The Ishtar Cup (The Bart Northcote Series Book 1)     

Bart Northcote vigorously defies stereotypes. He is a Los Angeles private detective who also writes books that are loosely disguised as fiction. He has a keen sense of making money from every job, and has a voracious appetite for art.

Here he is involved in tracking down the whereabouts of a fabulous antiquity, called the Ishtar Cup, which has been smuggled out of Iraq after the Gulf War. The problem is that his client, who refuses to giver her real name, wants Bart to follow one of her co-conspirators to make sure they know that they are being watched.

Bart suspects he is being played, but he has no idea why.