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The Collection (The DeWitt Agency Files, #1)
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Crime Fiction > THE COLLECTION, an international crime novel

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message 1: by Lance (last edited Nov 14, 2016 04:45PM) (new) - added it

Lance Charnes (lcharnes) | 326 comments Four years ago, what Matt Friedrich learned at work put him in prison. Yesterday, it earned him a job. Tomorrow, it may kill him.

Matt learned all the angles at his old Los Angeles gallery: how to sell stolen art, how to “enhance” a painting’s history, how to help buyers hide their purchases from their spouses or the IRS. He made a load of money doing it – money he poured into the lawyer who worked a plea deal with the U.S. Attorney. Matt’s out on parole and hopelessly in debt with no way out...until a shadowy woman from his past recruits him to find a cache of stolen art that could be worth millions.

Now Matt’s in Milan, impersonating a rich collector looking for deals. He has twenty days to track down something that may not exist for a boss who knows a lot more than she’s telling. He’s saddled with a tough-talking partner who may be out to screw him and up against a shady gallerist whom Matt tried to send to prison. His parole officer doesn’t know he’s left the U.S. Worse yet, what Matt’s looking for may belong to the local branch of the Calabrian mafia.

Matt’s always been good at being bad. If he’s good enough now, he gets a big payday with the promise of more to come. But one slip in his cover, one wrong word from any of the sketchy characters surrounding him, could hand Matt a return trip to jail...or a long sleep in a shallow grave.

Read an excerpt here.

The Collection is available at the following online marketplaces:
ePub: Nook; Kobo; iTunes; Scribd
Trade paperback: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, Angus & Robertson (AU), Fishpond (UK)

Visit my website for more information, bonus material, and a free book offer.

message 2: by Lance (new) - added it

Lance Charnes (lcharnes) | 326 comments In addition to Kindle, Nook and Kobo, The Collection is available for pre-order on these Kobo partner sites:

Angus and Robertson (AU)
Chapters Indigo (CA)
fnac (FR)
Hudson Booksellers
Librerias Gandhi (MX)
Livaria Cultura (BR)
Montadori (IT)
Mysterious Galaxy
Rakuten (JP)

If you're looking for the iBooks or trade paperback editions, hold on until 14 November, when they will be available worldwide.

The Collection (The DeWitt Agency Files #1) by Lance Charnes

message 3: by Lance (new) - added it

Lance Charnes (lcharnes) | 326 comments A post for my blog went free-range on me and ended up on Criminal Element. It's a true-crime story that may sound a mite familiar if you know what The Collection is about:

"In December 2002, two burglars broke into the Vincent van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. They didn’t use helicopters or lasers or any of the stuff art thieves use in the movies; they climbed a fifteen-foot ladder to the roof and got into the second floor (European first floor), where the main display halls are. They tripped alarms, but the police didn’t respond. When they busted a window and slid down a rope to get to the ground, they had souvenirs: two van Gogh oils..."

Find out what happened next:

message 4: by Lance (new) - added it

Lance Charnes (lcharnes) | 326 comments The Collection is now available for purchase (not pre-order) at these outlets:

ePub: iTunes, Scribd, Mysterious Galaxy
Trade paperback: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, Angus & Robertson (AU), Fishpond (UK)

A couple of the product pages are still in progress, but they all seem to work.

The Collection (The DeWitt Agency Files #1) by Lance Charnes

message 5: by Lance (new) - added it

Lance Charnes (lcharnes) | 326 comments The Collection just got a fine review from the Crime Fiction Lover website:

"Matt Friedrich encounters a whole clockwork factory ticking toward deadlines... Author Charnes has developed a meticulously complex, rapid-paced plot, and some of the ways the scam works are briefly difficult to follow, but you never believe for a moment that he hasn’t thought the whole thing through. The subtitle of this book – The Dewitt Agency Files #1 – sets you up for the final scene... More excitement to come!"

Read the full review here.

The Collection (The DeWitt Agency Files #1) by Lance Charnes

message 6: by Lance (last edited Mar 25, 2017 05:23PM) (new) - added it

Lance Charnes (lcharnes) | 326 comments As part of entering The Collection in Publishers Weekly's BookLife Prize, I got a "Critic's Report," which is not quite a review but is close enough. Here's some of what they had to say about The Collection:

"...the mystery has enough twists and turns – with the characters keeping plenty of secrets – to keep the reader guessing until the very end... the tone and ease of the novel make the story feel fresh... The author's characters, especially protagonist Matt, are engaging and fully developed, with just enough mystery about them. Matt is charming; his partner, Carson, is abrasive in the best way; and their boss, Allyson, is mysterious enough to make Matt's fascination understandable... A charming start to what promises to be an intriguing series."

Grab The Collection today!

The Collection (The DeWitt Agency Files #1) by Lance Charnes

message 7: by Lance (new) - added it

Lance Charnes (lcharnes) | 326 comments In yet another scrape with the Criminal Element, I talk about an operation smuggling a different sort of pot (not the green kind) from Thailand into the U.S.

A crowd gathered outside the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California, on the morning of January 24, 2008. They weren’t museum junkies; they were federal agents raiding the place. By the end of the day, 500 FBI, IRS, and Customs agents had hit the Bowers and 12 other targets, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, San Diego’s Mingei International Museum, the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, the Silk Roads Design Gallery in Los Angeles, and Barry MacLean, a private collector in Chicago. In all, agents seized over 10,000 smuggled antiquities from Thailand, Cambodia, Burma, and China.

Read the full article here.

message 8: by Lance (new) - added it

Lance Charnes (lcharnes) | 326 comments The Collection is featured in the May 2017 Donovan's Literary Services Prime Picks! Here's part of what they had to say:

"Matt is not your typical good-guy detective, but a con artist forced into a good-guy role. It's this difference - and an impossible deadline - that elevates The Collection above other detective stories of intrigue and keeps it fast-paced and satisfyingly different.

"Add a gritty blend of international atmosphere, street savvy, art world politics and processes, and criminal interests to the action-packed saga of a ticking time bomb and you have a multi-faceted, well-detailed story that's hard to put down and highly recommended for detective story and intrigue readers looking for something refreshingly original."

The Collection (The DeWitt Agency Files #1) by Lance Charnes

message 9: by Lance (new) - added it

Lance Charnes (lcharnes) | 326 comments I'm abetting the Criminal Element again, this time with an article about the most spectacular modern art forgery scandal of the last twenty years.

Between 1994 and 2008, Knoedler & Company -- the oldest art gallery in the United States -- sold for $80 million dollars forty paintings created by some of the leading lights of Abstract Expressionism (such as Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko) to some of the big names in New York City's high-profile contemporary art scene.

Fake Pollock sold to Pierre Lagrange

One problem: all forty were painted by a 73-year-old Chinese artist working out of a garage in Queens.

Read the entire story -- and other good stuff besides -- on Criminal Element.

message 10: by Lance (last edited Nov 16, 2017 02:55PM) (new) - added it

Lance Charnes (lcharnes) | 326 comments In case you've been waiting for a sale before you buy a copy of The Collection... wait no more. The Collection e-book is $1.99 for a limited time only!

This price cut is connected with a promotion that happens on Wednesday, but it's available NOW on Amazon, B&N, iTunes, and Kobo.

It's easier to start a new series at the beginning. With Stealing Ghosts (the second book in the DeWitt Agency Files series) about to drop on Friday, here's your chance to see how it all started and also save enough to get a venti instead of a grande. Go for it!

Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes and Kobo.

The Collection (The DeWitt Agency Files, #1) by Lance Charnes

message 11: by Lance (new) - added it

Lance Charnes (lcharnes) | 326 comments That promotion I mentioned above? It's here on Kindle Nation Daily.

Just to help you decide, KND threw the first five chapters into the bulletin. That's a longer excerpt than you get through Amazon or my website.

If you haven't grabbed a copy of The Collection yet, now's the time -- it's not going to get any cheaper in the foreseeable future, and the sequel, Stealing Ghosts , releases tomorrow. So read the first five chapters -- you'll want to see what happens next.

The Collection (The DeWitt Agency Files, #1) by Lance Charnes

message 12: by Jear The Book (new)

Jear The Book | 32 comments Nice. Very nice.

message 13: by Lance (new) - added it

Lance Charnes (lcharnes) | 326 comments If you're in the U.S. or Canada, you use Kobo, and you're looking to start a new mystery/crime series, here's your chance to save some money. Between now and 24 January, you can save up to 85% on the first book of hundreds of series in various genres.

It just so happens The Collection is one of them, in the "Mystery & Thrillers" category.

- For Canada, go here:
- For the U.S., go here:


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