Roguish antiques expert Lovejoy takes on America for the first time in this new mystery from the author of The Very Last Gambado and The Jade Woman. Illegally in America, Lovejoy is trying to lay low when his unerring instinct for the fake leads him to "The Great California Game", a highly illicit enterprise that involves gambling, antiques, evangelical conmen--and cold-blooded murder.
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The inimitable Lovejoy (seen in Jade Woman ), still on the run from British authorities, has arrived in New York as an illegal immigrant--and he loves Manhattan. Magda, his prostitute next-door neighbor in a fleabag hotel, has found him a job tending bar, and he's trying to master U.S. mores and slang (just as abstruse as his East Anglian lingo). As usual, he interrupts the first-person narration of his adventures with fascinating antique lore, and the marvelous "divvy" chime still warms his chest when he spots a genuinely valuable specimen. This talent gets Lovejoy involved with some extremely rich, extremely peculiar, extremely lethal Americans who are playing a mysterious game. A convoluted series of events takes our hero to a posh yacht on Long Island Sound, the bowels of the W. 42nd Street bus terminal in New York City, the Metropolitan and other museums, a Virginia thoroughbred farm, a glitzy Nebraska religious theme park (operated by Jim and Tammy Faye clones) and a New Orleans riverboat--dodging would-be assassins en route. At last Lovejoy, Magda and her son (at seven already an accomplished thief) hit L.A. for the grand finale of the California game, the scam of the century. In spite of some sloppiness and a few dull patches, this 14th Lovejoy mystery sparkles with Gash's characteristic energy and wit. Author tour.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Still struggling to reclaim the magnificent form of Jade Woman (1989), in which incorrigibly corrupt antiques-dealer Lovejoy nosed about Hong Kong, Gash now turns to America for inspiration--with only so-so results. Eking out a livelihood in a Manhattan bar, Lovejoy is pressed into waiter service at the wealthy, more-than- slightly-crooked Aquilinas digs, where his ``divvy'' (i.e., divining) talents gain him entry into The Great California Game--an invitation-only, giant hustle that's guaranteed to make the winners multimillionaires. Quicker than he can tell paste from diamond, Lovejoy and his two new street-savvy chums--Magda the doorway whore and Zole the hot-goods kid--are on a cross-country romp (Chicago, New Orleans, L.A.) to set up the sting, while all around them love stories swirl and evolve (the maid/the bodyguard/etc.), two sisters crop up, and, naturally, the big score just seems to elude Lovejoy. A skimpy plot undercuts a wry love-letter to the States. As witty and knowledgeable as Gash can be, he hasn't much of a story to tell here. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Book Description Random House of Canada, Limited, 1992. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0099863405