Curtis Dowling, a British fine art authenticator and host of the first and only season of CNBC’s Treasure Detectives in 2013, has plenty of stories about the art world.

His stories are peppered with mobsters, con artists — plots and characters worthy of the most entertaining Elmore Leonard or Daniel Silva novel.

Several years ago, Dowling and his partner, Andy Smith, were hired to verify paintings and sculptures that filled a storage unit in Scottsdale, Ariz. His initial impression: There was something hinky about the whole deal. The man who’d hired him casually slid a suitcase to him beneath their table at an outdoor coffeehouse.

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