Lovejoy enters the illicit world of underground antiques when he is summoned by a shady underworld figure to judge a competition involving an antique vase. His verdict, however, sets off a chain of suspicious happenings in the antiques community--including murder--and Lovejoy soon realizes he has stumbled onto an international ring of crime. Encountering treasure troves of genuine and fake antiques, a covert KGB-like antiques organization, and a variety of beautiful women, Lovejoy juggles his love of precious objects with his desire to stay alive.
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Larcenous, lecherous Lovejoy, in his 16th escapade, beds seven women--with predictable complications--but his most serious trouble arises from the one who got away, his ex-wife Cissie, now married to Paul and dallying with Troude, and, as is her wont, sternly doing her best to make trillions out of Lovejoy's talent as a divvy (diviner of real antiques). The scheme she's part of was two years in the planning, skips from East Anglia to Paris to Zurich, caused the death of two men, the pummeling of another, depended on child- slaves cranking out antiques in sweatshops, and drew the attention of the Stolen Art and Purloined Antiques Squad--and, of course, centered on the compliance of Lovejoy, who was duped into thinking he was keeping a solemn promise to her when he took part in Troude's major insurance company swindle/repository fire/antique- buying jaunt. At scheme's end, Lovejoy is as broke as ever and, as usual, has his eye out for a spiffy new bird to cavort with. Despairing readers will search in vain for a glossary and a coherent storyline. Still, the erudite Gash offers up entertaining nuggets for both history and antiques buffs. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
Has antique dealer Lovejoy become a bit less ethical? A bit more faint-hearted? Even randier than he used to be? Never mind--his erudite asides on antique lore are as fascinating as ever, his "divvy" chime still bongs infallibly whenever he's near the genuine article and he comes down on the side of the angels in the end. His 16th adventure (after The Lies of Fair Ladies ) finds him moonlighting as driver of a "luxury fornication pantechnicon" for Gaunt's Tryste Service. The customers disporting themselves in the rear of the van are the first of sundry shady types encountered in settings that include a luxurious rural repository for valuable antiques in Switzerland, a picture-perfect stage set of the same in East Anglia and a sweatshop employing child slaves in Paris. The theme is fakes: how they're made and by whom, how to spot them and what happens when a bunch of unscrupulous plotters pool their millions to launch a huge furniture scam. The plethora of people and places eventually overwhelms, but the pace is brisk, the activity colorful and the finale bang-up.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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