Late one night during the fiery early days of the Iranian revolution, as rain washes smoke from the air, two dark figures raid the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art and carry off thirty of the world’s most famous paintings. The theft is never made public. But even the Iranians don’t know the surprising result: most of the paintings are forgeries.
Thirty-six years later, one of the thieves breaks her leg and is sent to a rehabilitation facility by her bosses at Quixote, Ltd., a secretive branch of Levesque Security that specializes in “extrications.” Marge Smith doesn’t know why she’s been sent to this nursing home, but doubts that it has anything to do with the geriatric production of Macbeth she’s been inveigled to take part in—until one of the witches drops dead during the premiere. When the remaining witches consult Levesque Security regarding an art burglary at the deceased woman’s home, Marge is astonished to be handed an inventory of titles familiar to her—Picasso, Degas, Monet, Gaughin. She had once stolen them all herself.
Now she must track them down and steal them again. But are these genuine or fake? A visit to a renowned former cat burglar in Tuscany, his mind now clouded with senility, suggests that they might be genuine, but nothing is what it appears, especially Marge herself.