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Bob Spiel


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A Novel

A professional art thief who enjoys killing for it


Bob Spiel


The Renoir

Today, Moreno’s only witness was just a New York whore, so he had to kill her. For Moreno, witness lives were spared grudgingly and only for a good reason. She was not one.

As planned, he had patronized and befriended Tasha for a few months. Moreno would miss her body and her exceptional skills with it. But he also enjoyed a good kill, even though killing was a short term pleasure. If there was a good reason he could not kill the witness, he had other ways of defeating later identification..

Moreno had told Tasha he would wait in the ally around the corner from the 57th Street gallery. This gallery had a little Renoir hanging on the wall near the front door, begging to be stolen. He had needed to take Tasha shopping, so he could make her tasteful as well as sexual and beautiful.

Having been at the gallery several days before, Moreno told her where the Renoir was located on the wall. At lunchtime, there was only one employee watching the gallery. When this employee received a distracting phone call from Moreno’s throwaway cell phone, Tasha was to grab the Renoir, throw away her Jimmy Choos, and run out onto 57th Street and into the ally as fast as she could.

Moreno made the call. Right on schedule, a few minutes later, a breathless Tasha ran into the ally clutching a small Renoir. Moreno held his arms out and smiled. Tasha ran to him, flushed and excited. Moreno enfolded her in his arms, as she held the painting in one hand. While nuzzling her neck, Moreno said in a husky voice, “You excite me.”

As he was speaking, Moreno reached under his coat with his right hand and found the hunting knife in the sheath at his belt. He whipped it rapidly forward ……

Bob Spiel

The genesis of this novel is my 20 year career in the FBI, where I specialized in art theft.

Like our classmate Sam Clemens, I’m also looking for a publisher??