)
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Snare by Deborah J. LedfordThe Immigrant and the Golden Coin by Dorothy May MercerVegas and the Mob by Al W. MoeSoWest, So Wild by Deborah J. LedfordThe Death at Awahi by Harold Burton Meyers
New Mexico Arizona Book Awards
52nd out of 77 books — 35 voters
The Immigrant and the Golden Coin by Dorothy May MercerDance Hall of the Dead by Tony HillermanWild Indigo by Sandi AultThe Pot Thief Who Studied Escoffier by J. Michael OrenduffMojado by R. Allen Chappell
Best New Mexico Mysteries
13th out of 23 books — 22 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 478)
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Jeannie and Louis Rigod
Mar 10, 2011 Jeannie and Louis Rigod rated it it was amazing
The title of this book, "The Pot Thief: Who Studied Pythagoras" by J. Michael Orenduff caught my attention because of the cover picture of an ancient ceramic pot. Then my curiosity was aroused by why would a thief of any type want, or did he/she, need to study Pythagoras? Finally, was Pythagoras the Mathematician or perhaps a character? Then, I turned over the book and saw the review of Fmr. Governor Bill Richardson (New Mexico)and found the location was Albuquerque which is one of my favorite c ...more
Norma Huss
Oct 13, 2011 Norma Huss rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries
I wanted to read this author when he not only won the 2011 EPIC for mystery for his second book, but the Lefty at Left Coast Conference for the third book in this series. (My mystery was also a finalist for the 2011 EPIC in the same category. I even saw him win the EPIC in March. Had to see what his series was all about!)

I selected the first in the series to begin with. This book is a very laid-back mystery, despite murder, theft, and almost breaking-and-entering. There's a lot of New Mexico am
...more
Amber Foxx
Jun 18, 2015 Amber Foxx rated it it was amazing
There is no sub-genre within the mystery genre that could classify this book, and I mean that as a compliment. Pot thief and pottery shop owner Hubie Schuze is so unlike any other protagonist in a mystery series, I can’t compare this to other books and say “it’s like X.” It’s not.

So what is it like? Albuquerque.

Hubie would probably cringe at the phrase “Keep Albu quirky,” but it’s not a bad way to introduce him and his way of looking at the world and loving his city. Orenduff has a knack for d
...more
DelAnne Frazee
Jun 18, 2014 DelAnne Frazee rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Title: The Pot Thief Who Studied Pythagoras
Author: J Michael Orenduff
Publisher: Open Roads Media Mystery & Thriller
Published: 1-28-2014
ISBN: 9781480458529
E-Book: B00HO12CTK
Pages: 268
Genre: Mystery & Thriller
Tags: Antiquity
Sensual Level: Mild
Overall Rating: Very Good
Reviewed For: NetGalley
Reviewer: DelAnne


Hubie Schuze is a dealer in antiquities. Once he went and dug them up for himself and when the government made it illegal for individual amateurs to dig up and sell artifacts
...more
Marika Charalambous
Mar 10, 2014 Marika Charalambous rated it it was amazing
Follow the full review at: http://mysterysequels.com/the-pot-thi...

The Pot Thief Who Studied Pythagoras is the first book in the A Pot Thief Murder Mystery series by J. Michael Orenduff. I’ve picked it up at Netgalley since the subject intrigued me. A thief who is supposed to solve crimes and knows a bit about Pythagoras (the bane of my early school existence)! I’ve never heard of this author before and I really didn’t know what to expect. For sure not a fun, full of humor and attention grabbing
...more
Martha Cheves
Aug 08, 2009 Martha Cheves rated it it was amazing
The Pot Thief Who Studied Pythagoras - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat

'The two best things about being a shopkeeper are that your income isn't limited to some corporation's idea of what a salary should be, and you get to set your own hours. The two worse things are that you don't have a salary to depend on ever month, and... well, it doesn't really matter what the other worst thing is if there's no money coming in.'

Hubert Schuze owns a Native American pottery shop in Al
...more
Ivyd
Jan 27, 2014 Ivyd rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars
THE POT THIEF WHO STUDIED PYTHAGORAS centers around two Mogollon pots. The Mogollon’s mysteriously disappeared about a thousand years ago. Most people, with the exception of archaeologists and scholars, are unaware of them. When Hubert Schuze is asked to liberate the pot currently residing in the Valle del Rio Museum he seriously considers the offer. However, other events, including murder, put Hubie in the unenviable position of having to solve the murder and mystery surrounding the tw
...more
W.s. Gager
Dec 30, 2010 W.s. Gager rated it it was amazing
I read this book this past August and neglected to put anything up on it. I have the second and will be turning the pages of that one soon. I love the unlikely hero in Hubie and his flawed logic that may or may not be legal depending on your interpretation but the logic works in the end to solve the mystery and make sure the bad guy gets his just desserts. Highly recommended.
Kathy
Feb 15, 2014 Kathy rated it really liked it
I cannot think about pots and pot thieves without thinking about the amazing books of Tony Hillerman. Additionally, as a wannabe archaeologist, I enjoy reading about native American pottery and the ends with which people will go to acquire it. Orenduff's Pot Thief series of books combines archaeology with a dash of philosophy and mystery thrown in for good measure.

I really enjoyed reading this book. It was very well written. The story was interesting. Professor Orenduff obviously is very well e
...more
Susan
The Pot Thief Who Studied Pythagoras by Michael Orenduff is the first book of the Pot Thief mystery series set in contemporary Albuquerque, New Mexico. Series protagonist Hubert Schuze owns a shop (and residence behind it) in Old Town, from which he sells antique traditional Native American pots. He also digs for pots (but never on a reservation), and therefore is called a pot thief by some, although he prefers the title treasure hunter. On a typical slow business day a furtive-looking man comes ...more
Marja McGraw
Mar 19, 2011 Marja McGraw rated it really liked it
A unique new series about Hubert Schuze, a one-time thief/rare pot collector. You may learn a lot about New Mexico's interesting history, too.

The characters are quirky and enjoyable. I really like this series.
Alexis
Feb 08, 2011 Alexis rated it liked it
The best aspect of this book, for me, was the local flavor... And it alerted me to Gruet. There was some awkward phrasing, especially in the first half, that was a bit distracting.
Bill
Feb 07, 2014 Bill rated it it was amazing
Set in Albuquerque, New Mexico, our narrator, dealer in old American Indian pots, Hubie Schuze, comes face to face with being tempted to burglarize the university museum nearby, when he is offered enough money to pay off his taxes.

Will he try to steal a pot that is so well protected? And if he does, how in the world could he do it?

I read a lot of mysteries, but didn’t know of this series – now I want to read the rest of Orendoff’s books – he is a talented writer to watch.

Grab this well written a
...more
Judi
Jul 13, 2014 Judi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2014
I don't mean 3 stars as a bad thing. I liked this book (and that is what 3 stars means in GoodReads). I really did and I recommend it to anyone that wants a light vacation read. I bought it from Open Road Media's July special on humorous mysteries and this is a smart & humorous one set in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It's a quick read that has a lot of little surprises in it. I always enjoy a mystery that the main character is not part of the law enforcement... in this case... instead Hubert Sch ...more
Jodi
Jan 26, 2015 Jodi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.75 Stars Hubert Schuze owns a pottery shop in Albuquerque. He is considered a pot thief because he digs up pots which is currently illegal. He is good friends with Susannah who he meets daily at a local bar/restaurant for margaritas and good conversation. This story is written totally in the style of the Bernie Rhodenbarr books by Lawrence Block. The humor, characters, story, all of it. In fact, the Bernie the Burglar books are mentioned a couple times in this book. I enjoyed the book. If you ...more
Ronna
Feb 19, 2013 Ronna rated it really liked it
Shelves: recommendations
THE POT THIEF WHO STUDIES PYTHAGORUS by Michael Orenduff was a great new find for me!! Lovers of Laurence Block's Bernie Rhodenbarr mysteries will find this book pure joy!! Hubert Schuze is a treasure hunter turned pot thief, because of a new American law disallowing archeologists and other diggers from keeping things they find. Hubert doesn't dig on Indian lands or private property, but he figures he's part of the public, so public land finds belong to him too! He runs a pot store in New Mexico ...more
Denise Spicer
Nov 18, 2015 Denise Spicer rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: mystery lovers
An interesting and amusing mystery set in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Hubert Schuze is a shop owner in Old Town and sells antique pots. Commissioned to steal a pot from a museum and later accused of murder, he, along with his best friend and drinking buddy, Susannah, solves the crimes.
With its super short chapters and silly discussions about such random topics as Mexican food, art history and, of course, Pythagoras, this is a quick and fun read.
LeeAnne
Jun 20, 2011 LeeAnne rated it liked it
What a fun and different little mystery. This one takes place in Albuquerque and features a UNM dropout, Hubert Schuze, who owns a shop and sells old, Native American pottery. One day Hubert is approached by a man who offers him a large sum of money to steal an ancient Mogollon pot that resides in the university museum and the game is afoot. The author is quite knowledgeable about Native American pottery and lore and he can be irreverent and quite funny as well. This book is short, just over 200 ...more
Mary
Jul 21, 2014 Mary rated it liked it
Funny, likable, idiosyncratic characters. Plot not very believable, but that's not so important when the story is this enjoyable. I was irritated by some of my pet peeve grammatical errors and that distracted from my full enjoyment of this very imaginative book. Too bad. Nevertheless, I do intend to read more in the series.
Mare
Jan 02, 2012 Mare rated it really liked it
Hubie Schuze is firmly in the top five of my favorite protags. He's charming, intelligent, dry, and above all he is interesting. This book delighted me from the start in spite of the slightly off-kilter premise of a "pot thief" being the good guy. Hubie truly is a good guy who not only does the right thing, but thinks his actions through in a very satisfying manner. The Albuquerque setting is a vivid enough to make the desire to visit a strong one and the only downside that appeared was the cons ...more
Bonnie
Oct 01, 2014 Bonnie rated it liked it
I guess I liked this book, though it took a while for me to get through it. The main character seemed to spend the majority of his time either eating or drinking; it was a revelation that he was sober enough to solve the crime!
Sara
Dec 06, 2015 Sara rated it really liked it
This book surprised me. It started out slow and I almost lost interest, but the voice in entertaining to say the least, and I'm glad I finished it. It was a fun read, and I'll very likely read another in this series.
Loraine
Feb 19, 2014 Loraine rated it liked it
Snarky yet light-hearted. Breezy whodunit, just what I needed after reading the very intense March Violets. And for all the breeziness, Orenduff doesn't make it easy to catch the murderer.
Gerald Hickman
Sep 07, 2015 Gerald Hickman rated it really liked it
Humorous murder mystery. I liked the main character, but was disappointed that the pots in question were not excavated by the author. Hope there will be midnight raids on middens in other stories by this author.
Sheila Beaumont
This funny, atmospheric mystery set in Albuquerque, New Mexico, not only has a well-plotted story, centering around two murders and the thefts of two ancient Indian pots, it also features wonderful characters portrayed with humor. Mr. Orenduff has a gift for dialogue; I especially enjoyed the conversations between Hubert Schuze, the "pot thief" of the title, and his ingenuous friend, Susannah. If you'd like to read a good mystery with lots of laughs, a little romance, some philosophical musing, ...more
Bruth George
Mar 02, 2016 Bruth George rated it really liked it
Shelves: art, food
Enjoyable if implausible story. I liked the dialogue but winced over some really surprising misspellings of well known names, like Bassey for Count Basie, Columbia for Colombia. The author digresses from time to time in a way and on subjects which I found enjoyable.
Lynn Lerch
Oct 05, 2011 Lynn Lerch rated it it was amazing
Hubert Schuze is a pot thief. No not marijuana. He digs up pots on Indian land and keeps them or sells them. One day a man comes to his shop and wants him to steal a 1,000 year old pot from the local museum. Then a BLM officer accuses him of stealing the only other pot of this type. He hasn't stolen any of them but by books end he steals the one from the museum and returns it and discovers who murdered several people. This is a fun read that will make you laugh. It would make a very funny movie. ...more
Julie Grey
Mar 19, 2015 Julie Grey rated it it was amazing
Excellent! Didn't see the end coming...
Debbie
Jul 01, 2015 Debbie rated it liked it
This book started off a bit clunky and slow, but it definitely won me over. It's a murder mystery, but the main character is very interesting, so there's a hook. Plus, you get lots of New Mexican history, culture and cooking. It was also really cool the way he was able to figure out the crimes because of the Pythagora book he was reading. I can see this being a great read for a high school kid to enhance studies of New Mexico and Pythagoras.
Karen
Dec 01, 2011 Karen rated it it was amazing
This was a terrific novel as well as a mystery. I got so into the characters, I almost overlooked the murder(s). I heartily recommend this to everyone, especially if you have an interest in the New Mexico area and/or pots. I passed this on to my mother within minutes of finishing because I know she is going to love it.
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Mike Orenduff grew up in a house so close to the Rio Grand that he could frisbee a tortilla into Mexico. Despite such antics, he ended up in higher education, teaching at thirteen colleges in eight states and three countries. He was also an academic dean three times, an academic vice-president twice, a president four times, and a statewide chancellor once. His supporters say he welcomes new challe ...more
More about J. Michael Orenduff...

Other Books in the Series

A Pot Thief Murder Mystery (7 books)
  • The Pot Thief Who Studied Ptolemy
  • The Pot Thief Who Studied Escoffier
  • The Pot Thief Who Studied Einstein
  • The Pot Thief Who Studied D. H. Lawrence (#5)
  • The Pot Thief Who Studied Billy the Kid
  • The Pot Thief Who Studied Georgia O'Keeffe

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